The mystery game is set to be with us this summer and we’ve got our point of view on it.
It’s hard not to have an interest in those niche games that make a strong attempt to craft a compelling story with enough character development and intrigue to keep you interested. Usually, point-and-click games have these elements in spades and Kathy Rain is really no exception. Just one look at the game and it’s obvious Kathy Rain’s graphic style and premise are for that market of gamers who appreciate the slow-burning mystery and retro-feel. But given the game’s serious production quality and deep layers of content, it may just meet all expectations you set when you start playing.
Kathy Rain is set sometime in 1995, following the journey of its titular female protagonist. A young journalism major about to set out on the start of her adult life, Kathy Rain is as much a game about questioning the past as it is searching for the future. The game’s plot line surrounds the mysterious death of Kathy’s somewhat estranged grandfather Joseph Rain. As Kathy begins to search for clues surrounding her grandfather’s last days, she begins to unravel a puzzle that becomes intricately more disturbing and encompassing.
The town of Conwell Springs feels hinged towards madness, as Kathy begins to see the dark underpinnings unravel. This compelling storyline is only enhanced with the vigor of a dedicated production. The clean pixel graphics are detailed and impressive, adding a nice retro flair that fans have certainly appreciated in earlier genres in this vein, like The Last Door. And given the focus of incorporating over 40 hand-drawn environments, Kathy Rain has an element of loving detail that you simply don’t experience in many other adventure titles out there. It also doesn’t hurt that the game features a full English voice cast directed under the guidance of Dave Gilbert from Wadjet Eye Games.
All of this foundation backs up a genuinely compelling storyline with incredible depth. The game boasts having over 4,000 lines of dialogue, which feel more like 10,000 when you start to really let Kathy Rain’s sub-plots and deceptions draw you in. In this way, Kathy Rain is certainly a mystery game, one that is trying to appeal wholeheartedly to an older or perhaps more educated audience of gamers. The obvious allusions to 1993’s Gabriel Knight are numerous and sometimes a little overtly obvious, but as far as video game conventions go, the references to a much-beloved point-and-click classic more than twenty years old are definitely appreciated.
Whether Kathy Rain can appeal to a broader audience is hard to tell, though. While the game features a startling many moments of truly top-notch voice acting and brilliantly ambient soundtrack, the puzzles are simple, perhaps even too conventional for some people’s taste. While they don’t venture into obscure territory too much, they’re predominantly inventory-based solutions that may not have the same luster of the over-hyped ‘The Witness’, for example.
Overall, Kathy Rain is a slow burn. There’s no instant gratification playing this game, so it may not be for everyone in the point-and-click crowd. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t blunt anyone’s interest in playing the game. If you’re fan of a fine storyline, beautiful retro-styled graphics and fantastic voice acting, Kathy Rain will give you an experience worth having and sharing with your friends. You can pick up the game right now through Steam and other vendors. It’s currently listed at $14.99 and this seems a very fair asking price given the level of production quality, making Kathy Rain certainly worth the ticket of admission, and a must-have game once it goes on sale (probably sometime this summer).