It’s the year 1995. The hair is wild, Clinton is president, and “Kiss From A Rose” is playing on the radio. But you don’t have time to enjoy the subtleties of the times as you find out your grandfather, Joseph Rain, has tragically passed. It’s time to go back to your hometown and see just how much changed.
What Is It?
Kathy Rain is a point-and-click adventure game set in the fictional town of Conwell Springs in 1995.
You play the titular hero Kathy, a leather wearing, chain smoking journalism student, as she investigates the strange mysteries surrounding the death of her estranged grandfather and coming to terms with her own tragic past. Kathy soon finds out that things have changed while she’s been away and that her grandfather may not have been the man she thought he was. As you discover more secrets about your old life, you also have to deal with gathering clues, chasing tight-lipped leads, and worming information out of the hesitant townsfolk.
Why Should I Care?
The game feels instantly comfortable to play, with each setting being easy to navigate and also very memorable. A concern that is usually had with point-and-click games is how finicky and hidden some of the pointy-clicky stuff is. Kathy Rain, unlike some other games of the genre, felt easy to get a handle and in no way did I miss out on clicking an item or picking anything up because it was obscured from view, something that would have assured me from having to painstakingly back travel in other games.
The UI is clean and leaves very little room to distract from the story that’s being told and the setting you’re in. You have items to examine and combine in a little backpack in the corner that is opened and closed when needed, leaving the rest of the screen free for your eye-balling pleasure. The design is very appealing. Sprites give you a good, simple representation of characters and their portraits and the voice work stands out especially with each character having unique accents. For example, our main character growing up in the city has less of a twang than those who remained in Conwell Springs. This combined with the amount of colourful characters we have to interact with truly makes the world come alive.
Music fits the setting perfectly also, attending the cemetery gives you a track filled with longing to see loved ones while investigating a lakeside cabin gives you an eerie track that makes the hairs stand on end, and visiting good old grandma plays a warm melody that makes you feel at home. The mixture of all of these elements, colorful characters, ambient music and spooky settings almost makes you feel like a forgotten member of Scooby Doo’s Mystery Squad.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
Kathy Rain is an homage to popular point-and-click games from the early 90s. The game will not appeal to everyone, however there is more than meets the eye in this instance. I confess to not being very enthralled by point-and-click games but this one kept me clicking from start to finish. The particular draw is the story. One question will lead you to another and soon you will find the thrill of simply unfolding the mystery will bear the brunt of the game itself.
Not only is this a great point-and-click, but it’s also a well developed adventure game, the product of four years of work from developer Clifftop Games. If you’re a fan of point-and-click adventure games, or even just a good mystery, then this is a definite recommendation.
If you’re not a huge fan of these sorts of games, however, then you will certainly find some merit in the story. Kathy Rain steps away from conventional writing and manages to put in some surprising twists and turns along the way. You may find some difficulty solving a few of the puzzles here and there. The game, from a point-and-click standpoint, is relatively simple but there are a few that left me scouring for a hint on Google.
Kathy Rain is a good adventure game driven home by excellent storytelling. Much in the vein of the Blackwell series of adventure games, this promises to keep you entertained for the duration of your stay in Conwell Springs.