The best thing about the 90s was obviously the fashion. Overalls, mood rings and an inordinate amount of denim is something to be truly proud of - and let's not forget about those neon windbreakers. The other great part about the 90s is that it still inspires some intriguing stories where its characters can’t just Google everything like we do today. Kathy Rain tells the story of its titular protagonist Kathy Rain, a college journalism major, who sets out to investigate the mysterious death of her grandfather. What ensues is a truly fascinating mystery begging to be solved.
Kathy Rain is a point-and-click adventure game developed by Raw Fury Games. It has all of the classic tropes of a point-and-click that fans of the genre will surely instantly recognise. With a mystery to solve, the player is responsible for collecting items and getting certain information from different people in order to try and make sense of what happened to Kathy’s grandfather. With help from Kathy’s grandmother and people around town, Kathy is able to slowly put together a mystery that had long been ignored.
“[Kathy Rain] has all of the classic tropes of a point-and-click that fans of the genre will surely instantly recognise”
The beginning of Kathy Rain starts off a bit slow, with an introduction to Kathy’s college life with her religious roommate Eileen, followed by Kathy’s reunion with her grandmother at her grandfather’s funeral. Soon after the funeral Kathy finds out that in 1981 her grandfather went missing and after he was found he would no longer speak to anyone. It is then that the game really starts to get intriguing and the player must investigate Kathy’s grandfather’s friends, and all those who interacted with him, in order to try and find out what happened.
The puzzles in Kathy Rain aren’t as difficult and obscure as many other popular point-and-click adventures like Grim Fandango or Broken Age. That isn’t to say that the puzzles don’t sometimes cause you to have to go back and retrace your steps to find something that you missed; the puzzles simply aren’t as practically impossible as you may expect from this genre. On the few occasions that I did get stuck, the game gave a few hints to point me in the right direction.
The hand-drawn pixel art graphics are really where Kathy Rain shines the most. I’ve come across more than one pixel art game where the pixels look good but it’s almost hard to tell what’s going on. Kathy Rain's art style is not like that at all; it really sticks out as one of the best looking pixel art games I’ve played in a while. The animations of the characters are crisp and clean on both their pixel versions as well as the portraits used for when they’re speaking. In fact, the portraits were the first part of Kathy Rain that blew me away. Each character looks as though they were hand painted right then and there!
"[Kathy Rain] really sticks out as one of the best looking pixel art games I’ve played in a while"
Unfortunately, some of the voice acting featured in the game leaves much to be desired. The main characters such as Kathy, her grandmother, and her roommate Eileen are done well but many of the other characters voices fell short. The minor characters simply didn't feel genuine - such as the clichéd drunk in jail or the little boy in the cemetery who is probably a ghost. The dialogue could have also been improved to make it more believable and less like a 90's soap opera. When it came down to it though, these minor things did nearly nothing to hinder my enjoyment of the game. The intriguing storyline slowly pulled me in and wouldn’t let go.
For those that love a good mystery, Kathy Rain is probably just the ticket. Its storyline starts off slow but if you stick with it, there’s no way you’ll be disappointed. With its funny, strange, and cool cast of characters there’s bound to be something to keep you hooked. Whether you’re dialing up Kathy’s roommate on a corded phone, or seeing the fax machine in the sheriff’s office, the 90's nostalgia factor is a great touch that adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the title. I highly recommend Kathy Rain for fans of point-and-click adventures with beautiful pixel art graphics. Plus, who doesn’t love a great mystery with some interesting twists?