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Review

Kathy Rain: A detective is born

You are Kathy Rain, a journalism major, who’s compelled to investigate the mysterious death of her grandfather, Joseph, in this point and click adventure from Clifftop Games.

Kathy Rain

I’ve been playing some older adventure games recently, including The Blackwell Legacy, so it was nice to transition to a modern interpretation. While Kathy Rain feels inspired by it’s forefathers it acknowledges modern thinking cleverly. If you think logically you can piece together the clues to discover solutions and it feels satisfying to do so. You will experience many different scenarios that will ask you for different types of skills and thinking. This keeps the game feeling fresh throughout.

ART AND SOUND

This is a great looking game. The art style and the details in each scene really enhance the feeling and atmosphere. For example, the clouds above the graveyard are unsettling in a way that suggests something is wrong here. While the character portraits walk a thin line between stereotype and distinctive, it’s the voice acting and scripting that really set the characters apart. The dialogue, especially Kathy’s, is often witty, making me laugh out loud more than once. This is even more impressive when you realise Clifftop Games is really just solo indie developer Joel Staaf Hästö. While he didn’t do the voices or art himself, the level of quality here is higher than you might expect.

The soundtrack reminded me of Final Fantasy 7 – which is my go to example of great background music in scenes – in that each area has a unique sound which is very well produced. From the echoing drums and slow guitars of the main menu to withdrawn, floating church bells and organs, it really is a high quality selection.

THE OWLS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM

It’s always nice when you notice a little homage or two to one of your favourite shows and fans of Twin Peaks are really being spoiled these days. I counted at least 3 such hat tips, maybe you’ll spot more?

In conclusion, I really enjoyed my time with Kathy Rain: A detective is born. The diverse cast of well written and voiced characters kept things interesting even if they fell into stereotypes at times. Working through the varied puzzles never felt slow or frustrating, with the story unravelling at a nice even pace. I would highly recommend you try unravelling the mystery of the death of Joseph Rain.