08/01/2022

☔️ Kathy Rain: Directors Cut | Nintendo Switch | Review | 8.5/10 | "A Gripping Point & Click Adventure" ☔️ @ClifftopGames #GameDev #IndieGames

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This is my sleeper hit of 2021, I'm very enamoured with Kathy Rain. 

Point and click adventures always bring a smile to my face, they bring back strong memories of my youth, sitting next to my big bro and going through games like Monkey Island or Beneath a Steel Sky, it’s a genre that - when done well - really can create some wonderful and interesting games. 

Whilst I didn’t have my big bro next to me this time, even flying solo this game really struck a chord with me.

Set in the ‘90s, Kathy Rain returns home to attend the funeral of her grandfather, Kathy has become estranged from this side of her family and hasn’t seen them in fifteen years. Soon after the funeral, some mysteries come to light and Kathy vows to uncover them.

The plot is one of my favourites this year; early on, several little mysteries get thrown up such as what happened before your grandfather died? Why are you estranged from this side of the family? What's this new church in town all about? etc. Several small mysteries that all end up tying beautifully together. 

I must admit that when I saw the artwork for the game I didn’t think that it would get as creepy as it did, it's not overly horrifying but there are definitely moments in the game - one of which really stood out for me, it only lasts about 4 seconds and is subtle, but I found it genuinely unsettling. 

The voice acting throughout is very good, the voices match the characters and other than the odd flat line here and there, it was genuinely up to a high standard. I always like it when a graphic adventure is fully voice acted, it gives it added depth as opposed to leaving it up to your own mental interpretations of how everyone sounds. The characters are all well rounded; Kathy is a rebellious yet sensitive person who can be hard at times but also very vulnerable. Being set in a small town, it has a lot of the sorts of characters that you would expect; a sheriff, a pastor, a Man In Red who you see in your dreams (who may be a demon) - just your typical small-town cast of characters. 

The music is great - whilst there isn't a whole ton of it, when it gets going it suits the scene down to a tee. For example, the first time it shows the Man In Red, the music used was so unsettling that I genuinely felt uncomfortable being alone in my darkroom, I don’t think music has affected me that much in quite a while. 

The controls for the game were better than I thought they would be, it's no secret these types of games are really made for the pc experience where a keyboard and mouse are much easier to navigate, but surprisingly I found the switch controls well laid out and easy to use.

There were some moments whereby I clicked the wrong object or made the wrong action, but this happened only a small number of times. The puzzles in the game are relatively straightforward which is one of the main reasons I enjoyed the game so much, nothing can tank a point and click adventure more than overly difficult or obscure puzzles - ones where you have to combine a crab with a vacuum cleaner to shoot the crab across a room to cut a bit of string that causes a hammer to fall on a bookcase that knocks a book onto the floor which has a page in it that you need to give to a troll - but only on a Saturday etc.

Now, I clearly made that up but it's not too far off what some games in this genre have been like. Luckily most puzzles are solvable and only once did I need to resort to a trusty walkthrough to get by.

The pacing in the game is one of the only slight negatives. It’s largely not too much of an issue but there is a section involving a computer that does drag on for way too long and grinds the game to a bit of a halt. Also, there is a bit of backtracking between different areas but it's nothing completely over the top.

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