If you are looking for a new game and have exhausted your current collection, Kathy Rain is a hidden gem that you might find appealing – especially if you are a fan of the point-and-click style and enjoy following clues to solve mysteries. The game follows lead character Kathy, a journalist, as she investigates the suspicious death of her grandfather and the wider threat faced by her hometown community.

At first glance, Kathy Rain might be overlooked by players who find the low-res style cheesy and the plot a little tame, but give it a chance and you will find a beautifully dark and complicated story with plenty of twists and turns, packaged in a simple but gripping point-and-click adventure game.

Available for Steam, iOS, Android and several smaller platforms, Kathy Rain is a cool and quirky twist on the classic detective tale which has received steady success since its 2016 release. The game has been downloaded more than 2500 times from the Play Store and it has received over 200 positive reviews on Steam. So just what is so special about Kathy Rain, and why should you add her to your collection right away?

A well-rounded female protagonist

Female characters in video games have come a long way since the lovely Lara Croft. Though Kathy Rain is set in the 1990s, Kathy Rain herself is a very modern woman who is capable, multi-layered and interesting. A journalism student with a penchant for motorcycles, Kathy is fond of smoking, drinking, swearing and sarcasm. She is also an intelligent thinker who has an eye for detail. Players follow Kathy as she deals with the death of her estranged grandfather, a reunion with her grandmother and the start of a mysterious set of circumstances which cause her journalistic instincts to kick in.

Kathy manages to be an engaging and relatable character who attracts sympathy and support from the player, and who can hold attention throughout the game. The game is dark, but the lead character has enough humour and spirit to make a journey with her enjoyable and interesting. There are also some strong supporting females in the game, including Kathy’s roommate and sometime friend Eileen, plus her long-lost grandmother Mary-Elizabeth.

A nostalgic nod to LucasArts

Beloved gaming studio LucasArts brought some amazing titles to the market back in the 1980s and 1990s, including Strike Fleet, Star Wars and Day of the Tentacle. The games company is best known for their movie-to-game content, but also fondly remembered for their old-school style. The pixelated feel of these arcade games of the last century have made a comeback for the sake of nostalgia, and Kathy Rain is one of those games to recapture the magic.

It makes sense for the game, as well. The adventure story is set in the 1990s, and has a real graphic novel feel about it. Using the retro style of older games is perfect for context, and it is somehow more engaging and real than if modern graphics had been used. There is just enough realism in the blocky figures and landscapes to create a very beautiful and immersive game world, which players will love exploring and interacting with.

A complex story that keeps you guessing

A good mystery story is one with lots of twists and false clues. Players have given Kathy Rain glowing reviews on Steam because of the level of suspense and intrigue created by the story. Although overall gameplay time is relatively short, the gripping story is packed with action. Players will need to work out the puzzles and solve the clues themselves, in order to help Kathy get to the bottom of her grandfather’s death.

Those puzzles are complex enough to require some serious brainpower, but there are no real stumbling blocks that should prevent you from finishing. If a certain clue is taking a while to solve, the character will supply hints and suggestions which can be a big help, but do not give the game away too easily either. Characters in the game can also provide hints and clues, and there is some sense of open world play thanks to multiple locations and conversation options.

A great game for players on a budget

You can play this game without spending a lot. Kathy Rain is one of the games frequently packaged by HumbleBundle, which sells budget game packages in exchange for charity donations. It is also in the budget range on the iOS and Android app stores, available at around £4.99 without in-app purchases. If you want to find deals on similar games through Steam or for your mobile, check out HotUKSavings.co.uk and pick up a voucher code for your favourite game.

If you want to try something different and love a good action-adventure, Kathy Rain might be the right choice for you. The mobile version works well and the Steam download is gorgeous on HD screens, with the pixelated style scaling up well to prevent loss of quality. This is a very special game and while it may not be for everyone, it certainly deserves to pick up some new fans in 2017 – just in time for the release of a rumoured sequel!

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