REVIEW: Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut

REVIEW: Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut

Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut takes what was already a gem and polishes it to shine even brighter.

Released: Steam
Type: Single-player
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Clifftop Games
Publisher: Raw Fury
Release date: 26 Oct, 2021


The original Kathy Rain came out in 2016 to much critical acclaim from the point-and-click community. Five years later the developers have released a Director’s Cut of the game. With this sort of rerelease, the question is why buy this if I already own the original? Let’s unpack this.

Game Universe

It’s 1995. Kathy Rain, our eponymous heroine, is an acerbic, chain-smoking journalism major in her early 20s. Our tale begins when her roommate, Eileen, reveals that her estranged grandfather, Joseph Rain, has passed away. Kathy returns to her grandparents’ and her childhood home and finds out that in 1981, shortly after her mother took her away at the age of 6, her grandfather experienced a mysterious accident that left him in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. On her trusty motorcycle Katmobile and with help from Eileen, Kathy sets out to investigate this mystery, learning about her family, her hometown of Conwell Springs, and finding catharsis along the way.

In the Director’s Cut, five new bike designs can be unlocked in addition to the original.

Even in the original game, the story and worldbuilding of Kathy Rain were strong, but the Director’s Cut has introduced an “extended storyline, including a longer and more satisfying ending”. I definitely feel like the ending now makes more sense, although there are still some unanswered questions. This game isn’t from Wadjet Eye, but fans of Rosangela Blackwell and the supernatural detective Blackwell franchise will find much to like in Kathy Rain, both the character and the game. There are hints that there could be a sequel, and I would love that. After all, the tagline for the original game was “A Detective is Born”, so perhaps this improved release is a prelude to what’s coming next.

Gameplay and Mechanics

The gameplay and mechanics of Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut will feel familiar to point-and-click veterans and players of Wadjet Eye’s investigative Blackwell franchise, while still providing tutorial information for players who may be new to the genre. This allows the focus to be on the story and the puzzles, the true stars of the game. In addition to the standard inventory, Kathy has a notebook where she collects clues that can be used to further dialogue, and since the game is set in the ’90s, a phone book is used a few times to have conversations or get new locations. New items will become interactable or the way Kathy interacts with items will change as the storyline progresses, preventing the player from picking up items long before they’re needed. Some people will consider this a pro, and others will consider it a con.

A staple of investigative point-and-click games – the lockpicking puzzle.

Some of the changes made to add full controller support to the Director’s Cut have made certain aspects of the point-and-click gameplay more challenging for mouse-and-keyboard players. For example, I found the click and drag to be a real pain to initiate sometimes because it was too easy to accidentally trigger the click response and fail to drag. The Director’s Cut didn’t add any sort of hint system, which is a bummer. I played the original Kathy Rain, so some puzzle solutions came back to me quickly, but the Director’s Cut has made some changes. I’ve played enough point-and-click games that I didn’t get stuck for long with any of the puzzles, but there are a couple I could imagine being tricky for players new to Kathy Rain or inexperienced with point-and-click idiosyncrasies.

Art Style and Graphics

The visuals are one of the areas where Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut has received a noticeable upgrade. The enlarged game environments for the widescreen have made the already high-quality pixel art really pop and immerse the player in the story world. The level of detail in each scene, down to the in-game movie posters and paintings, is stunning; even with pixel graphics, the Titanic poster is recognizable at a glance. I constantly found myself oohing and aahing over the enhanced cinematography, shading, lighting, and weather effects. The developers have taken the genre staples (e.g., dialogue portraits, location map) and made them their own.

The sheen of the lighting on the leather couch is very impressive for pixel art.

Sound and Music

Fans of Wadjet Eye Games will be pleased to hear some familiar voices. The voice acting for the original Kathy Rain was directed by Dave Gilbert, and the Director’s Cut has added new dialogue with the original cast (more than 700 new lines according to the Steam store description) to fully flesh out the extended storyline and ending.

The place where the audio for the Director’s Cut really stands out, however, is the soundtrack. The already stellar soundtrack from the original has been audibly enhanced. This can be heard immediately from the game’s loading screen where the new version of the song has added drum and guitar, giving off a vibe that better fits Kathy’s character.


Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut has 40 possible Steam achievements, twice as many as the original game; some of which are the same as those found in the original Kathy Rain. Although the game has an auto-save, there are also ample manual save slots to make it easier to pick up missing achievements on replay.

Another fun extra the Director’s Cut has introduced is five unlockable bike designs for Kathy’s motorcycle. Including the original design, there are six designs to choose from once they’ve all been unlocked. In my first playthrough of the Director’s Cut, I only unlocked two of the designs, so it appears the game is going to make the player work for them.


The original Kathy Rain would have received a recommendation on its own if I had gotten around to writing a review for it. With the original and the Director’s Cut the same price ($14.99 USD) at the time of review, it’s a no-brainer for an interested person who hasn’t yet purchased the game to buy the Director’s Cut.

But what about those who already own the original; is it worth buying the Director’s Cut? I would say yes, unless not at all interested in replaying. Players who already own the original Kathy Rain can purchase the Director’s Cut for 50% off ($7.50 USD) as of the time of review. For those who love the story of Kathy Rain and would enjoy a replay, this seems a worthwhile price for the visual and audio upgrades alone, plus there are other improvements to the plot and even more achievements and extras than the original.

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November 2021

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