A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Although the main character is female, she, and most other characters in the game, are White.
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Ease of Play
While the gameplay is pretty intuitive, players don't get much initial instruction.
Violence & Scariness
The plot centers around a family member's death.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character is a smoker who says she started at 12 and describes cigarettes as "pretty much the only thing keeping me sane." The first scene of the game also implies that she's been drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kathy Rain: Director's Cut is an adventure game released for iOS and Android devices. This new version features an expanded storyline, more areas to explore, and other elements, including death sequences, according to the developers. Players are dropped into the story fairly quickly without too much guidance, but they get notifications occasionally that offer direction -- letting them know, for example, a new location is available to visit. Although the characters generally don't swear excessively or engage in violence, the main character interjects wry comments into a lot of conversations, carries cigarettes and a lighter, and mentions she loves to smoke. She appears to have possibly been drinking in the first scene.
Is It Any Good?
This adventure features a witty, sarcastic main character with a handful of adult themes to produce an adventure for older players. Featuring hand-drawn locations, Kathy Rain: Director's Cut is set in the 1990s, which includes some fun nods to retro items like landline phones and fax machines. By reaching certain information milestones in the game, players can advance the story and access new areas. They may find exploring the graveyard, police station, and other settings fun -- although they'll have to be OK digging around a bit, as there's a minimal amount of direct guidance on where to go and what to look for. As a result, they may need to circle back to places they've already been and hunt again for clues -- and they may find themselves repeating a conversation with a character. In some instances, though, players will be told they've already spoken with the person about that topic -- or a message can appear letting them know Kathy doesn't feel the need to show another character a specific item. Similarly, Kathy can't access some areas in scenes, and will automatically head for the door, which helps avoid spending time on a futile search.
Topics Kathy jots down in a notebook, such as "Incident in '81," help highlight central plot points and can serve as a to-do list of items players need to ask about when they converse with characters. While Kathy's caustic persona is in line with the edgy, somewhat dark mood and subject matter, her behavior isn't always exemplary -- in addition to professing a love for smoking, her comments range from slightly sarcastic to borderline disrespectful. When a childhood friend she runs into asks if he can take her out to eat, for instance, her potential responses range from "No" to telling him she'd rather eat a foot -- without any positive options. She, and the other characters, are not all bad, though. Kathy expresses concern and love for family members and possesses other positive attributes, such as being inquisitive and independent. Death is a key aspect of the plot -- Kathy returns home because her grandfather died -- which, coupled with the overcast, almost ominous tone, could overwhelm, or just not be particularly appropriate for younger users. Older teens would likely be a better audience for Kathy Rain: Director's Cut, provided their parents aren't concerned about them being exposed to storyline elements that involve dying, cynicism, or smoking.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.