Catherine is not the typical video game. It’s not a first person shooter, not a third person action adventure game, and not a role playing game. What Catherine happens to be is a puzzle game with a narrative that revolves around one man and his attmept to work through a potentially fatal love triangle.
Sounds interesting? Well depending on your age and place in life it may interest you.
You play as Vincent a 33 year old guy with a steady girlfriend named Katherine who is looking to take the relationship to the next level. Think marriage. Matter of fact also think pregnant because thats what she tells you at the beginning of the game. The thought of marriage makes Vincent nervous and the thought of her being preggers causes Vincent to loose his shit. Right after she drops that bomb on him he goes out for drinks, gets hammered and wakes up in bed the next morning with a hot blond chick name Catherine (spelled with a ‘C’) who keeps getting at him by showing up at his house and blowing up his phone. You have to decide if you want to get rid of the side chick and how you go about it all.
On top of all that, cheating men all over town are dying in their sleep because of some sort of curse. Because you are a cheating bastard you are also cursed and whenever you go to sleep at night you enter this weird tower realm that makes up most of the game. Each night is a new level and you must navigate the tower puzzles to get to the top to reach the door to exit and wake up safe and sound. If you fail to navigate the puzzle you fall to your death in the realm and die in your sleep in real life.
The puzzles consist of blocks with different properties. Think Qbert but more diabolical. You must pull and push the blocks to form stairs to climb up to the exit at the top.
As you progress there are techniques you can learn as well. Hanging off of blocks, special items that change block properties, and other mechanics add some variety to the puzzle experience. To increase the tension (and your anxiety) blocks fall from the bottom so you have to be quick about getting to higher ground. In all I must say that if you are in the mood for a puzzle Catherine can be a very satisfying and rewarding game to play. You really do earn your way to the top and it feels good when you beat a level. At the same time if you are in the wrong mood and try to play the game you may throw the controller if you are a rage player. The game can get hard and you will scratch your head at times like “WTF? How is that even possible!?!” If you do manage to proceed higher it feels great though. Because of this the game is not for everyone.As you progress through the story mode you unlock challenge mode levels that can be played alone or with a friend via local co-op. The multiplayer mode is extremely fun when played with another experienced player. It’s a race to the top but not only that as you can sabotage the other player on your way to the top. Fighting game fans will find this mode right up their alley and there are already some great videos on YouTube of some hilarious competitive matches by fighting fame fans.
The biggest mistake the developers of this game made was not adding in online multiplayer functionality. This game would ahve had a lot more legs had it been developed with online multiplayer capabilities. The competitive multiplayer mode is extremely fun but limited to local play. It’s a travesty really considering how much fun the multiplayer can be.
The love is never online and that sucks.
Since the story revolves around themes common to my age group I found it interesting I must say. I also had a mix of “fuck yeah!” puzzle triumpths and “who designed this shit?” moments with the puzzles but overall more fun moments. So in all the game is worth a shot. The games music is great (see “also sprach brooks”,”roux”) and overall its a nice change of pace from all the other games out there. I totally think it’s damn good game that some will even really love though its certainly not for everyone.