RE­VIEW

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech - MIKE WIL­COX mike@hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames.com

Cather­ine goes to next level

IT’S an all too fa­mil­iar dilemma. Boy meets girl and a re­la­tion­ship forms.

Boy is se­duced one boozy night by psy­cho­pathic femme fa­tale. Boy is turned into a sheep and must sur­vive lifethreat­en­ing puz­zles and a Fa­tal

At­trac­tion- in­spired sto­ry­line. It hap­pens, well, in video games at least. Ar­riv­ing a year af­ter its de­but in Ja­pan,

Cather­ine is a re­fresh­ing take on puz­zle games, thanks largely to its adult­themed story, which fo­cuses on a love tri­an­gle with deadly con­se­quences.

Af­ter cheating on long- time girl­friend, Kather­ine, with the rather pro­mis­cu­ous minx, Cather­ine, Vin­cent finds him­self ex­pe­ri­enc­ing fre­quent night­mares in which he is forced to climb tow­ers to avoid the same fate as other adul­ter­ers who have been dy­ing all over town.

Cather­ine is di­vided into three main ar­eas: the scripted anime- style car­toons which drive the story for­ward, then the nights at the lo­cal bar where you can talk with friends in or­der to get to the bot­tom of the freak­ish night­mares, and fi­nally there are the puz­zles, which are es­sen­tially the main game­play as­pect.

The aim of each puz­zle is to reach the top by ma­noeu­vring blocks to help you climb up­wards. Move­ment is limited, so the trick is to slide blocks around to cre­ate bridges and stair­cases.

The var­i­ous tech­niques are easy enough to mas­ter. How­ever, know­ing when and where to use them in­volves plenty of trial and er­ror.

The dif­fi­culty ramps up quickly with a va­ri­ety of traps and other dan­gers steadily thrown in for good mea­sure.

There are also creepy, chal­leng­ing boss char­ac­ters at cer­tain stages that at­tack you as well.

Back in the bar, you can in­ter­act with the other pa­trons, which gives you some in­sight into their lives and, de­pend­ing on your an­swers dur­ing con­ver­sa­tions, af­fects which end­ing of the game you ex­pe­ri­ence. Your in­ter­ac­tion with the two girls also fac­tors into which of the eight pos­si­ble end­ings you see.

Un­for­tu­nately, Cather­ine may prove to be too weird and dif­fi­cult for ca­sual gamers, but if you’re a fan of chal­leng­ing puz­zles, this is a unique ex­pe­ri­ence.

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