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.