Back in 2011, I saw the cover of this game and thought it was a dating sim until I looked at the back of the case and found out it was a “romantic horror” game, then I was like “no way” and ended up buying it for the Xbox 360 because I wanted to see what it was about.
Catherine is a puzzle platformer with the story starting out as the main character, Vincent Brooks waking up from a nightmare. Vincent has been having weird nightmares and he’s been having torn feelings between Katherine, his girlfriend and a beautiful, blonde Catherine from his dreams that he met at the bar, Stray Sheep. Vincent and his friends would watch the news at the bar to see people dying in their sleep and would discuss that matter among each other.
The gameplay is divided by day and night hours where in the day, Vincent interacts with his friends (those are mostly cutscenes), send messages on his phone, order drinks, play a minigame called Rapunzel, and even learn some bar trivia and at night, he’s traveling through his nightmares in his sleep and this is the main gameplay. Also this game is based on moral choices so you have to choose wisely if you want a specific ending and depending on those choices, Vincent will act differently throughout the story.
Vincent has to climb up staircases on a tower while the rest of the stairs are slowly falling beneath him. He has to make his way to the top to complete the level. Vincent can push, pull, and climb the blocks while avoiding traps and other sheep in his way. The sheep in this game are in his nightmares and they are other men in the game going through kind of the same nightmare as Vincent.
Once you get to the end of a level, you reach a checkpoint area where you can save your game and communicate with other sheep by learning new tips or shopping for items to help you with the puzzles. If you die in the nightmare, you die in real life but dying in the game gives you a restart at the beginning of the level or checkpoint.
This game switches from anime-like graphics for cutscenes and to video game CG graphics for the gameplay. The team that made the Persona series made this game and I love the graphics for both. The soundtrack is pretty cool, it gives this game that “horror” feel, especially for the bosses because they are pretty scary. The puzzles are harder and the bosses are faster after every level so it would be wise to stock up on items just in case.
Overall, this game is violent, sexy, and full of heart-racing drama and puzzles from a man going through nightmares about his current girlfriend, Katherine and his dream girl, Catherine.
Has anyone ever played Catherine before?