Have you ever found yourself in bed next to a beautiful, blonde, bombshell even though you’ve had a serious girlfriend for five years? I haven’t. What’s a “bombshell?” More importantly: what the hell is a “girlfriend?” I was pondering these questions as I was playing Catherine, and if the answers this game gave me are true then I may never go outside again.
Catherine is a puzzle game. You’re cast as Vincent, an office worker with almost no ambitions in life or love. His girlfriend of five years, (Katherine with a ‘K’), is pushing marriage. Shaken up by the situation, our slacker hero heads out to a bar to hang out with his friends and think about his future. Suddenly, a stunning, beautiful, blonde woman named Catherine (with a ‘C’) approaches Vincent. Here’s where the story gets good: Catherine seduces and goes home with him to do the horizontal mambo. They also have sex. After that night, Vincent has nightmares and now the core game play starts. You help Vincent organize blocks to climb the towers to escape the nightmare and wake up the next day. If you fail, Vince will die in real life. No pressure there. To make matters worse, Katherine tell Vince she’s pregnant. Oops, way to go Vincent!
Some of you may think this game sounds strange, but it’s an engaging story you control. That’s right. You control how this bizarre story plays out. When you’re not using your brilliant gamer mind to help Vincent escape his nightmares, you’re playing as Vincent hanging out in the bar. There, you talk to your friends, and receive texts and phone calls from both Catherine and Katherine. The way you respond to the texts and phone calls from each woman changes the dynamic of the story. See? Already, this is more of a relationship than some of you can handle but don’t worry! You’ll have fun trying to figure out how to resolve your relationship dilemma.
I played the entire game through with my best friend. Neither of us could get enough of it. We thought the story was well told and the various kinds of animations used during cut scenes were a creative way to show the story. I’ll admit, you’ll definitely rage quit at some point in the game. Luckily for me, my friend picked up the slack when I raged and vice versa. Even so, we had a lot of fun trying to get Vincent up that damn tower. As if the game wasn’t hard enough, in each nightmare, you encounter some monster in Vincent’s mind who tries to stop you from climbing. When you see the monsters, your first reaction will be “HOLY S***” immediately followed by, “HOLY S****! SERIOUSLY!!!!! WHAT CREVIS OF HELL DID YOU CRAWL OUT OF?!” You’ll be so scared of letting the monster catch up with you that you’ll climb like a monkey getting a banana at the top of a tree. I loved getting through the nightmare’s different stages just to see what kind monster I’d face in the next stage.
Originally, my friend at GameStop sarcastically recommended Catherine to me. Little did he know, I’d take him seriously, do my research, get the game, play it, and write about it. The joke’s on him! Catherine is definitely a different type of game, but in a good sense of the word. As an interactive puzzle game, the ending could have been different, but Catherine left me pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, you actually have to think to get through the puzzles, but I felt so relieved after I actually finished those suckers. Going into the game, I was not expecting much but I had a blast every step of the way. The game may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a good story with unique game play and sexy girls who actually want to be with you, then look no further.