When people sometimes ask me what some of my favorite video games are, I always seem to mention the 2012 puzzle platforming gem, Catherine. With a title so simple as Catherine people can’t help but ask what the game is about and because of its unique qualities I get so excited to explain to others why I adore this game and what makes it entertaining; also describing it is hilariously fun.
Like I said before, Catherine is a puzzle platforming game and it stars a 32-year old engineer named Vincent Brooks. Well, one night Vincent starts having vivid nightmares about his girlfriend, Katherine, who has been pushing the idea of marriage onto him. However, Vincent just isn’t ready to give up his bachelor lifestyle to become a husband. I know what you might be thinking, why is her name “Katherine” instead of being spelled like the game’s title, well that’s where the interesting aspect of the plot begins. The next night after his first nightmare, Vincent meets another woman named “Catherine” as well and this is where the game becomes more than just a puzzle platformer.
Since Catherine was developed by the same team of the Persona series and it’s loosely connected to the series through Persona 3 Portable, you’d expect it to borrow some of the ideas from it. Catherine incorporates social interactions throughout the game. As you progress through the game you’ll be presented with various infidelity and morality questions that in the end decide whether you’ll end up with Katherine, Catherine, or leave Vincent free to decide his own fate. Also, if you’re connected online, you’ll get to see what other players answered. It’s just something that you wouldn’t expect from a puzzle game.
Throughout your playthrough, you’ll spend the majority of your times in the nightmare where you’ll be tasked with climbing a large tower that collapses beneath you forcing you to make quick decisions. To advance upward, Vincent will have to pull, push, and climb blocks on a three-dimensional plane to escape death. This might sound easy, but you’ll later be presented with plenty of mind-numbing puzzles that will force you to stop and think fast. Luckily, in Vincent’s nightmare, you’ll meet other men (who appear as anthropomorphic sheep) that will either present you with a morality question, strike you with fear, or even teach you techniques; which adds an extra layer to the social interaction feature.
Listen, I could seriously go on and on about Catherine and I’m sure I missed a lot of details that I would gladly talk about for many more pages. It just feels good to look back at this game for Flashback Friday and write about why I adore this game so much. It features a unique cast and plot coupled with addictive puzzle mechanics. Everything about Catherine is comprised of things that you wouldn’t ever expect to work so well together. At the time and date of this article, Catherine is less than $20 and that is a steal for such a wonderful and one of a kind experience. Do yourself a favor and go enjoy it.