Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 61 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 61
  2. Negative: 1 out of 61
  1. Jul 19, 2011
    100
    In an era increasingly defined by developers' ever-growing fear of creating anything that isn't a safe, conservative million-seller, Atlus' willingness to create and publish something as unique as this is truly commendable. Best of all, it's not just a weird game -- it's a great one, too.
  2. Jul 25, 2011
    95
    It's always nice to see a game developer breaking from the mold and Catherine does that in a huge way. Unfortunately the difficulty is going to alienate a very large amount of people. Tacked on with those who were alienated already when they found out this wasn't an RPG and it's not looking good. We only hope that this game will find the crowd that enjoys both the aggravation of the challenge and the developing storyline that forms the core of Catherine. There is a hell of an experience here if you only have the patience for it.
  3. Jul 27, 2011
    92
    Catherine is incredibly hard to put down, if only because of how well the story is written. You really want to see what happens to Vincent next, and with multiple endings and story paths, the game will keep you busy for multiple playthroughs.
  4. Jul 31, 2011
    91
    The game makes excellent use of the mundane fare, with well-written and well-delivered dialogue that makes his suffering feel earnest.
  5. Jul 31, 2011
    91
    Its mature themes, both sexual and religious, never step beyond the bounds of vulgarity and are treated respectfully and provocatively: It's actually mature. For that alone, and paving the way for a new modern hybrid of video games, Catherine should not be forgotten to the lamen silence of the lambs.
  6. Oct 17, 2012
    90
    A gorgeous hybrid. It's a puzzle-solving platformer and sexually-forced anime that's been combined into a well balanced title. The game is going to please the fans as well as it will whet nosy parkers appetite for actually playing it. It shows the Japanese developers know how to appeal to European and American gamers without giving away the bizarre ideas trademark.
  7. Feb 28, 2012
    90
    Catherine, above all else, is an incredibly bold game. It's the black sheep (more puns) in a flock of all too similar games out there right now. It's smart, funny, well scripted, well animated and very fun to play.
  8. Feb 11, 2012
    90
    In Catherine, Atlus successfully combines a puzzle game with heavy emotions (and a large bit of surrealism). It's an important game, that might appeal to an older crowd.
  9. 90
    Catherine is a truly unique beast. Funny, dramatic and disarmingly honest – for anyone who has ever stood as a crossroads in his life it would be a huge mistake to miss out on this one. You yearn for more clever games? Vote with your wallet.
  10. Feb 8, 2012
    90
    A must-have, but not for everyone because of its strange story and puzzle gameplay. The story is only for mature audiences, and can only be understood by, and the "cube towers" are not accesible for all players. If you like the genre and the theme this is a game you will remember.
  11. 90
    if you're a fan of the eccentricity of Japanese culture, like a mental challenge and reckon you have fingers dextrous enough to take the job on it will test your mettle and push your sanity to breaking point. It's equal parts frustration and exhilaration, completely intoxicating, almost impossible to walk away from and stays with you. If you're after something a little outside the box Catherine's the game for you.
  12. Feb 5, 2012
    90
    Catherine is an awesome game, an incredible cocktail of different kind of elements. Puzzle, adventure and dating simulator, this great experience from Atlus should be owned, or tried at least, by every single player out there.
  13. Aug 10, 2011
    90
    This is probably the first actual 'mature' videogame, dealing with issues such as insecurity, infidelity and marriage anxiety. Atlus manages to cleverly marry a narrative-based story with clever puzzle based platforms levels and delivers a highly enjoyable, but odd, game. Yes, the story turns weirder than a Hunter S. Thompson novel about half way through, but even that turn doesn't diminish the overall package. This is as close to a must-buy as it can get.
  14. Aug 10, 2011
    90
    Catherine may not be the Persona 5 that people were hoping for, but it's a good game in its own right.
  15. Aug 3, 2011
    90
    Going through the story for the first time is an intriguing affair that ultimately makes you question the type of person you truly are, maybe even more than you'd like to admit. While the difficulty might be too much for some people to handle, it's an experience that is just as rewarding as it is punishing.
  16. Jul 29, 2011
    90
    Catherine is a truly rare experience that combines arcade-style gameplay with one of the most engaging, emotional narratives seen in a videogame. While Atlus has done little to reconcile the game's disparate styles of play, it doesn't damage the overall experience. While the tower climbing sequences may not be for everyone, those that enjoy a good puzzle should seriously consider picking Catherine up.
  17. Jul 28, 2011
    90
    You wouldn't expect beers with friends and the moral complexity of infidelity to be suitable for an interactive medium, and you certainly wouldn't anticipate marrying those concepts to a box pushing puzzle game to materialize into anything remotely interesting. And you would have been wrong.
  18. Jul 19, 2011
    90
    A fantastic experience with a simple, fun and challenging arcade game at its core. It should not be missed by anyone who wants to enjoy a story with the emotional depth to match its adult themes and with multiple endings and side stories to resolve, there's a fair bit of inducement to return for a second or third pass. The action of the tower climbing is superb.
  19. Jul 13, 2011
    90
    I loved my time with Catherine. In many ways, I was completely blown-away by it. While I'm sure some gamers will be turned-off by its anime-style presentation and difficult gameplay, I implore those of you who are looking for something authentically different and outright fun to give Catherine a go.
  20. Jul 29, 2011
    88
    Catherine is like nothing else but it doesn't succeed on originality alone. It features a spectacular puzzle concept, fast-paced and very rewarding gameplay, interesting characters and an effective story, and an atmosphere and style that's second-to-none.
  21. Aug 22, 2011
    87
    It might be an isolated experiment, or the birth of a new niche in videogaming. Anyway, it's definitely worth trying, at list to get a glimpse of the fact that videogame don't always mean seralization and infinite repetition of the same ideas.
  22. Aug 14, 2011
    87
    You can just love or hate Catherine: it divides the players between who can appreciate every detail of the game and who become immediately bored for its gameplay. Other than this the game is a little jewel in terms of plot, dialogues and puzzles.
  23. Feb 27, 2012
    86
    It's definitely not for everyone, but Catherine is a unique and challenging game that will leave you impressed and wanting more, even though you will likely have experienced quite a lot of frustration by the time you reach the end credits.
  24. Feb 7, 2012
    86
    The bold mix of mature themed story-adventure and motivating puzzles works surprisingly well and glues you to the pad. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary you should give Catherine a chance. Most likely you will fall in love with her.
  25. 85
    When summarising most videogames, it's almost always important to thrust the mechanics out front as one of the primary metrics to be judged. Catherine, for the first time that I can recall in a very long while, demands to be reviewed on its narrative and thematic content. It simply cannot be ignored.
  26. 85
    Catherine is like no other game out there. It's witty, involving and really fun to play. Despite the sometimes heavily frustrating puzzles I could not stop until the credits rolled down. If you are looking for a unique experience don't miss this great mix of rewarding arcade-puzzling and clever written adventure.
  27. Feb 7, 2012
    85
    Catherine is a strange game, far away from anything else. Its engaging story and weird puzzles, along with its surreal ambiance, make it a perfect game for anyone looking for something different, but be aware of its difficulty spikes.
  28. Feb 6, 2012
    85
    Catherine features a great puzzle concept, fast-paced and very rewarding gameplay. It's a different adventure that should not be missed by anyone who wants to enjoy a game with a great story.
  29. Sep 14, 2011
    85
    Catherine is a healthy reminder that not every game is aspiring to be a Hollywood movie, that there are still developers out there who haven't sold out to a big-name publisher, and that video games can still offer a unique experience. Just remember to keep the difficulty down if you want to fully enjoy the characters and story.
  30. Aug 14, 2011
    85
    If you want something unique, look no further than Catherine.
  31. 85
    Catherine is a mind trip, blending the impact of real life decisions, the nightmares of finally growing up, and the fear of dying young. While the core puzzle-platforming offers nerve-wracking excitement, players are likewise gifted with an engaging, authentic story.
  32. Jul 21, 2011
    85
    Catherine is involving, intense, and unlike anything you've ever played.
  33. Jul 19, 2011
    85
    It's a fantastically fun, original, and challenging puzzle game. At the same time, its story explores adult themes that games typically avoid, and will have you hooked on the drama within an hour.
  34. Oct 10, 2011
    84
    The nightmarish block puzzler takes bad turns in the plot towards the end, but is an enjoyable trek nonetheless. [Oct 2011]
  35. Protagonist Vincent faces the same dilemma as loads of men around the age of 30: play it safe, marry and have kids or go down the path of adventure with a new and dangerous woman who loves to play games, both in and out of bed. [January 2012, p.70]
  36. Feb 6, 2012
    80
    Make no mistake about it, Catherine is a niche title and probably won't be to everybody's taste, but it's also one of the most captivating and absorbing games we've played in quite some time.
  37. We found Catherine to be fairly enthralling, both in the old school challenge of its block-based conundrums and the addictive downward spiral of Vincent's narrative. Likewise, the quasi-RPG sections offer just enough exploration, offer endearing characters that are beautifully animated and lead to a variety of wacky endings to replay for. [January 2012, p.74]
  38. Aug 17, 2011
    80
    If you hate puzzle games,Catherine will be like a scorned lover, vying desperately for your attention with methods that don't always work. If you love puzzle games though, Catherine will be the closest you will ever get to having the perfect relationship, drawing you in with its strong and compelling storyline and deep and multi-faceted gameplay.
  39. 80
    An adult video game that is neither exploitative nor pretentious, but instead weaves a fun yet incisive tale about all too human characters.
  40. Aug 1, 2011
    80
    The block puzzles aren't always engaging, and sometimes the gameplay can prove to be a bit too difficult. But the distinctive story and top notch writing make Catherine an easy recommendation.
  41. Jul 25, 2011
    80
    Catherine is a breath of fresh air, an experience that is silly, fun, and serious all at once. Whether you're looking for a one-night stand or a long-term commitment, we highly recommend giving it a shot.
  42. Jul 19, 2011
    80
    Rather than being unfocused, Catherine is probably too focused, with its binary split between light adventure gameplay and challenging puzzles. But it clicks.
  43. Mar 18, 2011
    80
    Catherine shines thanks to its concept, its mature take on adult and social themes, as well as its burlesque side. A lot of its charm comes from its phenomenal voice-acting, and japanese word-based puns. A frivolous story of three-way love wrapped inside a thriller plot, combined with an efficient puzzle game: without a doubt, Atlus delivers an innovative game.
  44. Jul 19, 2011
    78
    Quite unlike anything else out there. It's a game that pushes back and challenges you to think on your feet. If the confounding puzzles don't hook you, the branching, variable story, and the steamy, nightmarish vibe certainly will.
  45. Mar 13, 2012
    75
    An interactive story enriched with puzzle elements or an arcade/puzzle game with an exceptionally mature and expanded plot – depends on how you look at Catherine. Either way it's both frustrating and fascinating. [April 2012, p.80]
  46. Feb 12, 2012
    75
    Catherine tells a lovely story about a man and his troubled life. You will never get bored with the eight different endings the game has to offer. But because of the long cutscenes, this game isn't made for everyone.
  47. Feb 15, 2012
    72
    Great anime rudely interrupted by a messy game. Patience is rewarded though, just about. [March 2012, p.92]
  48. Feb 13, 2012
    72
    This is definitely a title for lovers of puzzles… and more specifically, difficult puzzles!
  49. Mar 5, 2012
    70
    One of the most obscure games we've ever seen. It's not a platformer and it's not an adventure game, but it combines elements of these two genres in a spectacular way. If it wasn't for the -sometimes- extreme difficulty and some poor design, Catherine would have been a must-have.
  50. Quite the bizarre experience. [March 2012, p.96]
  51. Feb 20, 2012
    70
    Catherine is a title recommended for mature players who want different experiences. It starts as a highly exciting game, but the way it is structured ends up reducing the interest as the game goes on.
  52. Feb 6, 2012
    70
    This is a game that'll stick in your brain by virtue of originality alone, then, but if Catherine can't take itself seriously then why should we?
  53. 70
    Catherine is a great narrative with a unique blend of puzzle and simulation. It's a shame that the simulation sections didn't play a larger role in the experience, as they feel like the reward for completing the repetitive and frustrating puzzle sequences that make up the bulk of gameplay.
  54. Jul 29, 2011
    70
    Unusual, startlingly innovative and engaging. Its nuanced storytelling offers something few games have been able to meaningfully achieve – true conundrum, with little indication from the game telling you what you're supposed to do to be 'good'. Frustrating, beautiful and bizarre, Catherine stays with you.
  55. Some gamers will find little appeal in its often frustrating block-sliding, while others will revel in an unusual experience that stands apart from shooters and action games. While we're not ready for a long-term relationship, we're infatuated with Catherine - she's certainly worthy of a fling. [Sept 2011, p.84]
  56. Jul 15, 2011
    70
    Like a relationship that's going nowhere, Catherine has a few bright spots that will make you want to hold on, but it never quite gives back as much as you put into it. [Aug 2011, p.108]
  57. Aug 2, 2011
    67
    I'd expect a little better from the Persona Team, as I absolutely love that series, but I'm a little let down by what Catherine had to offer.
  58. Mar 4, 2012
    61
    An interesting story tethered to a frustrating puzzle game. [Issue#215, p.85]
  59. Feb 6, 2012
    50
    After a promising opening, the game takes its narrative in a completely unnecessary direction, and it substitutes its lack of compelling content with too many out of place puzzles that are more infuriating than enjoyable. Despite giving the illusion of plot involvement, you never really feel in control of events.
  60. Sep 13, 2011
    50
    The real problem is that success is actually down to luck, trial and error, and the whim of a cheating AI. [Issue#113, p.100]
  61. Jul 28, 2011
    40
    Catherine's limited character interaction, shallow characters, and monotonous puzzles combine to form a unique experience that feels frustratingly limited in every respect.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 273 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 80
  2. Negative: 7 out of 80
  1. Jul 27, 2011
    10
    FINALLY!

    A game that is intended for adults. And no, I don't mean the Bulletstorm "12 year olds pretending to be adults" demographic.
    REAL adults.

    It's not just the subject matter, either. The game is hard, as in you actually have to think. You WILL die, you WILL struggle. And that'll only make you that much more determined to find the solution and climb.

    And that's the beauty of it that has been missing from so many games for so long. Most of us grew up on games that made us start over when we shut it off, and while Catherine doesn't go that far, it still pushes you to use your noggin, as a good puzzle game should.

    I realize the Puzzle Genre isn't for everyone, but the game market has been virtually dead outside of Tetris/Bejeweled knockoffs (Which are a different kind of puzzle game.) It's a welcomed change, and it's enjoyable. In addition, Catherine hits on the simplicity of games in the past. Like a good, perfectly cooked steak. It's not fancy. It doesn't try to woo you with inedible garnishes and sauce smeared on your plate. Catherine is, at its core, a fantastic puzzle game. Pushing boxes, but delivered in a method that you wouldn't expect. There's a reason why ATLUS games have the highest price retention out of any other publisher. Persona 4 is still $35 at Gamestop and it's a PS2 game. ATLUS makes quality games that people won't want to give up. Catherine will be no different.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 27, 2011
    10
    Catherine is a wonderful break from the typical mentality of gaming (Which has devolved to spending mindless hours behind the barrel of a gun and shouting obscenities into the microphone). It's a step back towards games on the original PlayStation that really have been lost due to the influx of social shooters. Puzzles and platforms are it's strong claim to retro fame in a new age concept and coupled with one of the most visually stunning experiences I have experienced on the PlayStation 3. If you've played Qbert or Croc, or even Gex back in the day you will find yourself loving the nostalgia while deeply drawn into the excessively frustrating yet highly addictive game-play. There are very few flaws with this game, the difficulty is sky high but it's a breath of fresh air to see a game these days that will challenge you again and again around every corner. The voice acting is spot on and the Anime cinematic scenes are very new age anime and really moving towards what looks to be a strong new style for Shin Megami Tensei games. Should they put out another game like this it would be in their best interest. If you enjoy games that will bring you to the point of tears in frustration while still making you want to keep playing you've found the exact game for you. It is not a game for people who do not think constructively, and I do not suggest playing on Normal or Hard your first time through, but it is well worth all of the effort. This is one of the great games and I hope to see more just like it. Full Review »
  3. Jul 29, 2011
    3
    Just too much on the difficulty scale!!! The anime/choice sequences are the shining portion of this game. The action/puzzle portions are so difficult that they take away from the experience. Attempting to get to the next anime "daytime" requires you to spend all of your patience on a "nightmare", to the point of actually rejecting the game as a a whole. Don't get me wrong.. the game is beautiful during the non-action portions... but if you have to an action sequence 13 times, start over and try it 7 more times, and finally get to the next chapter just to see the good stuff... that I can't deal with. I have been playing video games since 1985 and I am opposed to ANY game that is this inaccessible. There was no sense of accomplishment due to the lack of any increase of ability of the characters. This could've been a great anime film if there was no game play at all. Full Review »