Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 39
  2. Negative: 1 out of 39
  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. Aug 4, 2011
    95
    If you are in the mood for a new, fresh, and strange videogame with elements you've never seen together, then I suggest you give Catherine a whirl.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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. 90
    If you hate puzzle games, this certainly isn't for you. But if you decide to throw your time and money at Catherine, you're in for a dream of a game within the genre.
  7. Feb 10, 2012
    90
    One of the best games you'll play this year: adult, intelligent and very refreshing.
  8. Feb 10, 2012
    90
    Catherine is very challenging, even on normal difficulty, and the waking life segments aren't for everybody. It is, however, extremely rewarding to finally make it to that next landing after 30-odd heartbreaking attempts, and the controls are seldom to blame for an errant death. At Catherine's centre is a sharp, cel-shaded look, but the periphery is a soft-focus blur, reflecting Vincent's uncertainty and the slippery nature of his reality.
  9. Feb 6, 2012
    90
    For all intents and purposes, Catherine makes a mockery of the term video 'game' and what most people associate with the term. Yes, Catherine is a game, but it's also so much more than that. By placing you so elegantly into Vincent's world, and doing so in a way that makes you feel as though you are Vincent as opposed to 'just' playing as him, Catherine manages a level of intrigue so rare in the boxed console game space.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Jul 27, 2011
    90
    The game will draw attention for its wonderful weirdness, as it should, yet that's only half of the story. Catherine plays its eccentricities against its more down-to-earth side, which makes for a richer comic world than you might get from bizarro fare alone. The upshot is an experience that's both fun and provocative - a nightmare worth staying awake for.
  13. Jul 26, 2011
    90
    Though it may seem standoffish and esoteric at first, patience and perseverance will reveal the charming eccentricities and personality quirks that make it so special. Like any relationship worth having, Catherine takes effort, but the end result is worth it.
  14. Jul 26, 2011
    90
    Catherine is oftentimes agonizing, but like the blonde vixen that bewitches Vincent, it keeps you wanting more, just the same. The story, helped along by beautiful animation and first class voice acting, never stops being interesting. The puzzles test your mettle with genuinely clever design.
  15. Jul 15, 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.
  16. Aug 8, 2011
    88
    The story is very interesting, and the puzzles, while difficult at times, can be very satisfying. I feel that it was a very refreshing game to play that offers up a good story and some of the most unique game play mechanics I have seen in a very long time.
  17. 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.
  18. Feb 8, 2012
    85
    Thanks to its artistic and gameplay values, Catherine stands apart from every other game. If you're looking for a different gaming experience and aren't scared by overly difficult games, it's a sure bet.
  19. Feb 6, 2012
    85
    Catherine is a japanese folly, but is charming enough to amuse those who consider originality an important value in gaming development.
  20. Jul 21, 2011
    85
    Catherine is involving, intense, and unlike anything you've ever played.
  21. Aug 14, 2011
    83
    If you are looking for a challenging puzzle game that blends in cool anime, amazing social dynamics, moral choices, and one hell of a crazy-ass story with a twisted ending (eight of them) then look no further than Catherine.
  22. Aug 3, 2011
    83
    Regardless of its hang-ups, Catherine is unquestionably a recommended game, a completely unique experience that is destined to be a cult favorite.
  23. Mar 5, 2012
    80
    Catherine will mean different things to different people, a game that runs far deeper than its titillating surface might suggest. And the journey to finding out what it means to you is certainly one worth taking.
  24. 80
    Both the nightmarish story and the puzzle levels work very well indeed in this unique title. And there are sheep. Lots of sheep.
  25. Aug 15, 2011
    80
    Catherine justifies its unique premise with unique gameplay, and works wonderfully.
  26. Aug 11, 2011
    80
    Overall, Catherine is a strange beauty of a game that deserves to be given a spin in your console.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 80
    Sound bizarre? Well, it is. Yet the madness is spellbinding - if you have the stomach to survive Catherine's grueling tower-puzzle scenarios.
  31. Aug 2, 2011
    76
    While a better difficulty scale would've been appreciated, we can't really argue with Atlus' ingenuity. That said, rent it first, just to be on the safe side. Consider it a one night stand.
  32. Feb 10, 2012
    75
    Catherine has a niche market in fans of brutally difficult puzzle titles, RPG - Persona fans - may want to rent before buying it due to its high difficulty.
  33. Mar 10, 2012
    70
    A fresh and unique game, but with a steep challenge that some will find frustrating. But it does feature a giant arse monster. [Issue#82, p.92]
  34. It's a game of two halves, but the good half carries the bad. [Dec 2011, p.103]
  35. 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]
  36. Feb 15, 2012
    65
    Catherine is a very creative product with fresh ideas, unique themes and an attractive style. But because of two entirely different gameplay styles – the texting and flirting storywise and the puzzling gameplaywise – the game also feels incoherent. It's a shame, because the puzzling is an unneeded distraction of the sublime story.
  37. Feb 3, 2012
    60
    It's rarely an enjoyable experience, but within that, Catherine perhaps poses its greatest puzzle of all: does a video game always need to be enjoyable to be worthwhile?
  38. Sep 29, 2011
    60
    Catherine is a very unique game that is set back by it's own repetitiveness and annoying puzzles. After the fifteen hours it took me to complete the game, I was glad that I got to experience the narrative, but I never want to touch the game again for the game play. It's hard for me to recommend a game that I kept playing just to get to the next cut scene.
  39. 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
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 138 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Jul 26, 2011
    5
    An absolute disappointment. The presentation is absolutely amazing (as expected from the creators of the Persona franchise) but the gameplay doesn't hold up in any way. Its frequently boring, frustrating, and uneven. I wanted to love this game, but the sheer missteps taken for the gameplay killed it for me. If I wanted to play a puzzle-block game that was better executed, I'd just play Ilomilo. Full Review »
  2. Jul 28, 2011
    10
    This game is sublime. Atlus proves yet again to be the best game studio/publisher in existence. Atlus, don't stop publishing games. Also, the Persona team can't be beat. Full Review »
  3. Jul 26, 2011
    10
    I loved it. If you are a puzzle fan or an Atlus fan in general, I suggest to get it. The story is really great and I loved the subtle use of the moral choices. The main gameplay consists mostly of puzzles so be warned, if you get frustrated easily you can have a hard time in the later sections of the game, but you'll want to pull through to get more of the story. I also enjoyed the use of the cellphone and how you can change your responses for text messages. The game has a great story and I would recommend it just for that, but the puzzle gameplay is really fun and the coop (not online coop though) is really fun if you have a buddy around as well. Full Review »