User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 146 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 146

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  1. Jan 17, 2013
    6
    Catherine is a game I want to like more than I actually do. The style and presentation are great, the voice acting works and the music is pretty good, and while the moving-blocks puzzle mechanics is pretty well fleshed out, I found the gameplay getting in the way of the interactive narrative parts. I would often dread starting a new climb-the-tower sequence and after a while just couldn'tCatherine is a game I want to like more than I actually do. The style and presentation are great, the voice acting works and the music is pretty good, and while the moving-blocks puzzle mechanics is pretty well fleshed out, I found the gameplay getting in the way of the interactive narrative parts. I would often dread starting a new climb-the-tower sequence and after a while just couldn't wait for it to end. Additionally, I think while it was an interesting idea to have a karma meter for something other than a simple good/bad dichotomy, it just doesn't work. You're asked the question "do you like golf or baseball" and one of these corresponds to Katherine and the other to Catherine. It's completely arbitrary. I did like the story and was genuinely engaged in the mystery surrounding what was going on, but another major problem I had was the way this game handles a key component of its narrative: gender relations. It's the "It's okay to treat and portray women in overly negative ways (over-controlling on one hand and overly flirty on the other) as long as we portrays guys in the same way (all men are cheaters)." The Sucker Punch approach, if you will. I think they oversimplify things for the sake of the game's theme. I have to say, I admire Atlus for really thinking outside the box and pursuing something that surely was a passion project, I just think the pieces don't quite make a cohesive whole. I enjoyed my time with the game, but there was much frustration and confusion along the way. Expand
  2. Feb 27, 2013
    7
    Probably best described as an interactive story puzzle game Catherine certainly won’t be appeal to everyone but it there is certainly nothing else quite like it.

    The main bulk of the gameplay, the puzzle element, involves climbing a set of blocks in order to reach the top before the blocks below you fall or, as is the case on some occasions, a nightmarish creature kills you. As the game
    Probably best described as an interactive story puzzle game Catherine certainly won’t be appeal to everyone but it there is certainly nothing else quite like it.

    The main bulk of the gameplay, the puzzle element, involves climbing a set of blocks in order to reach the top before the blocks below you fall or, as is the case on some occasions, a nightmarish creature kills you. As the game progresses further complications, such as slippery ice blocks, are added to up the challenge making the game fairly difficult on anything above the easiest setting.

    In between these block climbing puzzles the game tells the story of Vincent, a man in a serious relationship with a woman named Katherine that finds himself waking up every morning with the seductive Catherine in his bed and no idea how she got there. Depending on the decisions made by the player when asked questions after each puzzle section or when talking to patrons of the Stray Sheep Bar, which acts as a kind of game hub, each cut scene (and the story as a whole) plays out differently. Just how these two separate elements are linked is integral to the story and so I wont spoil it here.

    As I said at the start of this review this is not a game that will appeal to the masses but anyone looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary could do a lot worse than give Catherine a try.
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  3. 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.
  4. Mar 1, 2012
    5
    Loved the idea and the story, sucked at the later levels of puzzle solving. By the end I was so unbelievably frustrated that it just wasn't worth it. And that was set to super stupid easy mode. /feelsbadman.jpg
  5. Aug 2, 2011
    7
    Catherine was hinted at in another Atlus title; Persona 3 Portable and ever since then, it's turned into a [giant] unstoppable snowball full of assumption and hope.

    The assumptions being that Catherine was just some porn game with sexy ladies whom have sex with sheep and there are also dead babies. The hope being that this would stand up as well as Atlus' other titles such as DDS or
    Catherine was hinted at in another Atlus title; Persona 3 Portable and ever since then, it's turned into a [giant] unstoppable snowball full of assumption and hope.

    The assumptions being that Catherine was just some porn game with sexy ladies whom have sex with sheep and there are also dead babies.

    The hope being that this would stand up as well as Atlus' other titles such as DDS or Persona.

    And well, it kinda does.

    In the game, you'll control a 32 year young engineer named Vincent Brooks, who has been dating his current girlfriend Katherine for around 5 years. Everything seems to be peachy between the two until Katherine starts talking about marriage with Vincent. Our little Vinnie would rather things stay the same between the two as he is unsure if he really wants to be chained down.

    Then, after a night of drinking at the Stray Sheep bar, Vincent meets a blonde, buxom bombshell name Catherine. This spiels the spell for the arduous tale of Catherine.

    This is a nice change from the normal "these guys are at war with these guys" and "the world is ending."-type games out on the market today. But is it better?

    The answer is maybe.

    The reason for this; the ending is entirely up to the player and everything leading up to is moderately bland. Another thing to note is that the game is comparably short. Being at the 10-20 hour range, it's longer than some games but immensely shorter than, for example, Persona 4 (which took me 120 to complete). Now, there isn't a right or wrong ending, but some are certainly less satisfying than others. Personally, I got the "Bad lover" ending and that kinda made me go "Crap, really?"

    Gameplay is a different thing entirely. At first it seems a little gimmicky and almost as if they added it "just cause", but you will slowly become accustomed to it. And trust me, you'll have a LOT of time to.

    Each puzzle is around 3 to 10 minutes long when played correctly. But to actually beat any level on your first try is near impossible. The game is difficult to say the least. You'll be spending hours and hours on the puzzles and I guarantee you'll need to look up a guide at least one time. And that's not even counting the babel levels (0 people have beat Axis Mundi, the final Babel stage, on the US 360). And getting gold on all stages on Hard? Good luck, buddy. You'll need it.

    All in all, the puzzle sequences are give-or-take. Some people will like them, some won't.

    On to graphics, animated scenes and (model) animation.
    They're....okay... sometimes.

    If you talk to Toby at the bar for example, you'll notice that he uses the same "Aw, come on man!" animation.
    All.
    The.
    Time.
    Even when it wouldn't be appropriate for him to respond that way.
    Also, whenever there is a close up, the facial expressions feel really blocky and awkward.

    As for graphics, they're fairly good, but feel a tad bit dated.

    The trump of the trio is the animation, which is top notch, To be expected of Studio 4 Degrees Celsius.

    Am I missing anything? I dunno.

    The end.
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  6. Sep 19, 2011
    7
    Catherine is a real head-scratcher when it comes to general recommendation. The challenging puzzles could easily scare off those who might enjoy the story and, on the other hand, some players might not be interested in an anime story about relationships alongside puzzle gameplay. Either way, both halves of this whole are handled very well and it all comes down to preference. Catherine isCatherine is a real head-scratcher when it comes to general recommendation. The challenging puzzles could easily scare off those who might enjoy the story and, on the other hand, some players might not be interested in an anime story about relationships alongside puzzle gameplay. Either way, both halves of this whole are handled very well and it all comes down to preference. Catherine is certainly not a game for everyone, yet it is one that demands a chance by any gamers willing to try something unique once. Expand
  7. Jun 9, 2013
    7
    When I bought this game, I expected it to be hard, mainly since its Atlus and I hadn't played a real puzzle game in years, but I expected a good story as well. It delivered on both and HOLY HELL did it deliver on both. The story is exceptionally good, with an interesting premise with the nightmares and the protagonist who insists on digging himself deeper every single sentence. The bar isWhen I bought this game, I expected it to be hard, mainly since its Atlus and I hadn't played a real puzzle game in years, but I expected a good story as well. It delivered on both and HOLY HELL did it deliver on both. The story is exceptionally good, with an interesting premise with the nightmares and the protagonist who insists on digging himself deeper every single sentence. The bar is an awesome idea, feels like a mixture of the social links and random civilian stories from Persona, which was my favorite part of that game. The characters are interesting and deep, and never bored me. The soundtrack is incredible, which is kind of expected since it is Shoji Meguro. The puzzles are not as good, and almost made me regret buying the game as 'my first puzzle game in years'. Not because they arn't interesting or complex, but they are EXTREMELY hard, and due to my personal pride, I refuse to turn it down from normal. Usually the puzzles give tons of time to actually solve them however, and the lobby where you get to talk to the other lost lambs (all with some great dialogue) has people who will tell you different strategies to solve the puzzles, and while some are plain obvious (if you hang from the ice blocks, you won't slide along them) others can be extremely useful. What really hurts the puzzles in my mind is the bosses. These are the final puzzle of each day and is where you must quickly solve a puzzle as per usual, but with a very fast monster chasing you, firing it's own unique attack to slow you down. These monsters move WAY to fast, and while their puzzles usually are easier then previous stages, they aren't easy enough to compensate for the giant deformed (literal) quickly coming to eat you, constantly inflicting the charm status (just like in Persona 4 Arena) and generally being an ****.

    All in all, its a great game with a fantastic story, but the actual gameplay in the puzzles is very frustrating and hard, so buy it expecting that.
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  8. Jul 3, 2012
    7
    Catherine is an odd game. No matter if you like the game or not you probably wont have played anything like it before. The game follows Vincent the week after he "accidently" cheats on his girlfriend in a drunken state. At night he must survive in a bizarre nightmare to be able to wake up and at day he struggles to resolve the situation with his girlfriend. The gameplay revolves aroundCatherine is an odd game. No matter if you like the game or not you probably wont have played anything like it before. The game follows Vincent the week after he "accidently" cheats on his girlfriend in a drunken state. At night he must survive in a bizarre nightmare to be able to wake up and at day he struggles to resolve the situation with his girlfriend. The gameplay revolves around Vincent solving box-climbing-puzzles at night while hanging with his buddies at the bar during the day. The story took around 20 hours for me to beat on normal difficulty and there is also additional puzzle challenges outside the main story.

    + The story and the atmosphere is great in this game and the biggest reason why i liked the game so much overall. When i was fed up with the puzzles the drive to find out what happens next in the story drove me to continue. + Likeable characters
    + Challenging puzzles
    + Nice presentation

    - There is only one kind of puzzle in this game and it gets kind of repetitive after a while
    - The puzzles are checkpoint based which means that you need to redo puzzles you already solved if you die. This gets especially annoying later on in the game when the puzzles gets harder and there is less checkpoints.
    - The camera and controls are fine until you try to climb behind the blocks. The camera doesnt rotate and the movement controls goes from reversed to unreversed making it awkward controlling.
    - Lack of interactivity in the story.
    - Your character is only controllable at the bar under the day.
    - Your only means of interacting with people outside the bar is by text. And that is extremely limited
    - Escort mission

    Despite all of its flaws i still had a great time with the game. Primarily for its interesting story and bizarre presentation that revolves around a subject that you rarely see in videogames. Sadly though it has a lot of problems with its gameplay and the game rarely gives you an change to screw up its story. Its still a great game though and i do recommend it for those who want to try out something different.
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  9. May 29, 2013
    7
    When was the last time you play a game about infidelity? Never that's when. And if you did then your either a liar or you just don't know what to say. Well that's understandable. Its what happened to Vincent in "Catherine" the main character has been in a relationship with his somewhat overbearing Girlfriend Katherine for more then a while. But is now scared by her sudden need to take theWhen was the last time you play a game about infidelity? Never that's when. And if you did then your either a liar or you just don't know what to say. Well that's understandable. Its what happened to Vincent in "Catherine" the main character has been in a relationship with his somewhat overbearing Girlfriend Katherine for more then a while. But is now scared by her sudden need to take the relationship to go to the next level. But after a hard night of drinking over this revelation, Vincent is sent into a world of nightmares. If you consider sheep men and blocks scary, then this game might be a health risk. Only to wake up the next morning in the arms of some other girl whose also named Catherine and has become attached to the guy. Now he has too chose whether to abandon his current relationship or commit to his girlfriend. There are no easy answer, except if your not a deuce nozzle.

    One cold assume from the title or the description that this is some kind of RPG/Dating Sim, but Its actually a puzzle game. You push blocks to climb up a large tower to reach the top before the clock runs out or you fall to your death. Along the way are extra feathers to raise your score and even an optional game to reach the best time. There is a legitimate strategy to where and when you push a certain block. but that also means that there is a lot of quick with little room to think. Making the game incredibly hard at later points where you have to avoid traps, other sheep me, and bosses who manipulate the blocks to make your ascent even more frustration. But if your patient enough, it can be a fun kind of challenge.

    Its a challenging game with a uncommon story found in games. If your willing to stick with it though the highs and lows. It may come out better then you thought.
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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. 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]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.