Catherine is the incredibly innovative game brought to you by Atlas, and is unlike anything else that has ever come before it. You play as Vincent Brooks, a guy in his early thirties who's scared of commitment, which is exactly what his girlfriend Katherine is pushing him to do. One night at the local bar, you meet a beautiful young woman called Catherine, and after a heavy night of drinking you wake up next to her in your bed.
The story mode is called Golden Playhouse, which splits the game in to two different time periods: day time socialisation, and the nightmares that you become trapped in whenever you fall asleep. During the day, you will be tasked with socialising with your friends, your girlfriend, and Catherine, in both person and through text. Be careful though, as juggling these two women seems to be more trouble than you'd expect, and each decision you make with your speech and in general affects your morality. The vast majority of this awake time is spent in the local bar the Stray Sheep, where you can order drinks, talk to other patrons, listen to the jukebox, and more.
The night time is when Vincent's anxiety really rears its ugly head. All of his deepest fears come to life in his dreams: fear of commitment, fear that he's cheated on his girlfriend, fear that she will find out; everything he is afraid of is now alive and terrorising him in his sleep. This is where the game gets tricky. Each nightmare is a block puzzle level, tasking you to push and pull various blocks in order to reach the top. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. As you climb, the bottom levels of blocks will disappear, giving a definite sense of urgency to reach the top. Adding to this is a certain horrific personification of his fears, an example of which being a giant disfigured baby at least fifty feet tall, waiting at the bottom of the blocks for you to fall to your doom. Still sound easy? Wrong again, this game requires you to keep your wits about you as every block is different; certain blocks explode, there are blocks made of ice, blocks from which giant spikes will protrude should you step on them, and that's just to name but a few. Oh, and there's a time limit, not to mention the fact that the difficulty level increases every time you fall asleep, and the boss battles that await you. All of these aspects join together to build up the incredible tension that both Vincent, and now you, experience as you attempt to reach the top in order to wake up from your terrifying slumber.
Catherine focusses on topics that most games would never dream of breaching: free will, infidelity, fear of commitment, morality, and more. The basic premise of this game being is that you're a guy who's gotten in over his head, but this so uniquely portrays his tortured soul that it is unlike anything you've ever seen or played before. (Cat Emerson)
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