Cathrine for PS3 is one of the most unusual games I have ever played. It is a puzzle game combined with a unique storyline that forces players to not only think about strategy, but their own lives. Interwoven throughout the gameplay are questions of morality that can border on uncomfortable. Catherine can be frustrating at times, but it is also addictive and leaves the player wanting to get to the next level just to see what happens next. Catherine intriguingly bills itself as a “romantic horror” at the beginning of the game, and it does not fail in this exciting premise.
The story focuses on 32 year old Vincent. Vincent thinks he is happy with his life until he is forced to think about taking on adult responsibilities. His girlfriend Katherine is talking about marriage and having kids. Vincent is happy with Katherine, but he is afraid making a commitment will ruin what they have. Vincent trudges off to drink with his friends at the Stray Sheep bar. They have just learned their friend has mysteriously died in his sleep and rumors abound that a curse is plaguing the men of their city.
It is at the Stray Sheep where Vincent meets Catherine (with a “C”), a hot young blonde who takes an immediate interest in Vincent. The next morning Vincent awakens to find a naked Catherine in his bed and no memory of what happened the night before. Vincent is stuck in a moral dilemma. He must figure out how to handle his girlfriend Katherine, who wants commitment and the young Catherine who lives a freewheeling lifestyle of no responsibility.
Each night Vincent has a nightmare where he is frantically climbing a tower of blocks to reach an exit at the top. This is where the majority of the gameplay takes place. Vincent must move the blocks around in order to create a path to the top of the tower. He must climb eight floors, one per night until he reaches the pinnacle where absolute freedom is promised. The puzzles get harder with each level passed. There are new obstacles that pop up including blocks made of ice, bomb blocks, and blocks with spikes that shoot up and kill you if you linger too long.