There is nothing quite like Catherine on the market. The action-adventure-puzzler blends horror elements with dating simulation gameplay.
But don’t mistake this game for being weird just for the sake of it. It’s been praised by critics, with sites such as Destructoid, IGN and The Sixth Axis rating it nine out of ten. So what on Earth is it all about?
Catherine follows the story of Vincent – a man with a smart and successful girlfriend called Katherine. He’s happy with his life, until Katherine starts talking about long-term commitment.
It’s not an uncommon situation. Man gets scared, goes out drinking with his mates and rethinks his life. However, Vincent meets Catherine on his night out – a seductive blonde he can’t resist. Fast forward to the next morning and Vincent wakes up in bed with her, without any memory of what happened the previous night. Basically, Vincent is a love rat, and a very guilty one.
It is at this time that Vincent starts having strange dreams, just as news reports start coming in of young men dying in their sleep. The dreams makes up the puzzle part of the game. Vincent must battle his fears and doubts by completing block puzzles and defeating monsters.
“Catherine is more than a game,” says Koch Media’s UK marketing manager Pete Ballard. “It’s a personal experience where you guide Vincent ‘with your morals’ through the trials and tribulations of what could be a real life relationship dilemma.
"Catherine continues to generate discussion among fans for its adult themes and quirky unique style. With such an authentically fun and challenging game we expect this not only to be a hit with puzzle and anime fans, but all gamers.”
The standard gameplay is, frankly, bizarre, with Vincent having to climb up giant staircases that crumble beneath him. And in his nightmares other men roam around in the form of sheep. There is also a boss character at the end of each stage which attempts to murder Vincent.
Catherine’s outcome also has consequences depending on the player’s actions, with eight different endings available to unlock.
It’s a unique game that will aim to replicate its success in the UK, having already picked up accolades such as IGN’s Best PS3 Story and 1UP’s Most Daring Game.
Stray Sheep Edition
Consumers will be able to purchase a special edition version of Catherine, which comes with two Stray Sheep bar-themed coasters, a poster, pizza delivery box and a Rave T-shirt, which is worn by Vincent in the game.
Marketing the madness
Koch is promoting Catherine with homepage takeovers, ads in anime publications Impact and Neo plus men’s lifestyle magazines FHM, Nuts and Zoo, as well as in-store campaigns with POS materials. Koch also promoted the game with a launch event at a ‘sensual’ London venue.