follows the trials and tribulations of Vincent, a 30 year-old programmer who is comfortable with the status quo. He's in a stable job, has a group of friends who dutifully meet him at the local pub every night and a solid relationship of several years with Katherine. Vincent's steady living is disrupted when Katherine begins asking questions. She wants to move to the next level, engulfing Vincent in a sea of doubt.
With Katherine, Vincent is able to at least tread water. He can keep her at bay with text messages (which you will compose at certain points in the game) and has his pub to retreat to when it gets rough. During one of these drunken retreats, Vincent meets Catherine and the two hook up, immediately pulling Vincent into the darkest depths of doubt and guilt. To make matters worse, Vincent's situation begins to manifest itself in his dreams. Each night, he's forced to climb a tower as he's chased by his problems. If he makes it to the top, he gets to live for another day. If not, he's dead.
Catherine takes place over a series of nights as you try to work your way through Vincent's situation. Although the story doesn't change based on your decisions (there are, however, multiple endings), you are still able to navigate through conversations, choosing how Vincent chooses to respond to his growing pressures. You'll choose responses to conversations with Vincent's friends, text messages to both girls, or decide to waste your time between dreams at the bottom of a pint glass.
At night, you'll control Vincent's ascent up block towers. These puzzle sections, which are a sort of odd mix of Q-Bert and Jenga, form the core gameplay. Each is built around the simple mechanic of pushing/ pulling blocks and climbing, but with the added fun of a timer. Every couple of seconds, a section of the tower falls off, forcing you to keep moving up.
Puzzle segments also show up during multiplayer matches. Both co-op and competitive versions are available, each offering a different dynamic. In co-op, you want to help each other out, while in competitive you want to co-operate, but only as long as it helps you out (and screws over your partner).