In addition to the Golden Playhouse mode, Babel Mode features four large stages playable with up to two players, while Colosseum features two players simultaneously playing a stage in order to reach the top first.
Set in an unnamed North American city, the plot of Catherine is presented as a story within a story on Golden Playhouse, a television program described as "like a Saturday morning theatre, with a bit of a Twilight Zone vibe".
In a violent confrontation between Vincent, Catherine, and Katherine, Catherine is seemingly killed; however, the incident is revealed to have occurred in the nightmare, from which Vincent and Katherine escape.
The next day, Katherine—who has retained no memory of the nightmare—breaks off their relationship.
One night at the Stray Sheep Bar, a drunken Vincent meets an enigmatic young woman named Catherine; they have a one-night stand which turns into an affair.
Vincent and Rin grow close, with Rin comforting him in his nightmares by playing the piano.
During one meeting, Vincent accidentally discovers that Rin is a cross-dressing man, which causes a rift between them following Vincent's shocked reaction.
The story follows Vincent Brooks, a man who is beset by supernatural nightmares while torn between his feelings for longtime girlfriend Katherine and the similarly-named beauty Catherine.
The gameplay is divided between the daytime, where Vincent interacts with the characters in a social simulation, and his dreams where he must navigate three-dimensional towers through combined platforming and puzzle-solving.
Catherine is a cross-genre video game in which players control Vincent Brooks, a man who is tormented by deadly nightmares after becoming involved with multiple women.