I wanna be the Catharsis

Creator: Hiddow

Average Rating
8.7 / 10
Average Difficulty
67.9 / 100
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Needle (9) Gimmick (2) Long (1) NoBoss (1) EasyMode (1) Chase (1) HardMode (1)


  • by WrathofAnubis
  • by WrathofAnubis
  • by Cortex
  • by WrathofAnubis
  • by WrathofAnubis
  • by WrathofAnubis
  • by WrathofAnubis
  • by WrathofAnubis

35 Reviews:

Catharsis is one of the few fangames I've played with a fully realized artistic vision. The game oozes a dark, oppressive atmosphere, with meticulously chosen music and backgrounds (did you recognize the black and white photo of a nuclear test? because it's there). Hiddow has a masterful eye for spike placement, and some levels are works of art in their own right. Even while working almost exclusively in monochrome, there's a haunted beauty to most of these screens.

The level design itself starts off with a fairly reasonable difficulty curve, which later becomes somewhat arbitrary, oscillating between trivial and very difficult. Not all screens are perfect, either - I'm looking at you, moving platform screen - and the artistry becomes a bit more hit-or-miss as the difficulty increases.

Still, this is one of the few games that stuck with me for so long after playing it purely for its artistic value, and I'd recommend it to anyone (assuming you like fairly challenging needle).

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Tagged as: Needle
[3] Likes
Rating: 9.0 90       Difficulty: 69 69
Mar 5, 2015
I don't think Catharsis has held up all that well. The various gimmicks strewn about throughout the game (jump refreshers, water, reverse gravity, etc.) have been done better in subsequent games, and the actual needle is a weird combination of easy saves and grindy saves that didn't really feel that satisfying to me. It definitely has great atmosphere/aesthetic and you can tell it was influential on many games that would come later, but I don't think it's a must-play nowadays by any means, especially since the penultimate stage (the platform screen followed by alternating spike screens) is just awful by any measure.

I'd put the difficulty of normal mode in about the 55-60 range by modern standards; there were a few grindy saves, including a rather annoying one on the final screen, but if you're used to what people are putting out nowadays you shouldn't have any trouble clearing it.

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[2] Likes
Rating: 5.5 55       Difficulty: 59 59
Nov 19, 2017
As a new person to Hiddow's games, I had no idea what to expect. I gazed upon the difficulty scale and said "Why not, it would be a very fun challenge." After 5 hours, I reached the end and was completely blown away by how well done every aspect of the game was.


Excellently done. The unique and difficult style of the needle blew me away. No presence of anything "unfair" and each gimmick was done well. I'm not a big fan of gimmicks; I prefer my needle vanilla, yet Hiddow made sure to insert gimmicks that added to the game's difficulty and "fun factor." Although such gimmicks are quite common in many other games, I appreciated how it was done here. The jump refresher segments were great, the spike switch gimmick was done well, among all the others. Overall, incredible platforming.




I cannot imagine one person who didn't fall in love with such a dark and brooding atmosphere reciprocated throughout the game. As I opened the game, hearing such a slowed down and andante version of the Song of Storms from the LoZ series instantly triggered the nostalgia. Progressing through the game, the theme of such music continued on and really helped dampen my mood as I played. Playing hard needle can infuriate some players, yet I felt no anger as the calm and tranquil music only increased my appreciation of the game. Visuals were fantastic as well; they did well in contributing to the gloominess of the game.


None that I can think of.

Overall rating.

Fantastic. I highly recommend this game to ANYONE who wants to test their needle. Also, anyone who loves needle should definitely try this out. The difficulty is too hard for anyone to play it, but if you feel like you're ready, go for it! It's an amazing game that everyone should play.

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[2] Likes
Rating: 9.0 90       Difficulty: 73 73
Sep 11, 2016
I really love this game. The atmosphere is very well crafted and the platforming is so unique and original for a needle game. Hiddow's talent truly shines through this game.

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Tagged as: Needle
[2] Likes
Rating: 9.0 90       Difficulty: 67 67
Apr 9, 2016
The thing that makes this game so memorable for me is the aesthetic, which starts off dream-like and later becomes very foreboding and kinda unsettling. A lot of the level design is quite a treat for the eyes, and the backgrounds complement all the levels really well. The music adds to everything else.

This game is all platforming, no bosses. The platforming itself is definitely well above average in terms of quality and creativity. It's strange and challenging, and makes each save very rewarding. Some sections don't quite measure up to the more impressive screens, which gave me a little disappointment, but the great definitely outweighs the good in that regard. One section that impressed me early on doesn't use traditional obstacles at all, and I really enjoyed that. In fact, the shape and arrangement of the obstacles presented to you is often very unconventional.
I've based my rating off the normal difficulty. As for the other difficulties, each one doesn't simply alter the amount of save points, but the difficulty of the jumps, which is just one of many things that shows a lot of effort went into the game.

As far as I can tell, there is a bug with the save files where even if you start on the second or third save select, it will overwrite you first save, so beware, you can only keep one unless you backup the save file itself.

Oh, and...
There is no catharsis.

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Tagged as: Needle NoBoss EasyMode
[1] Like
Rating: 8.5 85       Difficulty: 69 69
Mar 19, 2015