This seems like a really good decoder for criminals. Let's compare it to an old shaper staple, ZU.13 Key Master!
Cat's Cradle costs 1 more to install, but assuming that the corp rezzes at least one code gate, it will cost them at least 1 extra, so that's probably a wash. (Or straight-up in the runner's favor, if the corp has to rez several code gates.)
It doesn't have ZU.13's possibility for costing 0, but honestly, very few decks actually used that anyway - ZU.13 was played a lot just for it's cheap setup cost, as a way to pass cheap gearcheck codegates. Honestly, I think Cat's Cradle might actually be better than ZU.13 in most decks!
Now admittedly, the ICE landscape is a lot different these days. Back then, codegates back then were almost all either:
These days though, things like Fairchild 3.0 or DNA Tracker are a lot more common, so 1 strength decoders with 1:1 strength/break costs have a lot more work cut out for them.
But still - the fact that there's a criminal decoder is in the same ballpark as a decoder from "the decoder faction" is probably noteworthy. Criminal! You've come such a long way since the days of Peacock and Leviathan!
Fun fact, couple with Revolver and Corroder, you would be well on the way to have lots of 2c cost cards to use with Khusyuk.— Diogene