Help Madeline survive her inner demons on her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain, in this super-tight platformer from the creators of TowerFall. Brave hundreds of hand-crafted challenges, uncover devious secrets, and piece together the mystery of the mountain.
The following review was written by: Nex.
First things first
I heard about Celeste a while back, but just recently got the chance to play it. I had very high expectations, so I wasn’t sure if the game will live up to them… Turned out that I was worried for nothing. The game was everything I expected and more with the addition of DLC – Farewell Chapter 9.
The game was free on Epic store as well as bundled in a previous Humble Bundle Monthly\Choice. It should be pretty accessible to everyone.
Celeste is a very precise pixel platformer developed and published by Matt Makes Games Inc. on January 25th of 2018. It currently has over 30,000 reviews and is categorized as Overwhelmingly Positive on Steam. The game is priced at 19.99€ and is worth the price. I also suggest checking out the soundtrack which is also available on steam for 7.39€ (The remixes are amazing). I will write in more detail about this later for now note that the game does have steam cards and 32 achievements as well.
Let me start by saying that I am not gonna spoil anything. This is just gonna be a general idea of where the game will take you. Most players play precise difficult platformers for their difficulty, but what Celeste stands out for is not just the gameplay, but also the wonderful story. It tells a tale about a girl names Madeline going through depression and pushing herself to her limits and overcoming them by climbing the Celeste Mountain. You will feel her struggles as you play and the story progresses. It’s gonna be worth it once you reach the summit.
Learning to play
The game’s controls are very simple, you can move in 8 directions, you have a jump, a dash, and wall-climb buttons. That’s it! Sounds pretty simple, right? Wrong!!! Best players in the world use a variety of combinations of these like hyper-dash, extended hyper-dash, and many others I can’t even explain. Most of the abilities will be taught to you through the gameplay. And then your skill and knowledge about them will be tested later throughout the Chapters.
Each of these Chapters has a unique mechanic. These range from moving platforms, to wind effects, to omnidirectional bubbles. The final chapter of the main story will require you to understand all of these motions.
Celeste is divided into segments called chapters. Each chapter is then divided into smaller sections marked by a small mountain logo once you reach the checkpoint. Whenever you exit the game, it will remember the very room you left on. However, changing chapters will return you to the latest available checkpoint.
Each chapter also has a cassette hidden somewhere. Collecting this cassette will unlock the B side of said chapter. B sides are shorter but more difficult levels. They will test your patience and skill on a whole different level. I recommend playing all A sides (the classic chapters) before attempting the B sides (I played the way I wanted to, but realized my mistake at around chapter 3B).
Upon finishing the B sides, precisely Chapter 8B, you will unlock the C sides. These nightmare-ish levels will present the most difficult challenge to you. Luckily, they only have 2 or 3 screens, however, these screens are VERY long.
Finally, once you complete the C sides, you can tackle the DLC. Chapter 9 might seem long at first, but it just keeps on going. It introduces new special mechanics like the blowfish and jellyfish which will annoy you all over again.
The best part for me was collecting strawberries. Each level has a certain number to be collected. The game itself notices very early that there is no reward for collecting all of them, but like any gamer, I had an urge to get as many as possible. They were hidden everywhere. It took me several attempts to collect them all. And all I got for it was bragging rights…
Towards the end of your game, you might replay a chapter and see golden strawberries. These are special collectibles that will require you to complete an entire chapter without dying or using shortcuts. Dying will send you back to the very beginning of the chapter and you can start again.
Celeste has an active speedrunning community, it was made by speedrunners for speedrunners. It’s a beauty to watch people complete the game in under 30 minutes when I struggled for dozen hours. The fluidity and responsiveness really shine when a professional plays.
If you ever feel the game is too hard casually, know that there are people out there speedrunning on customized dance pads with their feet. I didn’t believe it myself at first so I went to see for myself at PeekingBoo – Twitch .
If you explore well, you might see an interactable computer in one of the levels. This will launch a PICO-8 version of Celeste. This is also known as classic Celeste. It’s a short mini-game integrated into this remake. It took me around 20 minutes to complete it. I warn you, the final strawberry is extremely sneaky.
I have thoroughly enjoyed playing Celeste. Even the most difficult of the sections. I did play on the keyboard, even though a controller is suggested. I recommend it to all fans of the genres: speedrunners, casual platformers, and people who love collecting stuff. The story is of the highest caliber too. This game has it all.
Minimum requirements: OS: Windows 7, Processor: Intel Core i3 M380, Memory: 2Gb RAM, Graphics: Intel HD 4000, DirectX: Version 10, Storage: 1200 Mb available space