Celeste is a platforming video game developed by the Canadian developers Matt Thorson and Noel Berry. It started as a prototype for a Game Jam and, in January 25 2018, it was released for Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Madeline is trying to scale a mountain. On the way she meets Grandma, discouraging otherwise cautious about climbing it. Madeline decides to proceed anyway, only for the bridge in front of her to crumble and to run for her life.
Why It Rocks
- Great narrative dealing with themes such as depression, insecurities and anxiety.
- Decent character growth.
- Beautiful graphics.
- Tight controls.
- The controls are also easy to pick up, with only three core abilities: jumping, climbing and dashing.
- Challenging, yet accessible gameplay.
- Cutscenes can be skipped.
- Fun gimmicks which add substance to the gameplay. (e.g. chapter 2 whith space blocks which you can continually dash through, and clones of you that chase you, chapter 6 when dashing into blocks propels them the direction you dashed into them)
- Great level design that introduces really well every chapter's new gimmicks.
- Speaking of levels, the gimmicks get stacked up on top of each other (e.g. trampolines on top of moving blocks) and new tricks are introduced on B-sides, and later C-sides, making for impressive replay value.
- Farewell (chapter 9): Somehow they made this a finale that far surpasses chapter 7, also adding in a plethora of new mechanics that we haven't seen in the rest of the game to keep players engaged.
- Plenty of speedrun options and perks (e.g. hold the down button and Madeline will fall faster).
- Amazing soundtrack which reflects Madeline's feelings of anxiety and stress.
- The assist mode is excellently implemented, as the creators highlight that it derives from the original experience but they added it because they want the game to be as accessible as possible, all with a detailed in-game message. e.g. changing the speed, immunity, amount of dashes.
- The controls can feel somewhat stiff the first time you play it, and unresponsive at times. (despite WIR #3, e.g. sometimes it's difficult to distinguish which direction you're dashing in, leading to some cheap deaths)
- Chapter 4's crystal heart requires some knowledge from an entirely different game.
- Chapter 9 has a level where if you die once, you get sent all the way back to the beginning of the chapter.
- Getting and holding behind you at least six strawberries at once grants you a 1up. (rare achievement will pop up on the XBOX ONE version)
- Chapter 3 has a secret path that allows you to play the original PICO-8 Celeste.
- In a certain section of Chapter 5, when you play the soundtrack in reverse, you can hear a creepy secret message. First line: "Sometimes I don't really know what's going on anymore."
- Wavedashing is a common speedrun tactic in the game. It isn't required until Chapter 9 when you come across an Internet Café.
- It was confirmed that Madeline (the protagonist) is transgender.
Celeste received critical acclaim from critics. Many critics, such as IGN and Nintendo Life, gave the game a perfect score.
On Metacritic, the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch versions have a critic rating of 94/100, 91/100, and 92/100 respectively ("universal acclaim"), while the PC version has a rating of 88/100 ("generally favorable reviews").