Celeste is an adventure platformer driven by the engaging story of Madeline, a young girl determined to scale the mysterious and dangerous Celeste Mountain. This tight platformer is all about mastering controls and making your way through 600+ hand-crafted screens of hardcore puzzles. While Celeste is far more difficult than your average platformer, it features an adjustable assist mode, providing access for players of all ages skill levels.
So why does Madeline set out on a journey to climb to the top of Celeste mountain? We want to tell you, but we’d hate to spoil the story, so we’ll let you figure that out yourself. (Celeste’s story is something to be savored.) But we will say that, along her journey, Madeline must overcome her inner demons and conquer all obstacles that stand in her way. The result is a gripping narrative arc that winds through an epic adventure, which makes for engaging gameplay.
At first glance, Celeste may seem similar to many other tough platformers out there these days, but when you look more deeply, you’ll see the little details that set Celeste apart. Gameplay is split into chapters, each requiring you to work your way through a section of Celeste Mountain. You’ll pass through a variety of areas, including ancient ruins and a spooky hotel. In each chapter, gameplay is focused on figuring out how to safely traverse levels filled with spikes, falling glaciers, and other perils. Use your platforming skills to get Madeline from point A to point B in 600+ hand-designed platforming challenges.
Each chapter features an unlockable “B-side,” a brutal challenge fit only for the bravest of climbers! You’ll find lots of hidden secrets in the mountain, which each add layers of replayability. You can also choose to collect strawberries (which function similarly to the bandages in Super Meat Boy). These strawberries are often hidden, or placed in a spot that’s hard to reach without a solid mastery of the controls.
Without Assist Mode, this game is tough, and you will die a lot. Many tough platformers alienate casual or young gamers with their level of difficulty, but rest assured that Assist Mode is there for you if regular gameplay is too difficult. The best part about Assist Mode? It’s completely adjustable! Adjust the number of dash jumps you can perform, make yourself totally invincible, and/or slow the game down to half speed! This adjustable assist mode is truly unique and allows players to create their own uniquely calibrated difficulty level. (However: we’ll add that you should at least try this game first in regular mode, just to see how it goes. You may find yourself enjoying a bit of a challenge!)
Celeste’s controls are the core of its gameplay. They’re easy to learn, but hard to master. Madeline’s skill set consists of jumping, air-dashing, climbing, and wall jumping. As you progress through the game, you’ll find yourself mastering basic techniques and also being introduced to new, more advanced techniques. But even if you struggle with the controls, bear in mind that they are perfectly tight, and a death is never due to a fault in controls. On the contrary, every death is preventable with a mastery of the controls; every death is a lesson on what not to do with your controls.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
Celeste smashes it out of the park with its graphics and sound. The visuals are perfectly atmospheric and give off a smooth, polished, retro look. And with 2+ hours of original music featuring lively piano and catchy synth, you’ll be rocking through the immersive universe of Celeste.
So is Celeste a Nintendeal? For sure! It’s not the cheapest indie out there, but for the content, it’s definitely worth the money. We also love that it’s perfect for players of any skill level, thanks to the completely adjustable Assist Mode. So start uncovering the mysteries of the mountain and brave its many perils in this story of self-discovery today!
Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Publisher – Matt Makes Games Inc.
Developer – Matt Makes Games Inc.
Price – $19.99
Genre – Platformer, Action, Adventure
Size – 1.2GB
Nick and Sarah are the ultimate gaming couple. Nick is a Super Mario Maker 2 enthusiast, but working with Nintendeal has fostered a love for tough-as-nails indies such as Enter the Gungeon, Celeste, and Cuphead. Sarah prefers sim games like Animal Crossing, Don’t Starve, and Stardew Valley, but she challenges herself by grinding Slay the Spire from time to time.