Celeste is a heartfelt and challenging platformer that you should make time to play
If you haven't played Celeste, here's an excuse to buy it along with 1700+ (!!) other games
I used to think I was pretty good at platformers, until I played Celeste. Made the creators of Towerfall, Celeste drops you in the shoes of Madeline, whose goal is to climb a mountain. Except, the mountain isn't really just a mountain - it's a metaphor for all the difficulties that Madeline, and you, have overcome, and will need to overcome in the future. It's gruelling and lovely, and you're missing out on a wonderful experience if you haven't gotten around to playing it. Now, however, you have no excuse not to be playing it, because it's one of the hundred of games included in the Itch Bundle For Racial Justice And Equality.
"It’s a tricky platform game, with a beautifully melancholy story, and enough creativity on show to give me strength even when the going got so tough I almost lost hope," Adam (RPS in peace) wrote in our Celeste review, and he really hits the nail on the head.
The game is semi-obvious in its links to overcoming mental health. All the times I felt like giving up at a few choice moments in the final levels, I had a gnawing feeling in the back of my mind that I was letting Madeline down. I knew that if I stopped there so close to the end, I might not come back, and I owed it to Madeline, and myself, to see it through.
And it's so so worth it to make it to the end. Finishing each section rewards you with another chapter of Celeste's meaningful and heartfelt story, not to mention the immense satisfaction for completing some of the trickier platforming. The controls are air-tight and the spaces you have to navigate are clever and interesting. Alex Wiltshire wrote an entire Mechanic entry on why Celeste's dash feels great, which will probably explain to you why this game is so fun to control better than I ever could.
If you want to see that dash being used in amazing and superhuman ways, I highly recommend watching some Celeste speedruns. They're baffling and incredible and a fantastic example of some of the whacky feats you can pull off.
You can grab Celeste right now as part of Itch's Bundle For Racial Justice And Equality for a mere £4/$5. You won't just get Celeste for that though, you'll also own 1700+ (1700!!!) other video games, tabletop games, and other bits, and all proceeds will go 50/50 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Community Bail Fund. While writing this, the bundle literally just ticked over raising $7 million!! Now get on it yourself if you haven't already, because the bundle goes off sale tomorrow.
There are lots of other great options in that bundle that are certainly worth your time, and they've been consistently adding more awesome games in there, too. You could test your culinary capabilities in Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!, become a master spy in Master Spy, or try out some bee management in Hive Time. We've got plenty more recommendations in our Itch Bundle tag, and Kat's most recent Priceless Play has even more suggestions for you.