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Watch 9 minutes of mountain-climbing in Celeste

Time to climb

As someone who recently spent 10 days trekking through the French Alps while trying to figure out what to do with my life, I think I can empathise with Madeline. She's the main character in Celeste, the upcoming platformer from the Towerfall devs which releases on January 26th. Madeline sets out to climb Celeste Mountain for reasons unknown - though I reckon it's got something to do with 'brooding'.

Whatever her reason, it's a good excuse for some promising looking platforming that evokes a less frantic Super Meat Boy. After watching the 9 minutes of game footage below, I've got high hopes for it.

Beyond leaping from death trap to death trap, it looks like you'll also spend some time chatting with fellow hikers. It's a shame whoever was playing it over at IGN wasn't interested in a longer conversation with that Theo chap - I'd have gladly listened to more about the "mystical, exotic kingdom of Seattle", even though the dialogue bleeps are a bit grating.

I'm a big fan of the way your hair changes colour when you dash. It's a neat way of solving that problem where you loose track of if you've used your dash or not, and adds visual flair to boot. I also like how reaching the end of some of those screens looks fairly trivial, though with the optional challenge of nabbing those strawberries.

This is just the first section of the game mind, and some of those sections do look pretty tricky. Fortunately, you'll be able to make things easier for yourself in the specific ways you want if you turn on "accessibility mode". Dev Matt Thorson goes into detail on the Playstation Blog, where he mentions that you can give yourself extra dashes and slow down time. It's an excellent idea, and one that more games should explore. As Thorson puts it: "we certainly designed Celeste to be a challenge, but we understand that every player is different and we want allow players from a wide range of skill levels to enjoy it"

Our Graham got his hands on a preview build back in December 2016, and had this to say on how Celeste stacks up against the platforming fare we've seen over the past 5 years:

"There have been a thousand 2D platform games which use jumping as a form of traversal, but they tend to primarily be about something else. Roguelikes, RPGs, crafting games… the jumping isn’t the point. When the jumping is the point, it rarely feels as good and as satisfying as it does in Celeste."

Celeste will release on Steam and Itch.io on January 26th. No info on the price just yet.

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Matt Cox


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