Celeste is a Top Indie Pick and Superior Platformer

Celeste. Yes, it’s about time we did this. The renowned precision platformer from Extremely OK Games has been out for approximately three years now (Celeste was released on Jan. 25, 2018, hence the three-year anniversary,) and it has not lost its charm. And why would it?

The game sold over a million copies by the end of 2019. Whether you’re hanging out in your game room or playing on your Switch en destination, this is the kind of pick-up-and-go game dreams are made of. You’ll have to pardon me as I haphazardly introduce a game that’s been out for three years! I’m compelled to share my heart with you on this one though. So, let’s do it. Let’s talk, Celeste. I’ll cover “Farewell” a little bit as well.

What is Celeste?

Let me introduce you to what Celeste is about. It is a precision platformer–a genre that involves jumping and grabbing from wall to wall to solve puzzle areas. The main character, contrary to what you might expect, is actually named Madeline (not Celeste.) It is the mountain she is climbing is named Celeste.

The levels in Celeste are an assortment of single-frame rooms, where the exit is in sight, but you will have to figure out how to plan the route to get there using your limited abilities (it’s kind of like rock climbing.) You can temporarily use powerups like diamonds or space squares to complete otherwise impossible tasks. You can also collect strawberries, however, it is mostly “for bragging rights.” The design and aesthetic are very satisfying and warm but are often fleeting and temporary–intentionally. The music is absolutely awesome, and the soundtrack itself is purchasable outside the game if you want to enjoy that.

Falling on spikes, in a hole, or getting crushed are your worst enemies. You’ll never, for certain, get totally stuck, and respawning is almost instant, though people have described the game as incredibly difficult. It’s more than that though, it’s a difficult game that everybody can play. In fact, there are several accessibility options in Celeste, that make it quite approachable.

First Impressions

First impressions. The main thing I like about Celeste is, as I mentioned, it is extremely accessible. You may think because I play so many games here that I am necessarily good at them (haha.) Contrarily, the first time I saw somebody playing Celeste, I thought: I could never play that, and why would I? Settling into the first level though, I knew I could do it, and I realized why this game has such a broad audience.

Weathered indie and retro players realize that 2D pixel art is one of the many blessings of games like this. Playing Celeste feels personal, so it doesn’t get tiring playing for extended periods. It is easy to start playing or set aside as well. It’s a quick button push to save the game and it only takes a moment to start up again. It’s not a resource-demanding game, but everything is very crisp and works smoothly, jubilantly if you will.

I don’t know if Celeste particularly reminds me of anything, but the cut scenes are cute and enjoyable, and it feels like something that has always existed somewhere in my heart, or at least in a coveted game collection.

Celeste: “Farewell” Expansion, Free DLC

In 2019, Extremely OK Games came out with a DLC for Celeste called “Farewell.” It is the 11th and final chapter of the story. People have called it the longest and hardest chapter of Celeste, and I can only imagine so. The expansion adds an additional four hours to the game. The whole game with Farewell included is about 50-52 hours of gameplay. So, if you want an extreme amount of value for a game, it is here. Most endeavors requiring that much dedication are debilitating, but Celeste is just a contemplative–but pleasant–time out by the bonfire if you keep questioning and trying. (By the way, this game is great to play year-round due to the seasonal/mountain climates of the game.) Anyway, you can always turn on “assist mode” in the settings if you get stuck!

Take a leap of faith and hold on as you play Celeste! I heartily recommend it. There’s not much else to say about Celeste, or maybe there is so much to say about Celeste it simply can’t be summarized. Either way, the game has proven itself to me. Currently, this is my number one recommendation amongst indies, so please accept my genuine endorsement, and thank you to the developers for making this incredible game.

Thank You For Reading Mr. Dave Pizza

Thanks for reading Mr. Dave Pizza. If you enjoyed this article, please have a look around or leave a comment below. I appreciate your support and am constantly working to improve this website. Also, as a note, Extremely OK Games is working on a new game called Earthblade slated for 2024. Thanks for stopping by my website!

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