It has been an amazing year for games in 2017 thus far, with huge releases such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Horizon Zero Dawn just to name a few. A large majority of these big releases have something in common, in that they all feature extensive storylines in a massively open world. While it may be a blast to explore the vastness of space or the impressive landscape of Hyrule, sometimes I need a game that gives me a smaller more focused experience. This is the exact reason I absolutely adored the time I spent with Seasons After Fall.
I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed the art style of Seasons After Fall. Exploring the beautiful lush forest setting felt like diving into a children’s book with hand-drawn illustrations. There have certainly been other 2D games that feature a hand-painted art style but the artists at Swing Swing Submarine certainly have a unique style of their own that looks great. Part of the charm of this art style is the way the game’s mechanics affect the visuals throughout the entire game. Instantly changing seasons is an important mechanic for gameplay reasons but it’s impressive to see the instant change in color palettes and weather effects as I traversed through the forest. I found myself changing seasons for no reason other than to check out what season looked best in each area.
Seasons After Fall is a 2D puzzle platformer, at least that is how I would define its genre but there is more to this game than that. The main mechanic is the ability to change seasons instantly which transforms the world around you. The different seasons affect puzzle components differently creating a system of transforming puzzles. On the surface, this system looks new but after a few hours of gameplay, I found the system to feel very familiar to past puzzle systems just with a different skin on it. The puzzle areas were fun to solve but there were just enough repeated puzzles to get frustrating.
I wasn’t expecting a deep story from Seasons After Fall and I was right to assume I would be getting a minimalist storyline. With that said, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with what story is in Seasons After Fall. Much like the art style itself, I found the story to feel like an illustrated short story. Reaching a point in the areas that triggered some story narration was always a delight and there was much more to the story than I expected in the beginning. Avoiding spoilers, I will just say that everything isn’t how it seems in the beginning of the game and expect some twists throughout a playthrough.
The most impressive part of Seasons After Fall is something that is often difficult to explain, the experience and flow of the game. As I traversed the different areas in the game I noticed a flow of gameplay that felt perfect. The fantastic live string quartet music came in at just the right moments, the narration was never interrupted by gameplay, and I rarely felt stuck in a dull area. The impressive music played a large part in this experience I had, I couldn’t help but feel excited as I reached a new area and the music gradually built up to an orchestrated symphony of string instruments.
If you’re looking for a break from the massive open worlds that have been flooding the new releases list lately then I would certainly suggest giving this enjoyable platformer a look. The art style alone isn’t enough to carry a new game into success which is why I was happy to find an interesting story with amazing music and fun puzzles within Seasons After Fall. Of course, the gorgeous hand-painted art style certainly helps the enjoyment to be had while playing Seasons After Fall.
Seasons After Fall was reviewed using an Ps4 code provided by the publisher. You can read additional information about PSVG’s review policy on our disclaimer page here.