Indie platformers seem to be all the rage these days and while I’ve played a few, not many have managed to keep my attention. Could side scrolling puzzle platformer, Seasons After Fall, based on the seasons change my mind? I loved Zelda: Oracle of Seasons which had its fair share of puzzles, but a lone game based entirely on puzzles? This would be an interesting take due to the limits of side scrolling games with puzzles.
As mentioned Seasons After Fall is a platforming puzzles game where you play as ‘little seed’ who is personified as a fox, to find the 4 seasons of the forest, split into various areas and changing the seasons to traverse the landscape. The game takes a side scrolling perspective and the first thing I noticed is how gorgeous the games art style is. The entire game looks like a painting in parts relying on painted backgrounds and well drawn sprites. This isn’t the generic pixel art, this is someone who spent hours perfecting each design and backdrop and make it all come together in one endearingly pretty game. This is complimented by an orchestral soundtrack that suits the mood of the game perfectly. The soundtrack relates to the area you’re in and feels as though it’s playing in regards to what your fox is doing, instead of just being a soundtrack to the game and really helps you get into the feel of what the game is.
Gameplay works as your generic platformer, but there are no enemies or anything that can kill your fox, the only obstacle is the forest itself. You get from place to place by changing the seasons that changes how certain forest entities react such as mushrooms in autumn, or lakes freezing in winter. You learn what forest entities react to what season, an how you can use this to progress to where you’re going, a simple concept but works well as towards it adds different scenery which as previously mentioned is a joy to look at, but also adds an extra layer to traversing to the land as you can’t just run through and hope for the best like other platformers.
The puzzles themselves are nothing too difficult, most work from the changing seasons to progress and getting to the objective at their respective parts of the forest. The area in the game is nothing huge, but what do you expect from a side scrolling game? However this presents my only major problem with the game. Because of its small size there aren’t many areas to explore, so you’ll find yourself revisiting areas again and again and there’s a lot of backtracking. It overstays its welcome by a fair but and while the areas are nice to be in, it just starts to feel like a grind. You’ve seen what you need to see, and I don’t want to keep going back there.
The story is basic but well told. It’s narrated by 2 of the forest entities, a bear and another seed who are voiced brilliantly. The seed is child like but endearing and a happy character, while the bear comes across as an older caring man who wants what’s best for the forest. The story doesn’t add much to the gameplay and isn’t needed to enjoy the game, but it adds more depth to what you’re doing. You realise through these characters that the forest is a special place and it means a lot to them.
A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by Focus Home Interactive