Game Review: Seasons After Fall

It’s a strange place. An ancient forest filled magic and fraught with danger. This is the world created by developer Swing Swing Submarine and published by Focus Home Interactive. Seasons After Fall is a 2D puzzle game. Players must navigate this platformer controlling the seasons to progress through the forest. Seasons after Fall offers players challenging environmental puzzles but its greatest strength lies in art and soundtrack.

Seasons After Fall Screen Shot Spring

Narrative

You are a magical seed given form by a mysterious presence and sent on a mission to uncover the secrets of the seasons. With your new corporeal form, a little fox, you must explore the stunning watercolor environment and learn to manipulate the seasons to progress. The forest is watched over by the Guardians, ancient creatures who each control a different season. These Guardians of the seasons are strangely dormant. The mystery of which will drive you through the rest of the game. After seeking each one out to earn a new power the story takes a darker twist. The ethereal voice may have sinister intentions and you must use your new control over the seasons to free the forest of the malevolent forces.  It is a simple story but it is conveyed in a compelling way. The narrative is uncovered in between puzzles but only enough to maintain the mystery.

Seasons After Fall Screen Shot Fall

Gameplay

Seasons After Fall is a puzzle platformer. It is structured as a world rather than level based 2D platformer. Players will revisit parts of the map multiple times as you will need to accomplish different goals as the game progresses. Although the maps repeat regularly to complete your tasks you will need to manipulate different elements and solve puzzles differently.

Each season affects the environment differently. Winter, freezes water and allows the player to create snow piles to gain height. Fall opens new platforms in the form of mushrooms a bursts of fall air. Spring brings rain and the ability to raise the water level. Summer overcome water obstacles. None of the seasons can be combined however they can be used in sequence to get around obstacles.Seasons After Fall Screen Shot Winter

Puzzle difficulty does vary as you will need to determine the not only which seasons will help but often what order to summon them to be most effective. The game provides little explanation about the puzzles leading players to determine the solution through trial, error, and observation. Memory and patience are key in Seasons after Fall.

Performance & Graphics

Seasons After Fall is stunning but its hand painted visuals are light  on system requirements. PC requirements:

OS: Windows 7/8/10,
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 (2.2GHz)/AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (2.8GHz)
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: 1 GB, DirectX 11, AMD Radeon HD 6750/NVIDIA GeForce GT 640
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 4 GB available space

The game runs smoothly and I experienced no glitches in the platforming. You can choose to play with mouse and keyboard or controller. Both respond well even in some of the games more finicky platforming segments.

Seasons After Fall Screen Shot

Audio

The voice work is well done and suited to the serene atmosphere. Occasionally the dialogue feels a bit contrived, like a children’s book. Despite that the story unfolds in segments, so dialog is in short spurts, and offers just enough explanation to keep you engaged.

As you explore this strange forest you are accompanied on your journey by a string quartet as you leap and frolic through the forest of ancients. The score is subtle and beautiful.

Final Thoughts

This is a beautiful game. The artwork and music make it a joy to play. The fun is occasionally interrupted by a lack of clarity about the puzzles. A lot of challenge comes in figuring out where to begin. Most of the puzzles are fun however the maps can feel repetitive even when new objectives are introduced. Its puzzles can vary between clever and frustrating but it is a stunning game with a beautiful score that makes it well worth playing.

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Seasons after Fall is currently available for PC and will be available on PS4 and Xbox One in early 2017

Score: 8

 

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