“This game looks gorgeous” is the first thing that pops in your head the moment you boot up Seasons After Fall, a game about controlling a possessed fox who can manipulate seasons. Video game plots are weird, man.
Seasons After Fall is an artsy 2D platformer, a genre that has been popularized by games such as Ori and The Blind Forest and Ubiart titles (Rayman Legends, Child of Light). Not that I’m complaining because despite it feeling so similar, Seasons After All is actually a pretty good relaxing experience. Relaxing experience is something that gets tossed around but in essence what I mean is that playing SAF makes me feel good. Running and jumping through the forest as a cartoony fox with mystical powers has its charm apparently.
If you’ve seen any of the trailers you might think the fox is the main character when in fact it is a spirit that has possessed him. The poor thing was literally just minding his own business when something just took over his body to do his binding. If that wasn’t enough, the poor soul would have to find other season spirits to complete a ritual called merging that effects the fox’s body in some way. While the spirit narrates how everything will be okay and only means to use his body for a limited time, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m really doing the right thing here. But those feelings tend to melt away thanks to the game’s beautiful presentation.
Seasons After Fall is pure eye candy. Everything appears to be hand drawn and given life. Running through the forest causes leaves to scatter, caves drip with ambience. And that’s not even counting the season alteration. Each level has basically 4 different modes depending on the 4 seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter in case you needed a refresher). Complementing the visuals is the audio with violin tracks that match beautiful sceneries and vistas.
SAF is a puzzle platformer. The core of its challenge are based around manipulating the seasons meaning weather. Winter will make the water freeze causing you to walk on it, spring causes it to rain which effect specific plants, fall causes the wind to blow to carry you to high places and so on. Some of these puzzles involve moving certain objects (or creatures) from point A to B in order to get to C. While at first the puzzles seem genuine and interesting things begin to fall off half way through. The problem is most of the puzzles rely on the same mechanics but are just re-arranged in each section. This makes most of the puzzles feel predictable and can kind of boring. Keep in mind that this is your $15 indie game so seeing reshuffled assets isn’t that surprising.
Despite that I still thoroughly enjoyed my time with SAF. There’s a very simple feeling towards the game similar to when I played games like Journey or ABZU. You don’t know what it really is but it manages to capture you and keep you going till the very end. If you’re looking for something to short and sweet to brighten up your day then give SAF a shot. It’s currently on sale for close to $13 on Steam and for that price you’re getting more than you think.