Seasons After Fall First Impressions: A Beautifully Designed Puzzle Platformer That Suffers From Weak Gameplay
Beautifully designed game sadly combined with poor gameplay
Seasons after Fall recently released for PS4 and Xbox One and had caught many gamers intrigue, due to its platforming gameplay and unique visual take. However, after playing the game through, gamers will be disappointed to hear that Seasons after Fall is just not as good as it could have been.
Seasons after Fall is a game where the player assumes the role of a fox in order to help a greater purpose. The introduction of the game is interesting, it keeps players entertained until the game actually starts. For the most part, there are a lot of questions the gamer will have to ask to understand what’s going on in the game. Why am I doing this? Is this greater purpose plot element going to pay off? Etcetera.
You are essentially as clueless as the wondering fox you control. I assume this was done purposefully by the developers to both keep players interested and have the mysterious story play out through the game naturally. However, to get to the end of the game, players will have to endure some pretty heavy backtracking, repetitive gameplay, and some not so tight platforming.
A puzzle platformer has to be two things – challenging enough for the players to think about the how to progress the level and two, have tight platforming gameplay. Seasons after Fall sadly only has one of those though. The game has enough puzzles to keep players exercising their minds, but the platforming gameplay is just not there.
There are a lot of times that you will be jumping from platform to platform with little error allowed, but the way the game plays it is just to difficult to make precise jumps. You will go through the whole platforming section just to skid off the end and have to redo it all over. This was a major problem with my play through of the game. I just kept getting frustrated. The best way to explain how it feels when moving your fox is that it feels as if he has butter on his feet. He slides when he shouldn’t, jumps too high/low in wrong instances and in general not as tight as he should be.
And all top of all that, the game is a very repetitive Metroidvania style of level design. And the time you spend running to different sides of the map is kind of boring and straight up dull. You will just run and see nicely designed sceneries, which can get boring shortly after the beginning.
Developer Swing Swing Submarine managed to create a beautiful looking game, however. There are scenes that the game looks so good. It almost has this hand-painted feel to it. The four main guardians of the game really stand out the most, due to their creative design and their large scale character bodies.
One other aspect Swing Swing Submarine nails is the music. The soundtrack for the game is pretty sweet and serene. It fits the overall tone of the game, and while traveling through different areas the music adjusts allowing players to experience a vast amount of soundtracks.
Lastly, Swing Swing managed to do something very unique with the game. The whole game is centered around players being able to change the seasons to help fit their platforming puzzles. This saves the game as it brings a unique feel to the title. Change the seasons to Fall, Summer, Spring and Winter each of which change the scenery and obstacles around you.
However, besides those three positive points, Seasons after Fall sort of falls short of being an excellent indie platformer.
Seasons after Fall is available to download on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.