Seasons After Fall is a 2D platformer. The game is in a category that has had a resurgence recently with games such as Ori & The Blind Forest and Unravel, it’s got a tough set of competitors. Seasons of the Fall does have a hidden ace up its sleeve, with its hand drawn visuals, it’s quite frankly stunning. I probably could have passed it off to some unsuspecting folks as an animated children’s book. It really is that good.
The game starts with you as sort of a seed spirit, bumping into other seeds on the way to the surface, (for anyone that picks this game up – do not worry, it improves much more when you are above ground). Once there you are greeted by another spirit that explains you need to use a small fox as a vessel and then start to collect fragments of seasons off guardians which are hidden throughout the game, the main hub of the game is the ‘Sanctuary’ which is in the centre, once you have collected the fragments you always return to the Sanctuary.
Once you have collected all the fragments, the game takes a turn and the spirit asks for your help once again, this is where the game starts to go down a road we were a little disappointed in, the areas that you have already visited to pick up the fragments you are then going to again and later on, you’ll be back there again. It’s fair to say that each visit does unlock slightly more of the respective season, but you are still running the same routes that you have seen already up to that point. I’m guessing this is the downfall with hand drawn visuals, they are very labour intensive and it takes a long time to make one scene. An example of this is Cuphead (Studio MDHR) which has yet to see a release date, but has seen significant attention at the previous 2 E3 events. Swing, Swing Submarine seemingly understood that some people would be annoyed by this element and they did include a fast travel system with “Enchanted Stones”.
The puzzles are very well thought out, having to change between the seasons to get access to areas can involve swapping between 2-3 seasons as each one has its own unique ability i.e. changing to autumn for Wind and then Winter, to freeze over a lake etc. It mostly involves you going to and from Sanctuary and having to use the abilities to get access to the higher up areas. We managed to complete a run through of the game in around 6 hours, but we did miss some hidden areas which contained achievements, for those that hunt these down there is certainly some replayability in it. Also if you are having a terrible day the game is uplifting for the most part with its visuals and a strong musical score to go alongside it.