Review: Seasons after Fall
I grew up reading a lot of picture books, and many of the stories stayed with me throughout my life. The colorful illustrations brought the characters to life, and the simple stories often had elements of real truth to them. So, I have a soft spot for woodland creatures exploring enchanted forests. Thus, when I saw Seasons after Fall, I was excited to explore that storybook world as well.
Now, on paper, Seasons after Fall is a premise that we’ve seen many times before in indie games. What sets Seasons after Fall apart, however, is just how exquisite its illustration and animation are. The visual direction of the game is simply remarkable, and it’s some of the best I’ve seen in a game. It has a lush, vibrant color palette, and its hand-drawn style is reminiscent of watercolor paintings. The hand-drawn aesthetic manages to make the game much more picturesque, and it creates a charming look and feel. It actually does give you the sense that you’re in a storybook that’s come alive. This storybook atmosphere is complemented by the game’s expressive symphonic soundtrack, which comes in at some of the more intense moments.
The game’s central premise really makes use of the talent behind its visuals. Essentially, your character gains the ability control the four seasons. The game really manages to give each season its own unique feel and I felt the mood truly shift whenever I switched seasons. The game is more or less a puzzle platformer, and most of the puzzles involve getting through obstacles. Changing seasons shifts the layout of every level, and your objective becomes to use these layout changes to navigate obstacles and get around. The game gives some brief tutorials as you go along, but most of the puzzling in the game is fairly intuitive. It makes a lot of use of glowing objects and flashing cues, so you’ll really be guided throughout the game, just not with words and direct instructions. The game never really presented that much of a challenge, and I got stuck briefly maybe a handful of times throughout my playthrough.
You’re also guided by a disembodied voice on a quest to perform a ritual in the forest. Initially, you’re a small glowing orb, but you eventually possess the body of a small, nimble fox and begin exploring the reaches of the forest. Now, in terms of story, the way Seasons after Fall is laid out made me constantly anticipate a moment where everything would turn horribly wrong and some kind of cosmic force would level the forest and kill all the innocent creatures. I mean, it’s a popular trope for a reason: beautiful fantasy worlds evoke our sympathy and adoration, and destroying them always manages to get an emotional response out of us. However, thankfully, that doesn’t happen. There is a sort of central conflict that drives you throughout the game, but the game keeps it pretty light throughout. You never really face any danger, and it’s much more of an adventure than a challenge. I won’t spoil how the story plays out, but I will say that I liked the ending.
As far as games go, Seasons After Fall doesn’t manage as much as a puzzle platformer. The lack of a real difficulty curve and the intuitive design mean that you’ll be able to breeze through it in 3-4 hours. It makes up for this, however, with its story and setting, and ends up providing a pleasant little experience that feels right for its price range.
Seasons after Fall was reviewed using a PC downloadable code of the game provided by Focus Interactive. Game was tested on a PC running Windows 7 Pro, with a 4GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970 fitted on a 4th Generation Intel i7 4790 3.6Ghz CPU and topped with 8GB of RAM. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• Astounding visuals
• Beautiful soundtrack
• Intuitive design
• Puzzles aren’t that challenging
• Story takes a while to get off the ground