- Developer: Swing Swing Submarine
- Publisher: Focus Homes Interactive
- Genre: Adventure, Indie
- Release Date: 2 September 2016
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS
- Game Supplied By: Swing Swing Submarine
If you love foxes and games with a cute narrative then Seasons After Fall is the game for you. Set in another world where spirits and guardians communicate through telepathy, this game is a delightful little 2D platformer with flowing graphics and beautiful sound design.
This game begins by introducing you, “The Seed” as you are known. You are a spherical little being with the ability to move around and ‘bark’. The goal is to surface and meet the being at the sanctuary. This place will be your main hub for the game, and when you first arrive there you are greeted by the soft tones of a young woman speaking to you and lightening the mood. However with you being a spiritual being you will need a body to run around and explore this new world, enter the fox. Here comes the rather sinister undertones of this light hearted game, you as a spirit then possess said fox and use his body to gather the 4 energies of the seasons from the sleeping guardians.
The gameplay is simple enough; there is no combat within the game and no option to attack, it is simply a puzzle platformer. Instead of being called a game, I would call this more an experience, along the lines of Journey or The Unfinished Swan. This is an experience that tells a story rather than keeps your blood pumping. The controls are easy to use, move with the simple WASD set up and ‘bark’ with the mouse. One thing that constantly kept winding me up is the slight delay between pressing a button and the action being performed on the game. I would press W to jump and half a second later my fox would leap into the air, after falling down 3 levels that I had just climbed up.
Whilst playing the game you accumulate the powers of the seasons which allow you to change the environment that you’re in. Winter allows you to freeze water spouts, autumn allows you to sprout mushrooms, spring allows you to fill ponds with more water and summer allows you to lower the water level. The seasons do have other uses as well but you’ll have to play it for yourself to figure those out!
The graphics for this game however are seriously on point. Starting off with what looks like hand drawn cut scenes and then going into a game where playing it is a beauty to look at. When the fox is first possessed you are given a few moments to enjoy the freedom of being able to run and jump. During this time you run through fields of long grass and flowers and it looks amazing. With the paintbrush strokes still being left on some of the levels it really gives the game a ‘homely’ feel and brings to light how beautiful some games can be.
When it comes to sound design this game hits it right on the nose, but also falls at a few hurdles. The music within the game is beautiful and flows perfectly with the situation that your fox is in. When you’re running through meadows the music is light and happy however when there is some form of threat the music is dark and ominous. The cut scene music as well is also on point, making you want to watch further and relax into the experience. However, the narrative within the game is almost, childlike, patronising in some form. As a 25 year old playing this game some of the narrative wasn’t worded as well as I expected.
Whilst playing through the game I started to get the feeling that this was aimed more towards the mid-late teen’s age range. I don’t believe that this is a game aimed at the “gamers”, if you’re a hard-core minecrafter or Call of Duty player then this is not for you. However, if you are 16 and want a game to enjoy and introduce yourself to a new type of experience then I would suggest Seasons After Fall for you.
Seasons After Fall is a beautiful masterpiece, but I would not label it as a game. The experience of storytelling through the platform given to the developers is perfect. The music is perfectly composed and the graphics are beautiful to stare at. The narration could so with some more work towards the older players and the gameplay itself did get very repetitive due to the lack of combat.