- Platforms: Xbox One, PC, PS4 (Reviewed)
- Developer: Swing Swing Submarine
- Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
- Release Date: May 16th, 2017
Swing Swing Submarine’s Seasons After Fall is a classic example of the phrase “looks aren’t everything”. A gorgeously hand-painted platformer, Seasons After Fall‘s sluggish story and lack of challenge dampers what is otherwise a beautiful experience.
You begin Seasons After Fall with a trippy little prologue, as you take control of a little seed floating through the depths of a forest. Upon departing the depths the little seed takes control of the body of a wandering fox, and a mysterious narrator begins to guide you on your journey. As the fox you’ll explore many areas of the forest, and find the power of the four seasons.
The forest is laid out in a metroidvania style map, with various hills, caverns, and ponds to traverse. The map isn’t totally wide open for exploration for a large chunk of the game, at least until you’ve discovered the power of the four seasons. Certain aspects of the environment act differently depending on the season, and by changing the season on the fly you’ll overcome obstacles and push forward. For example if you need to get across a pond you’ll be able to freeze the water and make a pathway by switching to winter, or if you need a stepping stool to make it over a platform, there’s a good chance a toadstool will grow by switching to a warmer season.
The puzzles in Seasons After Fall don’t offer up much of a challenge, and there is no way to take damage or die in the game. There are no pitfalls or risks when platforming, only the inconvenience of having to begin the obstacle over. If you’re looking for a challenge, Seasons After Fall is definitely not the game for you.
One of the downfalls of the forest map is that after finding each season you’re forced to travel all the way back to the center of the forest, which can be pretty time consuming. Many areas of the forest also look very similar, so navigating through the map can be a bit of a challenge. It takes a few hours to really get a feel for where you’re going, which is basically near the game’s end.
Visually you won’t find a game more captivating to the eye. Every little object in the game looks beautifully hand-painted with vibrant hues of green, orange, yellow, and blue. Seasons After Fall also has a decently orchestrated soundtrack, which is intermittently interrupted by spells of silence. The game is often so silent you could hear a pin drop, mimicking what isolation in the woods would actually feel like. The sounds of branches and leaves rustling when you leap off a tree, or the sound of water dripping in a cave are a large portion of the game’s background music.
Overall Seasons After Fall feels much more like an artistic experience rather than a platforming game. Aside from puzzles, the game never really throws any adversity your way, and the game’s plot is delivered at a very slow pace. If you’re an artsy type you’ll most likely want to check out Seasons After Fall out if it lands as a free title on Playstation Plus, but don’t expect much of a platforming adventure.
A Playstation 4 review code of Seasons After Fall was provided by the publisher