A young girl’s voice tells you, a seed, to possess a fox and explore a forest to find the guardians of the seasons. Finding them will grant players the power to swap between seasons on the fly.
That is the basic premise of Seasons after Fall‘s story, which as you can imagine makes little sense, as the reasoning behind everything is never fully explained—at least as far as character motivations are concerned. At least there’s a clear conclusion.
The story isn’t why you’ll want to play this though, the wonderful art style, animations, and calming gameplay is.
Seasons after Fall is hands down the prettiest game I’ve seen so far in 2016. All the graphics are hand-painted, making nearly every moment screenshot-worthy. My breath was taken away every time I’d unlock a new season and the entire screen shifted to summer, winter, autumn or spring colours. You’ll come across a few different animals that stand out from each other due to the unique art, not to mention the fox you play being quite dashing as well.
This is one of those calm puzzle platformers with no enemies and no fail state; just you and some enjoyable platforming and simple puzzles. The puzzles mainly involve swapping between the seasons after you unlock them, which can help you progress through the environment around you. For example, mushrooms only sprout in the fall, water freezes over in the winter, and some plants sprout in the summer. While the puzzles are easy, they aren’t spoon fed to you and you’re left to figure them out on your own—though I couldn’t imagine anyone having trouble solving them.
Perhaps the game is a bit too easy for some, but for the genre and style,it was going for I felt like it fit nicely. That said, the beginning is a little slow and there is quite a bit of backtracking, but on the plus side each time you have to revisit an area there is more to do and find. Each area has optional flowers to find for an achievement, hidden cutscenes that once found unlock the true ending, and warp stones that help you move through the levels quickly. Seasons after Fall is also not the longest game, taking me just over five hours, but I think that is understandable given the art style, which surely took a lot of time to create.
While it wasn’t the longest game, it was time that I feel was well spent, even if Seasons after Fall isn’t challenging at all. However, if you’re looking for a relaxing and therapeutic game to play, or just a work of art, you’ve found your game.