Something strange is happening in the forest. As a spirit pulled from the earth and bonded with a fox you must figure out what’s going on. The Guardians of the Seasons will impart seasonal magic to you, allowing you to change the season at will to better traverse the world you inhabit.
Seasons After Fall opens with the player controlling a sprit in a dimly lit…something. A soothing voice beckons the spirit and it makes its way up to the world above. Once there, the narrator introduces the spirit to a Fox that it’s about to be bound to. Once in a physical body, the player is sent to find the Guardians of the Seasons.
Control of the Fox is simple, though a bit clunky. The fox can run, jump, and bark. Jumping is a bit delayed, which gets a bit frustrating in a platforming game. More on this at the end.
Later in the game, the ability to change the Seasons opens up. As the Seasons change, they affect the world around you. In the Winter water is frozen, while Spring’s rain raises water levels. Summer causes plants to grow and extend, and Fall causes mushroom platforms to open up.
Once you’ve gotten past the Prologue you’re set loose in the forest to solve puzzles, platform in Metroidvania fashion, and solve the mysteries of the world.
Seasons After Fall oozes with beauty and charm with its hand-painted graphics and string quartet music. The world is lavishly detailed and moves in such a fluid way that it’s hard to take your eyes from the screen. The fantasy, almost alien landscape changes with each Season. Vivid whites, blues, purples, pinks, greens, oranges, and more pull you into each Season as the landscape reacts to the effects that they bring.
The music blends into the game so well that at times you don’t even know its there. It swells and calms in all the right places creating either a frantic or serene feel depending on the action, or inaction, happening around the little Fox. It’s a soundtrack that holds its own while blending so perfectly into the entire experience of play.
There’s a lot to love about Seasons After Fall. It’s beauty, it’s music, it’s strangely compelling narrative. The puzzles in the game aren’t too hard, yet require a bit of thought to get through on occasion.
Overall the experience is very relaxing. Chill.
The game is marred by a few things, though. One is the clunky controls I mentioned before. Jumping feels a bit lagged, and that’s not a great thing in a platformer that requires such precise jumps. A lot of these jumps also require a running jump, which is extremely frustrating to pull off until you’ve finally mastered the delay in controls.
The second problem is all the backtracking that needs to be done in the game. You constantly need to retrace your steps and visit the same locations over and over again. This becomes a bit more of a pain because there’s no map or directional markers of any kind. If you don’t have a mind for directions, Seasons After Fall might be a very difficult game for you.
Overall, though, the game is fairly solid. The story is quirky, the world beautiful, and the music outstanding. I can’t recommend passing it up for those who love a pretty game.
A PS4 copy of Seasons After Fall was provided free for review by Focus Home Interactive.