Scott Watson reviews Seasons After Fall…
There’s a word that springs to mind playing through Seasons After Fall, both visually and aurally, and that is beautiful. The artwork, the narration, the animation, the music. All of it. Beautiful. It’s a huge part of what draws you into the game, makes you want to invest in the story and find out more. Swing Swing Submarine’s gentile puzzler is a welcome distraction to all the boom, bluff and bluster of the triple A shooter and racer brigade. It’s one of those games that’s a lovely and well needed change of pace sometimes.
A huge part of the game’s charm is its ability to draw you into the mystery with little to no hand-holding, and a very strong storytelling pull. Introducing us to an inquisitive red fox drawn to a commotion in the forest, we follow its journey to a set of standing stones and a glowing sprite. Curiosity does indeed get the better of us, as we’re enigmatically whisked into control of the sprite to take control of the little fox and use it as the key focus of the game and story.
I’d love to give more away here, but Seasons After Fall needs to maintain the air of mystery surrounding it to get the most enjoyment out of it. The narrative throughout drives both the player and the story on as we control our little fox in restoring the four seasons to the game world. And what a wonderfully hand drawn landscape it is too. The game takes us through forests, hillsides, underground warrens, across rivers, lakes and more. You sometimes find yourself taking time out from the game to just pause and enjoy the vista. Not that you’re under any pressure I hasten to add. The puzzling is on the light side in terms of the brain-power needed, you never feel like you’re truly stuck. For all the game doesn’t give you many directions, you learn from your surroundings and from experimentation with each season as you receive it.
The seasons and their impact on your surroundings are also the key focus of the puzzles throughout the game. Each affect the world differently; Winter freezes lakes and waterfalls, Summer allows plants to grow and open up new paths; Fall brings mushrooms to bloom, and Spring raises water levels with rain. The game never really allows you to get stuck, yet there’s still a great feeling of satisfaction when you realise how to use them in unison to get to that platform just out of reach, or cross a large expanse of water.
Is it a little bit too sedate and chilled? Perhaps, but given the manner of the storytelling, the beautiful setting, narrative and music I’m willing to let that slide and just go with the flow. You should too. Seasons After Fall is a lovely tale well told.
+ Stunning art direction and animation
+ Wonderful orchestral music
+ Great voice acting and Narrative
– Could have had more puzzle elements
– Wish it was longer
Played on the PS4.