Celeste Image
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 344 Ratings

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  • Summary: Help Madeline survive her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain in this super-tight, hand-crafted platformer from the creators of TowerFall.

Trailer

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Celeste Switch Gameplay - First 9 Minutes
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 34
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 34
  3. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Jun 12, 2018
    100
    My hands actually hurt from gripping the Switch but I couldn’t stop, and when I finally landed on the other side of one of the many gauntlets that Celeste wears like a medal, I felt both relief and curiosity as to what it would throw at me next. It’s a rewarding experience and a game that I’m honoured to issue a perfect score.
  2. Jan 25, 2018
    100
    Celeste is a surprise masterpiece. Its 2D platforming is some of the best and toughest since Super Meat Boy, with levels that are as challenging to figure out as they are satisfying to complete.
  3. Jan 29, 2018
    100
    Celeste is a true masterpiece of the genre and an excellent example of what a perfect level design is. Exquisite gameplay and a beautiful story make this game one of the best surprises of the modern era.
  4. Jan 25, 2018
    90
    It's a testament to convincing writing and ingenious design that after playing Celeste I felt like I'd been on the same journey as Madeline. Her struggle is one made easy to empathize with, her low points painful to watch, and her high notes exhilarating to experience. Her tale is delicately told and beautifully illustrated, confidently coalescing with the satisfying, empowering game it lies within. Not bad for a game about climbing a mountain.
  5. Feb 20, 2018
    90
    Celeste is a challenging, charming and near-to-perfection game that doesn't only play well, but also tells a poignant story and merges this with all the best qualities you can expect from a platformer.
  6. Feb 3, 2018
    90
    What separates Celeste, even at its hardest, from masochistic games like The End Is Nigh is that it's not bleak or unyielding.
  7. 80
    It may take a certain type of patience to really get hooked into Celeste's laboriously challenging masochism, but it’s undeniably a well-crafted and thoughtfully designed experience that’s equally satisfying as it is unyielding.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 84
  2. Negative: 5 out of 84
  1. Jan 28, 2018
    10
    I don't like being a reactionist, or overpraising something too soon, but Celeste is one of the best 2D platformers I've ever played. I'llI don't like being a reactionist, or overpraising something too soon, but Celeste is one of the best 2D platformers I've ever played. I'll break down my review into individual segments:

    Controls: 10/10
    Very tight, extremely simple controls. Move with Left control stick. Jump with B. Dash with Y. Climb walls with RT. End of tutorial. But the sheer amount of mileage these developers get out of such a simple base is staggering

    Gameplay: 10/10
    While the controls are deceptively simple, every single chapter introduces a few new mechanics that you will have to master in order to progress. Whether they be platforms that disintegrate underneath you, platforms that move in sync with your dashing, walls you can dash through that have a unique effect. gemstones that replenish your dash midair, bubbles that shoot you far off into certain directions, and the list goes on and on, each new mechanic requires you to use them with near perfect precision and timing. The challenge can be occasionally frustrating, and you may find yourself dying several hundred times in any given chapter (I'm not exaggerating, you will die a lot), but it's the good kind of frustration that invites you to persist, not the kind that will cause you to rage quit. And none of your deaths feel out of your control. It doesn't require you to memorize every obstacle coming next, because there's never anything popping up that you didn't expect. Every obstacle is laid out in front of you, clear for you to see, which makes the challenge more inviting than frustrating.
    But I don't want to scare off potential players who are not so keen on the sound of timing and precision based gameplay, since that doesn't sound particularly fun by description alone, but this is a joy to play and an innumerable amount of sequences had me smiling and feeling accomplished by their end.

    Difficulty Level: 7/10
    I know 7 seems fairly low considering how much time I've already spent re-emphasizing the demand for precision, and how often you're going to die, and I'm sure you've already seen many other reviews that describe it to be tough as nails, and it is, but (thankfully) the game doesn't punish you for dying over and over and over and over. I had more than 300 deaths in a single chapter once. But this game doesn't kick you in the balls the way Cuphead does every time you die, you always re-spawn in the same frame that you died in, and it takes roughly half a second to re-spawn. The sheer amount of precision the game demands in and of itself would be enough to make it a 10, but the forgiving nature of the game makes the challenge much more manageable, so you can throw yourself at the same obstacle over and over and over and over again until you get it right, which is a godsend, because I would have honestly never bothered finishing the game if I had to deal with a lives system, or if it sent me back to the beginning of each level, or something like that.

    Story: 7/10
    I'm actually not as enamored with the story as many other people seem to be. I think it's great to see more and more video games experiment in dealing with heavy thematic matter such as anxiety, panic, apathy, depression, emotional distance, etc, and I think Celeste does a good job of it, and I can imagine many people out there being touched by it, because it handles delicate topics with sensitivity, earnestness, and a touch of humor. I like the characters a lot (and I love that they actually created an Instagram account for the character who is always taking selfies and writing posts throughout the game), but I don't think it's quite perfect yet. I really hope the developers keep experimenting with this kind of subject matter, because Celeste has made me eager for whatever the dish up next.

    Artwork/Design: 8/10
    I used to refer to this segment as "graphics," because graphical power used to be important when reviewing games, but we've reached an era of gaming when gamers and reviewers are less concerned about graphical horsepower and more interested in artwork, with absolutely beautiful looking games such as Cuphead and Journey, which are both stunning games due to their artwork, even though they're not going to max out the system you run them on by any means. Celeste is in that category, and it is a brilliantly designed game.

    Music: 9/10
    It is impressive in and of itself that these indie developers composed more than two hours of music for a relatively short game (around 10hrs max to complete all of the main bits, 20 if you're a completionist that is going to collect all the strawberries and complete all the "B side" challenges), and it pays off, because the soundtrack is just beautiful.

    Overall: 10/10
    While I think the story is good, even though I wasn't as deeply impressed with it as many other reviewers were, the controls, gameplay, and design are every bit as good as you've heard and Celeste is a game that deserves to be experienced by anybody who can spare twenty bucks to try it out.
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  2. Feb 3, 2018
    10
    this game was incredible, i loved it from start to finish. There are so many things to this game that make it great, the music, the game play,this game was incredible, i loved it from start to finish. There are so many things to this game that make it great, the music, the game play, the story and some people might not like the art style but personally i loved it. I think it might be one of my favourite indies next to Stardew and Meat boy (i haven't played a lot of indie games) Expand
  3. Feb 22, 2018
    10
    Don't let the edgy internet contrarians fool you: the game is good. It's not perfect, but keeps you captivated for long enough to justify moreDon't let the edgy internet contrarians fool you: the game is good. It's not perfect, but keeps you captivated for long enough to justify more than the 20 bucks it charges.

    Let's get the basics out of the way: the game is *full* of content. Superb level design, secrets for those that want them, and a crapload of levels. I'm guessing that the people who are complaining about the time-to-complete have probably not discovered the B-sides--which are disgustingly difficult chapters that use mechanics you learned about in the story. In addition, the B-sides also teach you advanced movement techniques which are used to speedrun the game.

    Moving on: the music is sublime, and the story is phenomenal (though a bit cheesy at times). The music for chapter two, and for the final bits of the storyline are among my favorites in gaming.

    My only substantial complaint with the game comes in the form of one of its mechanics in one of the chapters: wind. While most other mechanics seem to empower you to do crazier and crazier things, the wind mechanic is introduced for one chapter to basically slow the game down to a crawl, and overwrite the muscle memory you built up over the chapters. It's frustrating in a way that *is* technically fair, but it doesn't really feel fair. That mechanic persists for only one chapter, however, and isn't actually enough of a complaint to warrant docking a point. The game definitely deserves a 10/10 bar that silly mechanic, so that's what it gets.
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  4. Feb 18, 2018
    10
    Celeste is a love letter to people who love 2D platformers I hope it gets a game of the year award 2018
  5. Mar 29, 2018
    9
    A great game with some truly difficult levels but a learning curve that will develop your skills before you know it. If you need an additionalA great game with some truly difficult levels but a learning curve that will develop your skills before you know it. If you need an additional challenge the game provides it. For the price, there is not much better bang for your buck. Amazing platforming! Expand
  6. Feb 6, 2018
    9
    I love platformers - I think they're the most perfect expression of twitch gaming there is, and my favourite game growing up was Super MarioI love platformers - I think they're the most perfect expression of twitch gaming there is, and my favourite game growing up was Super Mario World on my old SNES. I was blown away by the creativity of the Mario Galaxy games. But 3D platformers have not been hitting the high points recently, not since the demise of the Wii and Nintendo's decision to turn away from the Galaxy games. Lately, the best platformers have all been 2D examples, and, to pick one in particular, Super Meat Boy instantly barged its way into my top 10 Greatest Games OAT list.
    I'm a huge fan of the genre, and my Switch has been pretty much unplayed since I set the disappointing Mario Odyssey aside - then along came Celeste with its outrageous metascore...what else could I do? I downloaded it immediately and I've been playing nothing else since. It really is as good as everyone's saying, and when a new franchise appears, from a dev who's not world-famous either, and immediately gets a metascore like this, you can be sure there's something there to get excited about.

    I'll get my complaints out of the way first, because they're pretty minimal:

    1. The controls on Switch are not well-suited to split-second 2D platforming. It's just not practically possible to use an analogue stick to play something that demands such precision - it's far too insensitive - and the only other option you have is the Switch's 'd-pad'. The problem is that it's not really a d-pad; rather it's a four-button configuration that stands in for a d-pad, and this means your fingers often slip into the gap at the centre. This isn't a constant issue, but it happens enough for it to mess up some crucial moments in the game, which, like I say, requires absolutely perfect precision. The second problem with the controls, more minor perhaps, is that when you're playing on the big screen and the left and right joy-cons are detached, the left joy-con is simply too small for your hand to fit comfortably around it, and as a result you get the dreaded hand-cramp/-claw-cramp.

    2. The narrative is...well-meaning. It has occasional moments of Lynchian intrigue - birds appearing at particular moments throughout - and there are half-hearted attempts to imbue the whole climb itself with an air of metaphysical mystery, as though it might be some kind of dreamlike confabulation brought about by stress. But these elements don't join up well, and the writing ranges from mildly interesting, mildly amusing, to painfully worthy, anaemic stuff that feels like it was cribbed from a self-help book. There are lines about 'believing in yourself' and 'trusting in who you are', and subjects like anxiety attacks and lack of confidence and self-worth are dealt with clumsily. Some people have credited it simply for talking about these issues in the first place, but that's not really enough I don't think. This is a work of art, not a speech by a motivational speaker or a pamphlet on coping with depression, and as a result subjects like this need to be approached with some degree of nuance, and stitched properly into the fabric of the game, rather than awkwardly dumped on the player at the end of a level. It's incongruous, and over-earnest. It's a shame, because as a narrative device climbing a mountain is fertile ground. It has danger, obstacles to be overcome, a clear beginning and a very definite end. In Celeste however it never really feels like you're climbing a mountain at all except insofar as you're generally moving upwards.

    So those are the flaws, but they are rendered almost irrelevant by the platforming itself, which nudges up against perfection throughout. The warp and weft of the level design is better than anything you'll find in a 2D game outside of Super Meat Boy. It is an absolute joy to control, and the economy of the moveset(jump, dash, climb; that's it) means that the innovation instead comes in the form of certain structural gimmicks that run through each level.
    These are implemented with such skill, such invention, and are paced so well, that I finished a few of them and literally exhaled in awe. There are huge, diaphanous blocks which extend your dash as you pass through them; there are levels where ferocious winds extend your basic jump, or curtail it; there are levels in which platforms smash forwards whenever you dash; if this sounds confusing, trust me on this: it's all intuitive, and deeply satisfying to play. It's undeniably demanding, but crucially, and as with SMB, the restart time is so short that you can instantly throw yourself back into the level as soon as you die.
    I've completed it, and I died A LOT(just over i600 times!), but the design is so good there's never a doubt about why you messed up, or what you should've done; not once did I think 'forget this - this is just unhinged' as I did with the post end-game levels in SMB. Celeste's difficulty curve is gloriously smooth.

    In summary, this is the best platformer, 3D or otherwise, on the Switch. Seriously.
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  7. Mar 11, 2018
    0
    I don’t understand the hype. It is one of the most boring and repetitive games I have ever played. I am also really getting tired of this uglyI don’t understand the hype. It is one of the most boring and repetitive games I have ever played. I am also really getting tired of this ugly pixel graphics. Nothing special here. Expand

See all 84 User Reviews

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