Celeste Official Website

Gameplay from chapter 6 of Celeste.

Cory Wack, Reporter

This article contains minor spoilers.

Celeste is an 8-bit, 2D platformer that surprisingly stands out for its progressive and emotional narrative. You play The player enters the game as Madeline, a girl in her early 20s who has traveled to Canada to climb Celeste mountain.

This game is critically praised for its challenging and responsive platforming; While Celeste does have outstanding mechanics and difficulty, it separates itself from other games of its genre by having an emotionally gripping story.

Madeline meets a few people along her journey up Celeste mountain, to show how those who struggle with mental health are not alone. (Celeste Official Website)

Madeline suffers from anxiety and depression, and her journey up this mountain is unsurprisingly a metaphor for her overcoming her personal struggles. While the theme is simple and predictable, it is done really well. This game captures the concept that everyone has flaws through the use of an imperfect protagonist who makes mistakes even though she has the right intentions.

With only small sections of dialogue and cutscenes, the atmosphere presents a feeling of self-comfort and also sadness. The familiar, but well-done art style, along with the outstanding original soundtrack upholds the immersion.

The development of this game was tackled by a very small team, and the design, mechanics, and story are almost all entirely developed by two people. This indie title shows so much heart that couldn’t be conveyed in a game by a large team.

There is no combat system whatsoever; it is simply a game about climbing a mountain, and the controls are limited to movement, with dashing and climbing. However, even with these simple controls, there are more advanced moves that are necessary for later levels. Speedruns of this game look entirely different, since the advanced mechanics are all utilized throughout the entire base game.

Early in the game, Madeline must help a lonely ghost, who runs an abandoned hotel. (Official Celeste Website)

One of my favorite aspects of Celeste is the nearly limitless content. Within each chapter, there are a large collection of extras to collect, one of which is a cassette tape b-side. Finding this gives you a whole new version of the chapter with completely different levels that are more challenging. After that, there are also c-sides. Once these are complete, there is an extra chapter that is only for the most skilled players, as it is nearly impossible.

Of all the reviews on Steam ( an online gaming library), 97% are “Overwhelmingly Positive.” While only a fraction of the player base takes the time to leave a review, this is a good indication of the wide appeal that Celeste offers.

Celeste is available on every major platform, including Nintendo Switch. I highly recommend trying it even if you are not into or have never tried games of this genre. The addictive mechanics and creative story will likely keep you coming back.