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PC Game Review
In Seasons after Fall, by Swing Swing Submarine, you get to play a fox, and eventually a sprit fox, who must perform the ritual of the seasons. He does this by gaining season fragments. The fragments allow the fox to gain control over the seasons and in doing so allows your character to progress.
The way this works is really quite simple, but often requires some lateral thinking from the gamer. As the fox you have to learn what each of the seasons can do and how this will impact on the environment. The character can run, jump and bark and later can take control of the seasons.
If we take the simple example of water, an element which can exist in many forms, then the application of winter may freeze water, creating ice; so that you may cross it. I may also create a snow mount, which will allow your character to reach an otherwise unreachable platform. Conversely this will kill off much of the foliage, so the application of spring will see all sorts of things flourish, creating different plant platforms for you to climb.
The makers of the game have gone to some considerable lengths to make the most of the look and feel and the backgrounds are beautifully rendered in a water brush painting style. The fox has an appropriate amount of bounce in his step and you even hear the rustle of the grass and leaf as he lands. The controls are intuitive and show good response.
The painted style of animation gives you more of a feeling of controlling an animated film, than just a game and overall it looks gorgeous. The game's soundtrack is provided by a four-part string quartet, who provide a perfect fusion of picture and sound to enhance each of the seasons. The last good element in the game is the voice acting, which is able to give additional tonal colour to the seasons.
The game exists in the same spaces as Journey; lacking combat or an opponent the game creates an experience rather than a challenge as there is no actual way of losing. The puzzle element is nice, but never seems to get any harder the deeper into the game you go.
If anything lets it down, it's the sense of repetition as you have to revisit areas already explored after gaining more control over the seasons to access previously hidden areas. In an era when some games cost fifty quid, the relative low price is set about right for an experience which is visually stunning but not challenging enough.