Seasons after Fall was a game that I was really looking forward to playing. What could possibly stop a game with such lovely hand drawn visuals, and a soundtrack fully composed and played by a string quartet? Confusion, and lack of a cohesive story. While I have played other games that don't have much of a plot, or much direction as to where to explore this game was a pretty big disappointment for me.
There is no denying that the colors, and visual atmosphere of this game are lovely...just look at it......
So my mother joined in on the playing of this game, and I thought it would be something even she would enjoy. Something cute, and storybook-like. But after just a few hours of gameplay, a frustrating map, stiff gameplay, weird narrative, false build-ups, and weak fights we kind of lost interest. However, I kept playing in hopes that the straws of plot would come together and create something interesting. I began to think... "I must be getting close to the end" and "perhaps this was intended to be a game for children...if that's the case honestly it's not a bad game for very young kids."
But then, for no reason really there is a great turning point of some sort where your narrator becomes your enemy. I feel like that could have and should have been a really interesting turn-of-events. It wasn't though... it took the game away from the childlike feel, and made it kind of creepy. So then I expected big elaborate boss battles...some kind of stronger fighting mechanic....something. Granted, some of the puzzles do become harder. My gripe there is that it's by virtue of making it very difficult to figure out where you need to go. The puzzles are still technically not very challenging...
I thought that I would find redemption in a lovely stringed soundtrack, but alas there was no life to be found there either. The soundtrack was incredibly dull. I can't think of a single song that really stretched it's wings and made any kind of statement other than "Hi we are strings". I'm sitting here trying to remember some kind of theme, or anthem, or plot scene that really elevated the game. It just wasn't there. There was nothing memorable to be found.
I think perhaps the development team should have taken more time before releasing this game. It definitely has the basic structure and look of something that should have been well-loved and popular. It feels like a game that just wasn't ready yet, and that is truly unfortunate.
I can't really recommend this game for children because of the unecessarily dark turn in the middle of the game, and I can't really recommend it for tweens or teens because it's not very engaging. I definitely cannot recommend Seasons after Fall to adults for all of the reasons I have already listed.
Again, I actually find it pretty sad to feel like I need to turn people away from this game. I want to say that it's delightful, but I can't... The only positive thing I've felt like I can say is that it is really, really pretty, and it's well... pretty. That's all I've got, but I dearly wish I had more.