piece together the mystery of the mountain

Matthew Rodriguez

3 minute read

Help Madeline survive her inner demons on her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain, in this super-tight platformer from the creators of TowerFall. Brave hundreds of hand-crafted challenges, uncover devious secrets, and piece together the mystery of the mountain.

9.4 / 10

As a young lad, I used to crush Celeste frozen pizzas. I was particularly fond of the zesty four cheese – in the microwave for 2:45, and doused with a splash of ranch, I could bury a personal pie with unrefined voracity.

This beautifully crafted platformer, with exception to its name, shares nothing in common with those frozen delights. My consumption of it, however, resurfaces an air of familiar graceless care.

Disclaimer — this review is a result of my biased first impression after grinding four hours of uncouth gameplay and should be taken lightly.

Overall: 9.4 / 10

Celeste is a carefully made monument of quality production, attention to detail, lovely music, funny dialogue, complex characters, and a piercing story. The gameplay is engaging and progresses nicely at first, until a steep difficulty curve of the third chapter embodies the magnitude of the challenge that looms ahead. Leaving a nearly perfect first impression, Celeste remains an approachable yet untamed mountain to be returned to.

Gameplay: 9.2 / 10

Enjoyable, fluid, and engaging.

Controls 8.7 / 10

Nearly perfect, and potentially so on a controller. My old hands do tire, however, and left me wondering if the default keyboard layout opting for the arrow keys over the familiar wasd keys for movement was a slight oversight. Setting custom key bindings is made available and simple enough, yet muscle memory can be stubborn, and so I recommend a custom change at the outset.

Difficulty: 9.7 / 10

Feels just right. As a casual gamer, and first timer, I enjoyed not having to worry about dying over and over and over and over and over and over…

Progression: 9.1 / 10

Lovely over the first two chapters; chapter three hits like a wall and hurt my ego.

Story: 9.5 / 10

I want to finish it.

Characters: 9.8 / 10

Oh, how they steal the show! Charming, but not without faults, the Celeste cast engages with witty banter and unashamed personality.

Setting: 9.5/ 10

Celeste is a mountain. It is THE mountain. A self-referential metaphor to the player experience, illustriously manifested through the gameplay and story.

Progression: 9.2 / 10

Excellent through the introduction of new characters, and the return of old. There was one moment, at the end of the second chapter, that confused me. Perhaps there is more to discover!?

Production: 9.6 / 10

Careful and refined.

Music 9.8 / 10

Yes, more of this! I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack and sound effects. The chapters have their own tone, and the music helps tell the story.

Art 9.7 / 10

It won’t hang in the Louvre, but much of the character art is lovely. I am particularly fond of the character dialog panels.

Graphics 9.3 / 10

While I’ve seen better in other platformers, the graphics do well enough. I enjoyed that our heroine Madeline sports red and blue hair, depending on her energy.


God willing

Like that found climbing an epic mountain