Celeste is a 2D puzzle-platformer developed and published digitally by Matt Makes Games for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, and Linux on January 25, 2018. It was later released on Google Stadia on July 28, 2020.
The last game from Matt Makes Games (previously known for TowerFall) following their rebrand, Celeste follows young woman Madeline as she attempts to climb a large Canadian mountain known as Celeste Mountain, which unknown to her contain mysterious power. As she makes her way up, she encounters various quirky characters that either aid her progress (such as fellow traveler Theo) or hinder it (such as her dark doppelgänger).
Similar to the N and Meat Boy series, the game focuses on repeatable "trial-and-error" attempts at clearing areas, with the game having infinite lives. In addition to her ability to grab and climb surfaces, Madeline can perform a dash in any direction, even mid-air (which can only regenerate when she either lands on a surface or interacts with certain obstacles).
The game is based on an earlier 2016 game jam game of the same name, developed by the game's programmers for the PICO-8 fantasy hardware. The original game is included in-full as an easter egg, which is notable for being the first implementation of the PICO-8 in separate retail game.
The PS4, Switch, and PC versions received a limited-edition retail release (by Limited Run Games) on January 1, 2019.
The goal of the game is to climb the mountain, which can be done by clearing one short screen after another while avoiding various obstacles like sawblades, pitfalls or corruption.
The game features multiple routes to finish a level (made up of multiple short screens), collectibles in the form of strawberries and optional "B-Side" levels, which are remixed version of the regular levels, with remixed music and a hard difficulty spike.
Players control Madeline, who can jump, dash, grab on to and climb walls. The jump and dash only recharge after hitting the ground (there are variations on this, with some obstacles or objects recharging the dash as well) and grabbing and climbing is limited by stamina.
Hitting an enemy, an obstacle or falling into a pit results in an instant death, accompanied by a Mega Man style explosion, requiring the player to start the level over again. Respawns happen instantaneously.
Optionally, players can enable an "Assist Mode" to aid them in clearing difficult areas. Unlike similar options in other games, Assist Mode are a customizable series of options that are more similar to pre-unlocked cheats. These include:
- Lowering the game speed, down to 50% the base speed.
- Giving Madeline infinite stamina, allowing her to hold on to surfaces indefinitely.
- Giving Madeline her second air dash earlier in the game, or allowing her to air-dash indefinitely.
- Making Madeline invincible to hazards.
- Skipping entire Chapters.
Also unlike similar options in other games, using Assist Mode does not have any other side-effects (such as noting that they have used it or mocking them for using it) and can be used to obtain all achievements.
The original release of the game included eight main Chapters, each of which have their own unique obstacles and gameplay mechanics. A ninth Chapter, "Farewell", was later added on September 9, 2019 as free DLC.
- Forsaken City
- Old Site
- Celestial Resort
- Golden Ridge
- Mirror Temple
- The Summit