Hidden Indie Gem: Celeste

Discover Celeste, a game about loving yourself wrapped in a nostalgic dream.
Megan Dobson

If you are new to indie games and are looking for a starting point, or if you love indie games and want to try more, Celeste is for you. A true hidden indie gem, Celeste has captured the hearts of players and opened them to a world of satisfaction and brutal gameplay. Let’s take a look at why this gem is so special.

Madeline’s Story

Madeline ventures onto Celeste to reach the mountain’s summit to challenge her mindset and anxiety. Along the way, Madeline is confronting her inner demons. The personification of her anxiety and self-doubt in the character Badeline is where she struggles most. She also meets allies like Theo who climb the mountain for their purpose.

Madeline’s journey is what makes this story a true indie gem. While she actively fights her self-doubt and is almost sabotaged by anxiety, she powers on through. Celeste, at its core, is a game about acceptance. understanding who you are and that it is okay to feel anxious and depressed. The game’s message actively resonates with players. The way Madeline addresses her anxiety and how her allies interact with her is an exemplary tale of hope and perseverance.

As well as this, Madeline is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. She is a transgender woman, furthering this game’s representative ability. The choice to make Madeline a transgender character perfectly encapsulates the message of the game. A journey of acceptance, the developers are showing you it is okay to be who you are as you are perfect.

Celeste Gameplay

Celeste’s gameplay is nostalgic. Due to the pixilated design and 2D mechanics, it is reminiscent of early platformer Nintendo games such as Kirby. Because of this, playing this game is quite relaxing as it feels familiar. You are transported back to a 90’s aesthetic flashing graphics and bright colours to enthuse players.

As well as this, the game is quite brutal. You will die, and die again before you reach the summit. But this factor contributes to this game being a real hidden indie gem. The game has different difficulty levels, and in later chapters, new playable mechanics are added altogether. The gameplay is reflective of the character’s journey.

Battling anxiety, depression and self-esteem is an incredibly tough journey. The developers demonstrate their genuine understanding of these battles’ difficulty by making the gameplay challenging. It would be condescending to have such emotional themes be so easily beatable. The source material and gameplay coexist perfectly to create a fun, arduous, and extremely addictive game.

An assist mode is available for those who enjoy the story experience over challenging gameplay. This lets you somewhat customise the difficulty and give a gentler journey to the finish.


Why is Celeste a Hidden Indie Gem?

The gameplay and story of Celeste are perfectly intertwined to create a fun, rewarding experience. Fitting expertly into its genre, this platformer has a great amount of challenge while still allowing you to switch off. The difficulties of such games make it feel extra satisfying when you can finally beat that level.

The story is enriching and feels incredibly authentic. Anxiety is something everyone battles with at least once in their lives, whether it be chronic or a knot in your stomach before a performance. Celeste works significantly hard to create this ultimate feel-good narrative that isn’t heavy. The craftsmanship, playability and genuinely fun game mechanics make Celeste a true hidden indie gem that deserves a little more love.

Follow Blooing on FacebookYouTube, and TikTok for more Indie Game news and reviews.

Share This Article
Leave a comment