Platform(s): Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac
In retro-visual platformer Celeste, you climb a mountain by progressing through a number of single-screen puzzle levels. This is harder than it sounds; the game introduces new mechanics wordlessly, and you’ll have to use trial and error to figure out how they work. By the time you reach Chapter 4, and the wind is blowing you into the nearest pit or wall of spikes, à la Ninja Gaiden II, you’ll be ready to pull your hair out.
Lots of modern games are akin to interactive movies; they aspire to be Hollywood narratives, and they sort of play themselves, so long as you steer them in the right direction. Celeste, however, is a “game” in the purest sense of the word and tells its story through play instead of cut-scenes.