If you’ve been paying attention, you will know that I absolutely loved Celeste. That game began life as a much smaller, free retro-styled game made in just four days for the PICO-8 Fantasy Console which is now known as Celeste Classic (and is playable from within Celeste itself). This week, to celebrate the third anniversary of the full Celeste, developers Maddy Thorson, Noel Berry and Lena Raine released a sequel to the original classic version, this time made in just three days for the PICO-8. It’s Celeste Classic 2: Lani’s Trek, it’s free, and of course I played it.
This is Keeping Score, a series about games and their soundtracks. This particular post is also the honorary fifth entry in the Scratching That Itch series, because Celeste was added to the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality when I was nearly finished playing it. Don’t worry if you missed the bundle, there are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.
Longtime readers may remember that I am a fan of Matt Thorson’s games, which I highlighted as part of a post celebrating super-hard platformers way back in 2012. Matt Thorson came to more prominence in 2013 with Towerfall (or rather, the multi-platform reissue Towerfall: Ascension in 2014), but I never played it as I’m not set up for local multiplayer. But Matt Thorson’s next game, developed with a larger team, had me quite excited: Celeste is a return to their earlier style of single-player, highly challenging platformers, but with much higher production values and finesse. Critics heaped it with praise, and I nabbed it soon after release, but as often happens I was distracted by many other games and didn’t get around to playing it until recently.
After I’d played for some time, and conquered all but its toughest challenges, Celeste was added to the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. I’ve been picking things at random from the bundle and writing about them in my Scratching That Itch series, but of course, my choice of Celeste was not random, and indeed was made before the bundle launched. Still, since Celeste is included in that absolutely massive bundle, consider this post — which I was fully intending to write anyway — an honorary entry in the series.