Superb: A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.

Few games are as initially opaque as Starseed Pilgrim, and few offer as rich a dawning sense of discovery in return.

 Put simply, this is a game in which you get out what you put in. It is incremental in its brilliance. It is a game of pure mechanics and of player skill. It's confusing in a good way and difficult in the best way. From a game design perspective it is perfect, but the ambiguity will definitely push some players away. Those who stick with it, however, will experience one of the most pure and wonderful videogame experiences in a long time.

If Farmville and Tetris had a baby…

 I’m appreciating the exploration in all senses – everything is just so strange and that’s pretty rare in a game – there’s normally a lot more knowns and common elements from other games to lean on.


This is now officially one of the best games I've ever played. It's at least the best game since Journey.

"There has been comparison to Fez's "second game", but with Starseed Pilgrim there is no obvious first game like Fez's platforming. Starseed is very much a game though that is highly mechanics based, not just abstract puzzle solving. You could also compare the no handholding to Demon's Souls, but the game is not mechanically difficult. A good comparison would be if the original Metroid was released with no manual or player guidance. "

Steam tells me that I've played it for 20 hours, but I know that's not true. I've also been playing it in the shower, looking at my bathroom tiles. I've been on the bus, imagining hurrying to build quickly enough to escape the corruption at every set of traffic lights. I've built intricate towering multi-coloured structures in my head struggling to get to sleep at 2am. Starseed Pilgrim got under my skin, into my head and its image is etched on the back of my eyelids.

By necessity there’s a lot of talking around what Starseed Pilgrim actually does but it’s either all the better for it or confoundingly empty and plain, depending on how we approach it.


The pilgrim's controls are child's play: arrow keys for movement, up to jump, space to plant a seed and double-tap to tunnel sideways or down.

Starseed Pilgrim operates on the novel idea that a quiet mind can lead to a different sort of excitement—one that’s especially potent. When you discover something new in this sparse cosmos, it feels all the more intense because it doesn’t have to compete with a surrounding cacophony. It’s more than just minimalism. There are plenty of indie games that are sparse and homely like Pilgrim, and many of them die in a shallow pool of their own forced mannerisms.

There are only a few mechanics informing play. Planting, jumping, and breaking up plants.

Need to hook this up to my pad with joy to key. Arrow platforming is annoying.

There is also the issue of a locked gate (unfortunately easy to interpret as an up arrow)


 Somewhat masterfully, the entire job was done across just three days, and what was submitted on the return has stayed until this day.

My thoughts on it, fantastic atmosphere, it clearly puts the feeling of the game across. Immersive audio, and the simple graphics makes it even more imaginative and felt.

Most starseeds sprout multiple blocks, so plant two or three at the same time and there's a cascade of perfectly-harmonised notes as they grow. This in itself makes growing a pleasure. But it's also a mechanic in its own right. Starseed Pilgrim restricts your view somewhat, and it's not practical to go back and keep checking the corruption's spread. Instead, you can hear it spreading, a much lower frequency of sound but ever-present in the background, and much more notable in your proximity.

"Starseed Pilgrim – because apparently having the notes of a simple major chord randomly blared at you in bog-standard timbres, while having your eyes burned out by a pure white background and being subjected to pre-pubescent poetry so bad it makes your toes curl up like jam rolls, is the height of abstract puzzle entertainment.


I've read reviews which bang on about how the game 'lets' you discover its mechanics through experimentation as though this was some great revelation and hadn't been done countless times before. Although perhaps in a world of rote consolised tripe with tutorials so patronising they feel the need to tell you to press the 'jump' button in order to jump, this might wrongly be seen as some sort of novelty."


I think I like it? I’ve played about 1-2hrs and I’ve had two game changing epiphanies so far. I think I finally have an idea what the overall goal might be.

I’m hoping further experimentation will shake things up again because it currently seems like I just need to repeat what I am currently doing over and over, which not hugely appealing.

If you find peace in repetition and enjoy setting your own goals, I’d say buy this game, otherwise you won’t get much out of it. And on the front of accessibility, the game has colour blind mode on by default and supports scaling. I was appreciative of both.

The game’s designer—Alexander Martin, a.k.a. Droqen—offers minimal guidance. In fact, he communicates almost entirely through cryptic couplets that dot the white cosmos. And because of this, Pilgrim is often a boring and frustrating work. Anyone who speaks only of its delights is giving you an incomplete picture. The dullness is essential here. Your boredom is the dirt in which Pilgrim plants the seeds of ideas.

After you've managed to understand the core concept of the game it's repetitive and quite tedious to say the least, and I don't see how this will change over time.

Sort of interesting idea, and I always like it when games let you discover the mechanics and goals for yourself, but I can see this is going to be VERY tedious and slow. Ain't nobody got time for that.

Design Space

 It’s full of odd mechanics and the friction between them sparks off wacky dynamics. In similar games, players are provided tools that are complementary and often symmetric....Starseed Pilgrim has none of this...[The starseeds are] an unusual selection, [having] little symmetry. So unusual, in fact, that it becomes a challenge to figure out each seed’s individual properties – and uses.

I don't want to go through delineating what each seed does, because Starseed Pilgrim depends on each player doing that for themselves, but their individual forms are tightly bound together in a way that isn't immediately obvious. Your first breakthrough will be simply knowing what colour grows in what way; the second is how they can be made to fit together in approximate patterns; the third is why.

I enjoy abstract puzzle/adventure games where you have to figure out how to play them... usually. With Starseed Pilgrim, even as I figured things out I remained bored. When I finally got to a new area there was nothing interestingly different about it, I lost all desire to continue exploring.

Depth Level Design Difficulty

The different types of plants and how they place in the environment, however, add a mechanical depth and strategy for how to handle the problem of reaching new places.

Too [esoteric] for its own good. This game does so little to consider how other people are going to experience. Too little depth that takes too long to unlock. It's a painful slog with no payoff.

I've found a handful of suits. I've seen triple star locks but haven't been able to unlock one yet. Kinda feels like a bit of a grind collecting seeds even with the green suit.

I have gotten the third suit and I just keep going back to the first level to grind, as it's much harder to reach the keys in the following levels. Am I missing something? Getting really repetitive.

Yeah I'll probably never fully beat it. It's really difficult.

And it goes on. As some of the pilgrimages are fiercely difficult – such as when the player is prevented from digging – we tend to stick to pilgrimages that are easy to defeat when harvesting seeds for exploration

But if we want to conquer Starseed Pilgrim, we’re going to have to take on every pilgrimage. There’s no time for favourites in the endgame. Dedicated players transit from experimentation to exploration but may never make it through to the final phase of play – mastery. Is this a failing of Starseed Pilgrim?

Starseed Pilgrim is a beautifully clever game, yet it did not win the IGF award for Excellence in Design. I do not find this surprising. As I’ve mentioned, the design often punishes players – and sometimes unfairly.

Starseed Pilgrim is a beautifully clever game, yet it did not win the IGF award for Excellence in Design. I do not find this surprising. As I’ve mentioned, the design often punishes players – and sometimes unfairly.


But even if you were told all the rules straight out - which seed best defends against blight, how each world works slightly differently to the others - there would still be much value for you in learning to use them...perhaps I've let slip enough to illustrate what the game is like, and to demonstrate that it wouldn't hurt you to be told everything. The pilgrim's magic is strong.

Starseed Pilgrim needs time. Chewing away on little parts of its puzzle and thinking about its mechanics are the stuff of daydreams. ... The learning curve is more like a wall, but scale it and there's an expansive surprise.

Some [plants] grow in random directions or have a randomly determined size. That element of uncertainty can be frustrating at times, foiling even your best-laid plans.

The randomness of the seeds and stars sometimes deals you a hand which makes it near-impossible to make it through. This is more pronounced in some of the more difficult pilgrimages (no digging, for example).

Feeling kinda lost right now. I've seen a few things that I need to do but it's hard finding them reliably.


Frequently, I fell into a state of flow and experienced the Tetris effect: rewired for Starseed Pilgrim, I continued to see seeds and stars in the real world even after the PC had shut down

Strongly recommended for fans of either platformers or action-arcade games. And even if you're not, Starseed Pilgrim just might click with you anyway. It's a very [poetic] game about creating order out of chaos. Mastering it is hard, but incredibly rewarding. Don't use a guide; figure it out on your own and enjoy the ride.

... the reality is that this is a game that demands a lot from the player. It demands that the player not only figure out its main mechanic, but master it as well.

In Eurogamer’s review of the game, Justin Lacey wrote, “It’s one of those that gives back what you put in.” Kind of. If I believe the journey will be worth it, I will engage with its depth.

Skill comes into play almost immediately. The game is not an easy one, as a lot of trial-and-error and adaptability will be required to get anywhere in Starseed Pilgrim. This will surely frustrate some players, which is completely understandable.

Perhaps you’re brainier than me, and can figure it out. I feel thick. I’m going to see if YouTube can tell me the answer.


Starseed Pilgrim is a game of quietly confident brilliance. Beyond a few cryptic sentences that hover on the back of its 2D plane, there’s little in the way of instruction, tutorial, or hint... That confidence on the part of the developer... is a refreshing change from the hand holding and desperate insecurity of constant achievements, notifications and pop ups that plague modern game making.


It's a minimalist puzzle game that offers a wholly unique experience, teaching you practically nothing about how to play, what to do, or where to go. You may not be prepared for this opacity, but if you stay, you'll find an incredible game hiding behind a few frustrating design choices and simple production values.

Absolutely none of this is explained and we are forced into experimenting to unravel the game's mysterious mechanics....Experimentation is a messy business and some players will work this out earlier than others.

I’m ridiculously pleased that [LA-MULANA & System Shock 2] never coddled me. So: I refuse to hold your hand. Find your own way, or lose it and try again.

We have a tool to mitigate this, a tool Martin decides not to explain. If we try to plant a seed while jumping in the night world, a bubble will form and allow us to float. I get the impression that some players don’t discover bubbling for a while. It’s using frustration as a goad... But how much faith are we meant to show? How long do we beat our heads against a brick wall chanting “the wall is not real”? Sometimes frustration is just a design mistake and not a mechanic in disguise.

Starseed Pilgrim takes patience to learn, but once you figure out what is to be done…it is a pretty challenging pick-up-and-play game. Expect a full review, soon.

One of the unique things a game can do is, more than teach, to allow you to learn and discover for yourself. There are several approaches to making this happen, and many games get around having a tutorial by carefully crafting the first few levels to make learning the things they want you to learn unavoidable — slowly I am realizing this approach is not for me. I want to present you with a world that’s consistent in its own very interesting way, and set you loose in it. I want to bury secrets in the sand so that when you find them, it’s YOU who’s finding them (and being amazed by them), not my invisible omnipresent game designer’s hand! I’m not interested in being a helicopter parent, because I believe true accomplishment is something immeasurably rewarding – and I wouldn’t put that at risk for anything. Of course, I understand at what cost this comes. If you make a game that provides minimal guidance through its abstract rules, players will get lost and never find their way again.

I’m ridiculously pleased that [LA-MULANA & System Shock 2] never coddled me. So: I refuse to hold your hand. Find your own way, or lose it and try again.

picked up this game on a whim last night, got frustrated after about 15 minutes and quit. I'll give it another shot tonight after work, but (super early spoilers, but since we're spoilering basically everything in here) it feels like what you get from planting seeds is completely random, so there's no way to know what you're going to get/how you're going to go in any given direction. I've run out of seeds and then thrown myself into the darkness and reset because I got frustrated that there was nowhere to really go.

I love this game, although I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Thankfully the meditative pace and lovely sound design ease the confusion....The challenge comes from trying to balance the randomization of your seed bank against the seeds you’ve already planted. Still trying to figure out what the next step is — so far I’ve only gotten the key a couple of times, and I can’t tell the difference between “level 2″ and the starting point…

Starseed Pilgrim chooses to teach players how to play it the best way it can: by having them experiment and incrementally figure it out themselves. After all, hands-on experience is the best way for players to really learn how a game's mechanics work. spend plenty of time losing your way as you navigate the mysteries of the game's unexplained mechanics.

It's hard not to wonder whether it needed to take such a hard line on refusing to directly guide the player. Could it give you a few more clues without losing any of the appeal? I can certainly say that there were plenty of times early on when I walked away from the game, not quite sure if I would come back to it. Sometimes swearing I wouldn't.

Starseed Pilgrim extends a somewhat chilly welcome; partly due to its austere, colour-coded visuals, but mostly due to the lack of hand-holding in its sterile white void.

My one piece of advice is when you sit down to play it at least give it an hour. If you really and truly want to give up on it, there are initial spoilers you can Google for. But please please don't :).

Feedback Respect Patience

More than anything, Starseed Pilgrim rewards and requires uninterrupted patience. You need to soak yourself in it for long enough that your brain aligns to the way that it needs you to. Instead of ticking away in the back of your subconscious while you do other things, the only way to solve a puzzle in Starseed Pilgrim is to experiment with it, over and over again, rolling with the random nature of things as you go. And for that, you have to invest time in it.

Hell that's another great thing about Starseed - it unapologetically does not aim to be a people pleaser or a product of focus testing. There's no feedback loop either, not even a Zelda treasure chest melody or Gears of War dong.

The journey through and across white space in both instances contains tangents through seeping thoughts and urges, lack of direction or guidance, but also something greater can be achieved if one should stick with it. You don’t become a gifted writer overnight, nor do you solve the mysteries or satisfy curiosity in a single session of Alexander “droqen” Martin’s Starseed Pilgrim.

Starseed Pilgrim is that rare kind of game that treats you with respect, once you’ve earnt it. It’s a strange feeling to be left floundering without any attempt to help you up, but it’s stranger still to then discover that you’re perfectly capable of helping yourself up, and discovering how capable you really are.

Starseed Pilgrim definitely isn't for everyone. Its ambiguity requires patience to understand, and can at times feel like it offers little-to-no reward for considerable effort.

But here we encounter a design misstep. When we pass through the [flip world] exit gate, it looks like nothing has happened. We are dumped straight back in the hub as if we had failed and it is easy to convince ourselves that we fell off the bottom of the screen and died. Were we “punished” for not using the gate properly?

Quite often novice players exhaust their seeds – still trapped in the psychology of running away from the darkness – and take no seeds back with them through the exit gate. As a result, the exit gate appears pointless as nothing changes. I suspect this is the element of Starseed Pilgrim that generates more frustrated, disaffected players than anything else.

This might postpone the moment when we figure out there is a relationship between the pink columns and the seeds, because if we dig horizontally through a column, we do not see the number go up. This feels like obfuscation rather than something that contributes to the game’s mystique.

How many mysteries are too many? Some of the game’s feedback signals have either been purposefully or accidentally obfuscated, testing our endurance – or possibly our luck. Every mystery is a trap into which some players fall and quit. Martin has effectively traded players for more complexity and mystery. Reviewers have written a lot of nice words about the game, yet I wonder how many players have felt deceived.

A game that pushes for the player to discover its mechanics, nuances, and goals through [experimentation]. It becomes fairly repetitive, as you will most likely figure out what you have to do long before you can actually do it, and random, as you really have to adapt to what the game throws at you to proceed, but it's still a neat and enjoyable experience for those who have the patience for it.

Starseed Pilgrim feels more like a world in a box—more like Shigeru Miyamoto’s famous “miniature garden that [players] can put inside their drawer”—than any game I can think of, Proteus or Minecraft included. It offers a literal garden, of course, but more than that, it engages you where other games would merely indulge you, demonstrating patience instead of panicking at a perceived lack of rapt player attention.

It’s OK to feel lost, it seems to suggest, because it’s the only way to feel the intoxicating effect of discovery. I became so angry with Starseed Pilgrim because it purposely allows you, encourages you even, to feel lost. But for the patient, this encourages experimentation: it breeds patience and ingenuity.

This may be an important game; it's not important to me. I still have no idea what I'm doing and don't have the patience to spend any more time on it at the moment.

In Starseed Pilgrim, if you can somehow initiate yourself into the esoteric knowledge base required to play and enjoy, then you will not be rewarded further. Knowledge, in this game, is its own reward, and once that has been gained, then the remaining game is very much the equivalent of the Baby-Saving minigame in Stanley Parable: a tedious grind that does indeed become more potent in meaning with time, but spending the required time and effort (and at the time of this review, $5.99) to reach that false 'nirvana' results in self-destruction.


Recommended to those who would appreciate Starseed Pilgrim as a piece of fascinating artwork, the kind of person who wants games to travel the route of James Joyce into oft-inaccessible academia. Definitely not recommended to those looking for a fun romp in an indie game...

It will be entirely limiting for us if we’re after instant gratification but with a patient play through, there’s a fresh and highly rewarding experience to be had... Starseed Pilgrim will be highly divisive. It can be as good as we have the patience to allow.

There is an ending, but the game is basically split into two parts. A) The exploration of the mechanics part, which takes a few hours. And B) Exploring the World and mastering the mechanics to get to the ending. And I lost interest when I got into B. The game is a masterfully crafted experience for A, but B is "standard" video game fare.

game Experience Discovery

That’s the flow of Starseed Pilgrim – it acts, you respond, then you act and it responds, both changing as each fragment plays out. It’s a conversation with few words but a great deal of power and while it may not be all things to all men, it’ll mean a huge amount to a great many.

The first few hours were easily the best and "special" part of the game. The endgame feels tedious, but its still nice that its there for those who want to play more of it.

Yeah no chance I'm going to bother with the three key doors, it was amazing during the first few hours of discovery though.

The initial lure of this game is the sense of wonder and curiousity. ...

There are no hints. There are no suggestions. You will fail and you will learn. For every step forward, you will make one (or two) back. Just as you have that 'ah-ha!' moment, you will encounter another wall to be scaled. Just as you think you have the very next solution, you will realize you forgot something.


Dive into Starseed Pilgrim, approach it like something wholly new. You are a pilgrim. You are an adventurer. Keep your eyes open: nothing should be ignored, even if you've seen it a dozen times before.


And when you -- inevitably -- fail, pick yourself back up and try again.

 I also stopped playing once I finished the first gamephase of exploring the game mechanics. Which still was worth it to me though.

Pretty cool experience! This game purposely explains almost nothing to you, [forcing] you to discover everything for yourself, you'll either love this or hate this!

This is the first game where I have actually grabbed a real piece of paper and created my own map. Exploring the 'rules' is great fun, then your journey can really begin. Don't expect any hand-holding, but I consider that to be a good thing.

I certainly had no idea what I was doing for the first hour. Starseed Pilgrim players with oblique poetry hanging in the sky. The indie platform puzzler doesn’t hold the player’s hand.

Starseed Pilgrim requires patience. First, the player must discover the control scheme and, soon after, interpret the arcane interface. Second, in the existential vein of game design, the player must determine their purpose and chart the course of their journey. If that journey involves discovering the story and reaching the end of the game, then the next step is to develop the skills needed to outrun the encroaching darkness and satisfy the requirements of the 'challenge levels' in the game.

 If you are willing to be patient with it, the gradual iterative learning process is littered with eureka moments and small victories.

 It's the kind of game that gives you virtually no direction, it just throws you in and expects you to experiment. That kind of game isn't for everyone, but if it sounds like your cup of tea, you'll probably enjoy it. The initial confusion does a wonderful job of promoting the themes of exploration and discovery that are at the core of the game.

 Starseed Pilgrim's true secrets are the ones hidden in plain view. Basic rules about how plants grow and interact which are discovered in the first few minutes of play end up taking on surprising significance. You have all the tools you need to progress right from the start, but you will need to master them... there are no short-cuts. You just need to get better at the game.

The thing that I've been trying to explain to myself is why I felt content to stop. I saw many 8 or 10 different "worlds" and figured out the rules for each, even though I only managed to complete maybe 3. I expect there are other worlds out there, even though I've looped around the meta-world, but I'm fine with not knowing.

I sort of wonder how far people who don't really find the core of the game (jumping, planting, maneuvering, puzzling etc.) enjoyable still feel compelled to play on in order to peel back the layers. All the myth-building around the game seems to create a lot of unreasonable expectations.

To restate from the other thread, at a certain point it turns away from discovery/exploration and becomes about mastery; that is to say, it becomes a Video Game in a much more traditional sense, and as such has an appropriate Video Game endgame.

I think Blow is overselling this game a bit. I mean I love the idea of getting to figure out mechanics and meaning on your own, but it seems to me like the game focuses more on the moments of discovery than on the things you discover, if that makes sense? None of the mechanics have felt to me particularly satisfying or interesting to use. Of course it's cool to go "oooh, that's how it works," but that feeling only lasts for so long.  Having seen some of Blow's talks it's no surprise that he loves it though since a lot of his focus is on creating experiences like that.


"Figuring out this game has been one of the most rewarding game experiences I can ever remember. I still am playing the game with more to do after 10 hours."

Yet the moment when we stain the dull perfection of the hub with colour is sublime

At first, progress is very slow. Building an understanding of these disparate mechanics, and chaining each of the three worlds together effectively, can be exceptionally challenging, but that work translates to an intense feeling of satisfaction. Starseed Pilgrim taps into a much more basic desire to explore and learn, and rewards those who unlock its secrets with deepening inquisitiveness.

I believe Blow tweeted something to the extent of "if you still have questions, you should keep playing," which I think is sound advice. It's just that after about an hour, while there were still questions, I didn't really feel compelled to ask them...

Not up to its hype: frustrating, with little reward. "Exploratory mechanics" end about ten minutes into the game. Was significantly more fun with application of Cheat Engine.

Advice for playing Starseed Pilgrim: As long as you still have questions, continue. challenge yourself, create and build and explore yourself, using techniques that you teach yourself, for no other reason than to satisfy your own curiosity.

The discovery of a second island – which may take several batches of seeds to achieve – changes the game completely. Not only does it confirm we're doing the right thing but turns us into hub explorers. Nonetheless, it takes some courage to “waste” seeds in this way, to have some faith that there is something out there

Starseed Pilgrim is a game about curiosity, wonder, and discovery. The only real driving factor is the player's own inquisitiveness about the game and its mechanics.

The only joy to be found in this game is that once you finally learn the rules and see the grand puzzle spread out ahead, you quickly realize what a chore it will be to see realized. At that point you've invested only maybe an hour or two of your life, and can uninstall it with minimal regrets.


Learning the mechanics was fun, I will admit that. But applying them was not.


I mean curiosity is a pretty basic human response yet it's so rarely used as the main driving force in games. I think the "genre" has a lot of potential and possibly Starseed will not be insignificant to its evolution.

Dont look anything up if you dont want to spoil yourself. The dev deliberately designed the game in a way that is rather unpunishing if you dont know the mechanics yet. You need to explore the GAME, not just the world. Everyone is confused for about 1 hour. Just keep trying and exploring. You wont get the game if you read a FAQ about it.


Since Starseed Pilgrim is all about figuring things out on your own, I'm afraid to say too much. What I am confident in saying is that I'm having a lot of fun with Starseed Pilgrim, the fusion of exploration and a zen-like puzzle/building style of gameplay make it a very enjoyable game to just sit back, relax, and enjoy. My initial impression of the game was a bit hazy as I played through the ""figure-things-out-for-yourself"" phase, but once I got through the first hour I became quite hooked with game--it quickly turned into something I wanted to play all the time.


It's simple in nature, but can offer complexity to those who wish to master it. Don't stop playing too early, as it's never clear what you need to do to win.

The objectives are based in curiosity: the player sees something and naturally wants to know what it is and what it does. Not everyone's curiosity will be piqued; some players will likely lose interest in continuing the expedition pretty early on.

The nature of this game itself is sort of the puzzle. NO LOOKING THINGS UP ON THE INTERNET YOU CHEATER.

It's another Fight Club game, like At A Distance. A game you can't talk about. A game it's even dangerous to acknowledge the existence of. Don't go spoiling it y'hear. Don't go causing no bother, now.

There's a curious dance that people do when talking about Starseed Pilgrim. They're so afraid of spoiling its magic that they weave in and out trying to avoid saying anything at all...  If I told you exactly what the relationship between the light world and the dark world is then maybe it would deprive you of one small moment of discovery, but much more of the game is in making use of that relationship, manipulating it once you understand it.

No. Starseed Pilgrm’s biggest challenge, for me, is a critical one. What to say about a game that would be better passed from hand to hand at bizarre conventions, residing on an unmarked disc with no readme.txt and no explanation. I’d gladly forbid people from trying to explain what they’ve experienced to newcomers because the joy is in the discoveries.

For all you knew, the corruption meant death. But it doesn’t, and in telling you this, another discovery for you to find yourself has been broken. But fear not; these are just the basics of Starseed Pilgrim, and the truth is that there is worth in exploring beyond what may be initially obvious.

Starseed Pilgrim is an enigmatic game, one that could be easily spoiled by a few explanatory lines or a diagram - part platformer and part memory challenge, it hinges on the player's ingenuity and love of discovery. It's one of those that gives back what you put in.

Once I started discovering its secrets, I was surprised by how heavily its proponents have framed it in spoiler warnings. In some ways, because of this mysterious whispering, I was almost disappointed by it (and then I broke through the first three-key door).

This game is amazing! I'll warn you, it can be pretty hit or miss, but if it's a hit, it's a unique experience that you don't want to deprive yourself! I wish I could tell you all about it, but I can't.... When I first looked at screenshots, I saw random squares in patterns that were aesthetically pleasing. Now I look at them and see order. I see several levels of order.

* Learning a new language

* Getting lost in a maze, and that joy when you finally find your way out

* David Bowie's song, ""Moss Garden""

* Discovering that the world is round, firsthand

* The NES game, Wario's Woods

* Your first kiss

* The ""Aha!"" moment that you get when figuring out a puzzle

* The 11th Hour, by Graeme Base

The genius gameplay that it has with it's core mechanics and atmospheric soundtrack will relive the memories of why you like playing games. Just remember not to read any article or spoilers about it, because it will shatter the unique experience that this games creates.

Quite honestly, telling someone how to play the game shouldn’t even be considered a spoiler

While I totally appreciate the non-spoiler cageyness...the game is so cryptic it makes Proteus seem like a giant hand-hold tutorial.

Unfortunately, you cannot talk about Starseed Pilgrim, because that would spoil it for so many others.

I am blown away by the lack of spoilers on the web for this game. Perhaps with the IGF nomination it will get some more players and someone will spoil it. Needless to say, it is pretty darn deep. I am about 8 hours into it (tho it probably took me a while), and there is still stuff I am working towards.

Here's a hint that everyone should take but I was too stupid to realise until a few hours in, will will spoiler just in case: The levels are not where you should be getting better at, it's your homebase. Had completely opposite goal in mind. That homebase you come back to each screen is a garden that can also be planted on! I thought the concrete stuff wouldn't be able to. XD


There seem to be a lot of pretentious reviews for this game on the internet, which really put me off. Despite my criticisms, the dev gave me a copy through twitter. Stripped of the pretty words others seem to lavish on it, it’s basically a platformy puzzler you play at your own pace which you’ll either hate, grow bored of quickly, or love. There is nothing innately pretentious about the game itself which makes me wonder why indie game reviewers try so hard.

Yep. I saw all of those tweets from Jonathon Blow on this. It’s now one of his top games fo all time. And Bennet Foddy of QWOP and CLOP fame says if he could only recommend playing one game to play it would be Starseed Pilgrim. So some very high praise.

"I only know two things about this game.

1) Jonathan Blow is *so angry* that people are talking about Tomb Raider and not it.


2) John Walker doesn’t know what the hell he has just played.

I’m interested."

Starseed Pilgrim is a game of faith more than anything else, faith that the developer isn’t just trolling us and there’s a reward for all our efforts. But no one had faith in Alexander Martin who, until recently, was a relatively unknown developer. He hadn’t yet earned that faith. So players instead put their faith in Jonathan Blow, Bennett Foddy, Rock Paper Shotgun or Eurogamer.

I think the problem was that people who had seen relatively deep into the game's system (Jon Blow, Bennet Foddy) were praising Starseed for its mid and end-game developments, and then subsequent journalists and players mistook that as praise for the initial surface-level game which is... comparatively pretty shallow!


Games like Starseed Pilgrim aren't common. There are no real characters, no tangible plot, and nothing other than an emergent pseudo-narrative that you construct yourself.

"If by this late point in the game you understand the control scheme, GUI, have mastered control of your seeds and have discovered that there is, indeed, a story and challenge like levels, then take a moment to step back and realize that this is a game not about gardening, but colonialism.


You are escaping from an encroaching darkness, but by upsetting the already existing balance of the new world, you bring that same terrible fate upon a place that would have been better off without your existence. Your constructs, your plants, may seem beautiful, but they are merely decorations, fleeting attempts at meaning and growth which simply provide a foothold for the darkness.


With that alone, you should be able to predict the end of this game and the overall message Starseed Pilgrim conveys. What is the historical outcome of pilgrims, fleeing from persecution and slaughter?


Pilgrims bring the same darkness with them and, regardless of their noble intentions, spread the same disease they tried to escape. "

There is a semblance of a story, told through broken stanzas scattered across the world. However, these are intentionally vague and will seem meaningless to new players, which definitely won't help their motivation to press forward.


Also, like Chrysalis, I'd like to know whether the game autosaves before I buy it and potentially lose progress. =P

Thanks for the replies both of you. I'll pick it up. How often does it autosave? Does it give you any indication like an icon?

No pause key becomes a critical issue when working through challenges. The penalty for being distracted with the real world is to lose 10-15 minutes of work.

But still, at least a "pause" function which shows the explored parts of my main world would have been nice.

Well, after playing an hour or two, I managed to possibly reset my progress by accidentally finding a WARNING EVERYTHING WILL BE DELETED screen and getting the starting screen reset back with pink blocks

Sounds pretty unsatisfying. I ended up trying to make a map because I got bored of exploring without any real idea of where I was going.