Starseed Pilgrim

Starseed Pilgrim

Gord0n Apr 20, 2013 @ 3:36pm
I feel like the biggest cynic
So I bought the game based on Jonathan Blow's interest in the game and a short video of it.

The idea that the game doesn't tell you about all of its mechanics is interesting but it's also pretty much what Antichamber did.

I've now played 80 min of the game and I have no desire to continue because I've figured out the core mechanics and find them pretty boring and from now on it seems to be just a whole lot of repetition, yes I get that the different "stages" modify it somehow but its still the boring (imo) core gameplay.

There are so many games coming out which so many people are just raving about and that I just look at and think, well yes, that is pretty interesting but what about all of this, that isn't so cool.

So I guess the question is: why do you like this game? Do you disagree and like the core mechanics and think there is sufficient depth to make the repition interesting? Is the draw of mechanical disovery whats exciting you?
I just personally can't understand it outside of an intellectual admiration.
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Showing 1-15 of 27 comments
Ludipe Apr 20, 2013 @ 3:46pm 
Things that keep me playing:
  • I'm still mastering it. Yes, you get the mechanics but then you have to practice to get better, getting to solve the 3-lock puzzle is not easy at first.
  • I'm curious about the poems, usually I am not a collector but I want to see every poem this game has.
  • It can be repetitive but it's also fun.
  • It's relaxing. With the minimalist graphics, the music and the build-your-own-garden thing I just plug my gamepad, lean back and relax for a while.
godly_kirby Apr 20, 2013 @ 5:05pm 
I still find the core gameplay to be enjoyable. It's repetitive yes, but generally speaking the very nature of video games is that a lot of the things you do in them are repetitive. I suppose if you don't find the game fun on a purely mechanical level then that repitition can be grating.

Like Ludipe says, the relaxing atmosphere helps make it even more enjoyable. If I get too frustrated on one of the levels, then I often find myself taking a walk through my garden and I sometimes try to grow new paths between islands. When I get tired of this I'll leisurely walk back to the pilgrim and get back into the game.

The different levels appear to only have tiny adjustments to the games rules, but these small changes have a much larger impact on your seed planting strategies. The gameplay achieves depth this way without having the need for drastically different levels of increasing difficulty. The game may not have a "sand level" or an "underwater level" with their own unique obstacles, but I personally don't believe it needs these things in order to justify its repetitive gameplay.

My only problem with the game so far is that I've reached a point where (I think) I know what I need to accomplish and I'm very close to reaching that goal, but I haven't reached a level of skill where I can proceed any further.

I also believe the game might benefit from having more to discover in the hub world. I might not have found everything yet since I haven't completed the game, but once you've discovered every island and built a road between every one of them, the hub area loses some of its appeal. There's nothing that breaks up 3 key door attempts since you'll always jump right back into that level after failure instead of using any seeds you've recovered to grow out your garden.
Last edited by godly_kirby; Apr 20, 2013 @ 5:06pm
Gord0n Apr 20, 2013 @ 5:22pm 
Thank you for the great replies!

The hub world exploration was probably my favorite part I know this would defeat part of the purpose but I wish I wasn't limited in my seeds in the hub part.

Also for a game that wants you to discover it's mechanics by experimenting it was very punishing at the beginning.

I'm not even sure if that is something I fundamentally like I didn't like it in Antichamber where two puzzles required you to know a random thing about how the blocks behaved to progress, that felt cheap to me. I did spoil some of it for me by watching the quick look of it but I think learning mechanics isn't nearly as appealing to me as figuring out knew ways to use those mechanics to achieve greater things. I think I prefer having the rules spelt out for me but how I handle those be up to me.

Lastly I forgot to mention the text so far I couldn't realy derive any meaning from them but it might because I'm too early into it. And yes it is pretty relaxing the way it's all presented.
Shadowxaf Apr 20, 2013 @ 5:54pm 
It's repetitive in the way Tetris or a rougelike is. (Tetris with 10 variations, I suppose)
How far are you? Many people think they've found everything that there is to find, but missed out on the main goal
Have you unlocked a 3 key lock?
arq Apr 21, 2013 @ 6:28am 
I'm finding really hard to open 3 lock doors. I have opened one, however I think it was more luck than skill, because since then I have tried several times with no success. Tho im adjusting for randomness with skill, I feel this game is pretty hard.
offalynne Apr 21, 2013 @ 7:00am 
Originally posted by Gord0n:
I think learning mechanics isn't nearly as appealing to me as figuring out knew ways to use those mechanics to achieve greater things.

A lot of the reviews and articles at this point are missing the forest for the trees. Sure, figuring out some of the rules early on is important, but none of that really comes into play in a significant or interesting way until you start getting into those 3 key locks.

Chase down that end-game!

Originally posted by Gord0n:
So I guess the question is: why do you like this game? Do you disagree and like the core mechanics and think there is sufficient depth to make the repition interesting?

The challenge levels are pretty choice!
Last edited by offalynne; Apr 21, 2013 @ 7:37am
arq Apr 21, 2013 @ 8:21am 
Update: got my second 3 door and finished the next level there minutes ago. It really is a question of getting ur skills to a point you have control over the world you are in. At one point the black stuff coming wasn't a problem anymore (at the first world).
krahie Apr 21, 2013 @ 2:30pm 
Originally posted by shadowxaf:
It's repetitive in the way Tetris or a rougelike is.
I agree with shadowxaf on this one. Just like in tetris or any given roguelike game, I think the game is fun in the sense that I'm always trying to beat my previous runs in length and I'm constantly trying to improve my skills.

But the one thing that kept me playing was the lie. It's something that intrigued me and kept me playing because I needed to find out the story behind all of the game's symbolism.
nonadvanced Apr 21, 2013 @ 7:42pm 
This game fails. Not even worth the $5. Boring, repetitive, and not even a hint that anything will ever happen after 4+ hours of play. No evident goals, no intrigue. Not even a "hey what's that thing over there? How do I get to it? Nope, just endless blank space." Evidently some other stuff happens, according to some of you. Totally lost interested 3:30 in. You know why there are no spoilers on the internet? BECAUSE NO ONE CARES.
krahie Apr 21, 2013 @ 8:13pm 
This is like saying any given game fails because you don't like it, whether it's good or not. Your post comes across as impatient and intolerant.
Gnynt Apr 25, 2013 @ 3:46pm 
@nonadvanced Even if you didnt like it, How much time did you spend on it? you say it isnt worth 5 bucks, but if you played it for more than two hours, your wrong. in the current age where a movie can cost 20-30 bucks while still having the same ammount of intrigue, this game shows its value.
Kain Klarden Apr 29, 2013 @ 5:48am 
Same here. Dropped it after an hour and can't stand it any longer. I get that some people might enjoy gameplay like this, but for me it's like a huge waste of time and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Again, to each their own and i personally enjoyed Dear Esther a lot (another one of often Blow's recommendations) and i get why a lot of people don't, but what i hate about Starseed Pilgrim is that most reviews I've seen, even from sites i usually admire and like, go with "oh you should discover it for yourself, it's so different" and it's not. You get the point of the game in the first 2 minutes, get the other important info in the next 10 minutes and then need to repeat this over and over and over again for the rest of the game, while getting no real motivation to. Apart from lines of text, hich, to me, seem like the most sadistic way of posting your poem online.
Again, some people might like this super slow and grindy gameplay with puzzle being "how to use seeds i have in the best possible way to get what i need", but I don't. And it's a shame a lot of reviews don't actually describe what the gameplay is. And if i knew it or the game had a demo i would've never bought it. Instead, i got caught with the "it's about discovery" thing and after playing Antichamber and Kairo (which are fantastic, i might add) and bought this game and now feel bad about it:/.
Gord0n Apr 29, 2013 @ 11:04am 
I completely agree, I loved Dear Esther and enjoyed Antichamber (not sure how much fun it was but certainly enjoyable and interesting). I already had a tab open of Kairo now that you mention it as well I think I'm going to buy it.

I understand why Blow loves Starseed Pilgrim but I'm also surprised since he is so much about valuing the player's time which I don't think Starseed Pilgrim does a good job of. I agree that reviews should have at least mentioned the repetitive nature of the game without giving away the specifics.

All that said I don't really regret buying it, it was worth playing to realize why people liked it so much and why I didn't.
Shadowxaf Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:24pm 
Kain and Gord0n, did either of you unlock any 3 key doors? Did you complete any of the levels? (a colored dot is shown under the avatar when you beat a level) I totally understand why you may not like the mechanics, I just want to know if we're describing the same thing.
Last edited by Shadowxaf; Apr 29, 2013 @ 8:31pm
offalynne May 1, 2013 @ 12:10am 
super slow and grindy gameplay

gonna say you most definitely have not 'gotten the point'
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