Don't write off this game for its outdated graphics and simple controls, because it's a wonderfully crafted platformer with a ton of fluid and challenging gameplay. The first thing Celeste players will discover is how good the controls feel. They're tight and responsive, and you really do feel like you're in control of Madeline. Quickly hopping between ledges and over chasms and dashing in the air to avoid spikes, traps, and slippery slopes all feels really good. Along with the directional d-pad there are just three buttons to master -- but timing becomes critical, along with the angle of your jump and how long to hold onto the button for. As the story unravels, you do begin to care about this protagonist and the cast of characters, which gives meaning to your actions. You don't usually find a story in a genre like this -- one that's well written, too.
Each of the eight chapters has a different theme, with an amazing soundtrack to complement the graphics. Rooms, dungeons, and outdoor areas also vary between chapters, as you ascend the mountain. And there are some gameplay tweaks, too, such as using wind to help you in a given area. These changes also help the action feel fresh. You'll spend time looking for secret doors, smashing open items to see what's inside, exploring down hidden paths, and trying to collect floating strawberries and cassette tapes to unlock bonus content. There's not much to complain about with Celeste. The six to seven hours of play (not including extra content) is fair for the $15 price tag, not to mention the quality of this family-friendly game, but some might wish there was more (such as a level editor or multiplayer support). While Celeste may not look like much to passersby, those who enjoy a challenging platformer will no doubt fall for the charm of this awesome indie hit.