Celeste, a platforming game released on January 25, 2018, on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, macOS, and Linux, won the Best Independent Game and Games for Impact awards at The Game Awards 2018. Developed by Maddy Thorson and Noel Berry for the Pico-8 platform, the game now has a sequel: Celeste 2: Lani’s Trek, which was released for free today.
Pico-8, a virtual machine and game engine created by Lexaloffle Games, allows developers users to create music, sound effects, sprites, maps, and games games with the strict limitations of early game consoles and computers. Games are restricted to 128 x 128 resolution, feature a specific 16-color palette, and can be played within a browser.
According to Matt Makes Games, the game’s publisher, Celeste 2 took just three days to make. Released on the third anniversary of the original game, the new platformer introduces Lani, a new character who uses a grappling hook to dash horizontally as she hikes around a mountain.
Last fall, Celeste’s creator Maddy Thorson confirmed that Madeline, the protagonist of the original platformer, is transgender. “Well, yeah, of course she is,” Thorson wrote on their Medium page. “During Celeste’s development, I did not know that Madeline or myself were trans. During the Farewell DLC’s development, I began to form a hunch. Post-development, I now know that we both are.”
The original game as well as its soundtrack received critical acclaim upon release. The game was praised for its story and the way it was blended with the gameplay. Celeste has sold more than a million copies with the Switch version being the most successful. Late last year, the game was released on Xbox Game Pass.
Celeste 2 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Raspberry Pi for free by clicking the link to the game’s Itch.io page, or played on your browser at that link. The soundtrack, composed by Lena Raine, is available on Bandcamp. Raine also composed music for Minecraft, creating four new pieces of music which were included in the 1.16 Nether Update, as well as, the soundtrack for the upcoming game, Chicory: A Colorful Tale.
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