Stela is a cinematic, atmospheric platformer about a young woman witnessing the final days of a mysterious ancient world.
About The Game
I got this game on a whim and…enjoyed it a surprising amount. It kept me occupied for the 2 hours it took me to beat it. The conceit is that…well, it’s one of those “minimal narrative” games. It’s a pretty standard puzzle-platformer, there’s no combat and you have to avoid enemies, but essentially, it seems like there’s been an apocalypse or something with mutated humans and all that in a fantasy world with magic, and you have to guide a young woman through all these dangers by jumping over pits, grabbing boxes to climb to reach new areas, and so on.
Now, another steam reviewer mentioned that this game is very, very similar to Inside, Stela another puzzle-platformer released a while ago. I haven’t played that game so I can’t speak to that, though if the reviewer’s accusation is true I’d take a few points off for lack of originality. Even beyond that, though…I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but I really do feel like I’ve played this game before. The ‘minimalist narrative’ thing has been played through so many times ever since Shadow of the Colossus. And while the game looks nice, and the puzzles are inventive and engaging without being too difficult, even after 2 hours I was starting to feel a little bored.
Stela, Like I said, maybe it’s just me and having played so many of these sorts of games before, but on the other hand, the game does cost 20 bucks (albeit it’s 16 bucks with a sale right now), and that’s arguably way too much money for only 2 hours of gameplay. However, there are some secrets and stuff I didn’t get in my playthrough, and finding those might extend the game’s life considerably.
Despite these caveats, why would I recommend this game? Well, the graphics, and more than that, the aesthetic direction–the architecture of the world, the level design, and so on–bespeak a great deal of effort put into the game, and the music really is very good. So even though the price is very steep for 2 hours, I’m willing to pay it to show my support for the hard work of the devs. But other players might not be so generous, so if you’re one of them, keep that in mind for this review.
- OS: Windows 7 w/ SP1, 64-bit
- Processor: Intel CPU Core i5
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: Intel UHD 600, 2 GB VRAM
- Storage: 4 GB available space