Starseed Pilgrim

By: Derek Yu

On: April 16th, 2013

Starseed Pilgrim, by Droqen

IGF 2013 Excellence in Design nominee Starseed Pilgrim was released on Steam today (Steam releases were offered to all the nominees this year). This unassuming and enigmatic puzzle platformer has become a hit with a number of indie game developers, including Bennett Foddy (QWOP) and Braid creator Jonathan Blow, who called it his game of the year for 2012. Since so much of the enjoyment from Starseed comes from figuring out how the game works, it’s hard to describe even the basic goals without spoiling it. If that sounds fun to you in and of itself, you should probably give it a go.

  • Bones

    Congratulations Droqen on the release and nomination.

  • Anonymous

    I like it a lot, but the whole “figuring out the mechanics is so much fun” I really don’t get at all.

    I just kinda figured out most of the mechanics, and that was that. It wasn’t a mind blowing experience, I just played the game. In fact in some places it held the fun back, because I’m a bear of little brain and most stuff in life does not slot into place for me.

    I like not having instructions. I like knowing what to do being implicit in the landscape of play. But this is one instance where I felt like the spoilers really had no impact at all. And yet people keep wanking on about them as if it’s something special. It’s not really, it just gets in the way sometimes, otherwise it’s a fun game.

  • offal

    yeah, it does seem a little bit like spin, but i think that’s more what grew out of discussion surrounding the game than original intent. i don’t think figuring out goals is the fun ‘in and of itself’.

    the discussion has less to do with figuring out the initial rules of play and more to do with how later-game stuff is hard to grasp or explain without existing knowledge of the game’s basic rules (which you learn by playing).

    here’s a bit of an explanation, if you don’t care about spoilers:

  • Derek Yu

    I’m open to a better description. I haven’t gotten far enough in the game myself to really know. This is just what I’ve gathered from other people’s conversations and my initial impressions.

  • Zaphos

    I think you can talk about the basic mechanics without spoiling them:

    It is a platformer where you design the spaces you play in by “planting” blocks, which then grow in different patterns — orange blocks sprout into long columns, green blocks grow out in vine-like patterns, etc. The blocks can grow differently depending on what other blocks are nearby, and it’s fun to experiment with them to see how they interact.

    Does saying that much spoil anything? I can’t really see how it would …

  • Zaphos

    (of course there is more to the game than that, but I think that’s about the amount of detail you’d want for a short blog post anyway. maybe a mention of the negative-space stuff too, which would also not be a spoiler imo.)

  • killerstarbunny

    One of the best games ever.

  • lolo


  • chef boyardee


  • Guest

    … …

  • Anonymous

    Frustratingly satisfying.