Starseed Pilgrim is a game about tending a symphonic garden, exploring space, and embracing fate. You are a gardener, tending to empty noise and empty space to fill them both with colour. You are a refugee, building your own world away from the spreading darkness.
User reviews: Mixed (338 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 16, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"I can't tell you anything about this game because the point of it is discovery. If you want a game that is itself a puzzle, this game won't disappoint."
Read the full review here.


"Advice for playing Starseed Pilgrim: As long as you still have questions, continue."
Jonathan Blow

"Unfortunately, you cannot talk about Starseed Pilgrim, because that would spoil it for so many others. There’s unwritten rules at play. But it’s so open to discussion between two or more journeyers who find themselves at similar junctions."
Indie Statik

"It’s OK to feel lost, it seems to suggest, because it’s the only way to feel the intoxicating effect of discovery. I became so angry with Starseed Pilgrim because it purposely allows you, encourages you even, to feel lost.
Game Church

About This Game

Starseed Pilgrim is a game about tending a symphonic garden, exploring space, and embracing fate.

You are a gardener, tending to empty noise and empty space to fill them both with colour.
You are a refugee, building your own world away from the spreading darkness.
You are an explorer, discovering new places, new rules, and new fascinations.

The Universe Is Bigger Than You Know.

System Requirements

Mac OS X


    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive:30 MB HD space


    • Memory:1 GB RAM


    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive:60 MB HD space


    • Memory:1 GB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
I'm ok with the arty-ness of the game. I've played my fair share of games with ambiguous floating meaningful text.

The game has an interesting idea for a puzzle and interesting variations on tsaid puzzles. BUT the game is too random for it to be fun or completable. Completing a "level" to bring seeds back to the "overworld" to explore is fine.

Getting to the challenges in each level is bloody impossible.

Here's why:
- After the first 1-3 seeds, the seeds you get are entirely random. Only restriction to this keeps you from getting the same seed twice in a row.
- How 2 of the 6 seeds grow is semi random. That's a third of what you have to work with and PLENTY enough to mess up your best laid plans.
- Where the keys AND THE ALTERNATE EXIT FOR THE CHALLENGES spawn is completely random. This is the clincher. There is no way you can even BEGIN to formulate a stratagy if you don't know where you're going. You can only do the same basic thing over and over hoping you pointed yourself in the right direction. That is insanity.

Having only one of those randomized would make the game challenging but doable. But Starseed Pilgrim has all three and the end result is tedious, annoying, frustrating, and just not fun.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2014
A great example of how to teach incredibly esoteric gameplay mechanics organically, Starseed Pilgrim does a great job of rewarding your curiosity and forcing you to re-evaluate your tactics, all while putting out a slightly foreboding, minimalist atmosphere.

I'm a fan of being a digital gardener.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 3, 2014
I don't see what the big deal is, frankly. Sure, abstract puzzle game is abstract, but I got bored shortly after figuring out what all the various cubes do, some of which are frustratingly detrimental to your attempts to outrun the blackness that consumes everything. I tried building outwards and upwards, but the game doesn't incentivize... anything, really. Just monotonous, RNG-based attempts to try to farm cubes back up to try to build far out for... some reason, until the blackness eats the cube you're standing on and you have to start over.

It doesn't really evoke the wonders of exploration in the way, say, Antichamber does, which is also artsy, but continuously confronting you with new and novel things and making you wonder what's around the next corner. This game appears to be one vast expanse of jack squat. It feels to me like a test model for a game's systems, but then they forgot to put the actual game in.
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10 of 17 people (59%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2014
It's a bizarre game that is very obtuse and gives little in terms of what it whats you to do. Maybe for some people, but not me.
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11 of 19 people (58%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
I loathe this game. I got taken in by the lavish praise it received when it was first released. The graphics are meh, the sound is okay, the control-reaction isn't great, and the gameplay is grindy and aggravatingly luck-based.

To date, this is by far my greatest buyer-remorse Steam purchase.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
Starseed Pilgrim is pretty great. It's super laid back (most of the time) and it's one of the few games that I'd ever describe as feeling truly mysterious. It was good to play while watching TV, or good as its own activity. I still don't think I've really figured out all of its mysteries, but I'm also still interested.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
I think this is one of those game you like or you don't. What answers I found during my very short time were enough to suggest that they would not provide a sufficient reward for my efforts. Worth a shot I think if the description peaks your interest but I can't recommend it personally.
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7 of 13 people (54%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
Game is frustrating and too vague. Would rather have solid game-play than this awkwardness.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
34.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 7, 2014
A great game with great mechanics. Don't expect much of a narrative...what exists of one is pretty obtuse. The fun comes from gaining an understanding of how each seed works and interacts with it's environment. I found immense pleasure in gradually becoming a "master gardener" of sorts, learning to plan ahead, and staying well out of reach of the mysterious black void.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
29.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2014
this game is awesome. so simple so confusing, but so rewarding to figure out.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 20, 2014
Starseed Pilgrim is about discovery, to an extent which I have never seen before. It is a masterpiece.

The game does not tell you what its mechanics are, what your goal is, or what the narrative is - at least, not directly. Instead, it sets you free to discover whatever you can. Fortunately, you cannot lose, so every step, every success, and every failure, lets you learn something new that will bring you closer to answering the questions you have. If the idea of iteratively poking at an arcane puzzle appeals to you, you will likely love this game.

However, if you consider yourself impatient, it may not be for you. Starseed Pilgrim requires patience, as its discoveries take time to unravel bit by bit. If you don't like failing, that also might mean it's not for you. While the game isn't brutally difficult, you will definitely "fail" many times. Failing is an important part of its learning, as is being able to pick yourself up and try again.

There's not much more I can say about the game, as going deeper into the mechanics would spoil some of the discovery - the very crux of the experience! If you've read this and aren't put off, I heartily recommend that you give Starseed Pilgrim a try. You may fall in love with it as I have. But even if you don't, I can guarantee that it will be unlike anything you've ever played before; that in itself might be worth the price of admission. :)
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
Saying just about anything would be considered a spoiler. This is one of the few games out there that really knows how to surprise players in interesting ways. If that intrigues you then play it, you won't regret doing so.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
12.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
An incredibly challenging action-puzzler disguised as an atmospheric and mysterious platformer. Every time I think I "get it", I realize the game is way deeper than I initially realized. Planning out seed usage and responding to the small amount of randomness makes for a very interesting strategic challenge, and each level has slightly different rules that make you re-think all of your strategies. It's like an open-world Tetris, or a collect-a-thon where you go around picking up a-ha moments.
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111 of 126 people (88%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2013
There seem to be a lot of pretentious reviews for this game on the internet, which really put me off. Despite my criticisms, the dev gave me a copy through twitter. Stripped of the pretty words others seem to lavish on it, it’s basically a platformy puzzler you play at your own pace which you’ll either hate, grow bored of quickly, or love. There is nothing innately pretentious about the game itself which makes me wonder why indie game reviewers try so hard.

In Starseed Pilgrim, you collect “seeds” to build block formations to explore your central hub and unlock other pilgrims. To collect seeds, you must venture into a place where the darkness of space is actively devouring everything. The darkness of space, if you jump into it, inverts the playing field, making those solid blocks into empty space and vice versa. You want to collect seeds and keys in order to get back home and use them. You can’t grow anything in the darkness of space so thought must be invested beforehand.

The game largely leaves you to your own devices, so you’re free to explore whatever you can reach. Different coloured seeds grow into different shapes and sometimes do special things, like provide seeds in the darkness of space or allow you to jump higher. Certain levels have rules. It’s up to you to figure out what does what but nothing is so obtuse that it’s impossible.

If you find peace in repetition and enjoy setting your own goals, I’d say buy this game, otherwise you won’t get much out of it. And on the front of accessibility, the game has colour blind mode on by default and supports scaling. I was appreciative of both.
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155 of 204 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 23, 2014
In Starseed Pilgrim, the first thing you learn is that you can break blocks and plant seeds. You are then set upon a large, earthy block suspended in white void and expected to use your fresh and limited knowledge of this universe so far to explore away from your starting point. Different seeds grow at different speeds, shapes, directions, and wonderful sounds. You plant away and start to climb, sure without being sure that there must be something else in this vast emptiness besides yourself.

There is a challenge to the exploration, discovery, and successful return home – enough that even with the game's insistence on minimal to absent guidance, you'll want to make it at least once.

However, it is after surmounting this first hurdle that I no longer felt compelled to play, because the more I saw of Starseed Pilgrim, the more I recognized it as a solid proof of concept rather than a complete and satisfying game. Allow me to explain.

The blocks, the seeds, and the void are simple components: easily understood with some trial and error. These same elements, however, are also samey to a fault and become bland with overexposure. While the simplicity of the core mechanic is both visually and sonically polished, the simplicity of the game that contains it is lonely and boring; it feels incomplete. You will make your way from base block to base block with practiced efficiency, but there is less and less of a reason for you to do so. Exploration continues to reveal more of the same, as if the game had something against variety in design.

I have heard that, with some doing, you can indeed find the novel experiences that I expected as the rewards for my progress. I'm afraid that I just don't have the patience. I enjoy exploration for exploration's sake, but when a game tells me nothing and shows me even less, should I really be expected to keep at it?
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58 of 81 people (72%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 25, 2014
Starseed Pilgrim is the kind of game where I can't give it a negative review, because it means I don't, "get it," and at the same time, I can't give it a positive review, because its author(s) were so pre-occupied tripping over itself in attempts to be thought-provoking, they seem to have forgotten to include... content. There's symbolism and artistic metaphor, but they're so vague and caved-in under so much repeatition that few, if any, players can actually give them even a minimal identity. There's straightforward gameplay with puzzles to be solved and rewards to be had, but the biggest puzzle is solved the instant the player has planted a seed of each color for the first time and collected a key. The rewards for success are nebulous and consist mostly of being faced with the same puzzle again, while the penalty for failure is also being faced with the same puzzle again. It's essentially entertainment for art-game snobs, who want a reason to laugh at the riff-raff that don't appreciate it the "right" way, and for defeatists who are only comfortable playing in a world where all their actions are doomed to begin with. Certainly, people other than the above mentioned types can enjoy Starseed Pilgrim, but the intentional kind of enjoyment this game produces isn't about trial and error puzzle-play (like House of Dead Ninjas), exploration of a metaphor-strewn environment (like The Path), or even some combination of the two (such as Limbo). Basically, this goes into the same category as "Vinnie Vole's Existentialist Nightmare."
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34 of 41 people (83%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 9, 2014
Exploration, discovery, mystery, wonder, suprise. Just some of the brand of adjectives that seemingly every review of this game coos. And true enough, the game does have that. For the first couple of hours I was glued to the screen while I solved the metapuzzle that is Starseed Pilgrim. The puzzle is to understand the game's mechanics, and wonderful and clever mechanics they are. The problem: the game does nothing afterwards. In the solving of the mechanics, you've already seen all of what the game has to offer. Those nouns above comprise about 10% of your playtime, The rest: repetition. With its involving atmosphere and great use of sound, as well as said mechanics, I was expecting Starseed Pilgrim to evolve into a masterpiece. What a shame.
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32 of 50 people (64%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
This game is amazing! I'll warn you, it can be pretty hit or miss, but if it's a hit, it's a unique experience that you don't want to deprive yourself! I wish I could tell you all about it, but I can't. I can tell you plenty of things its like, but I can't really describe it except for in the very abstract. And my abstract description is that it is a game about learning. There is little in the way of obvious instruction. It's up to you to figure it out. When I first looked at screenshots, I saw random squares in patterns that were aesthetically pleasing. Now I look at them and see order. I see several levels of order. To tell you more about the game would be to rob you of the experience of transitioning from seeing order to seeing chaos as you play this game.

As for things its like, I would say it is like...

* Learning a new language
* Getting lost in a maze, and that joy when you finally find your way out
* David Bowie's song, "Moss Garden"
* Discovering that the world is round, firsthand
* The NES game, Wario's Woods
* Your first kiss
* The "Aha!" moment that you get when figuring out a puzzle
* The 11th Hour, by Graeme Base

If you play this game, I can't promise you you'll love it. It is the sort of game that resonate with some people, but will just not be everyone's cup of tea. What I can tell you is that if it resonates with you, you will REALLY enjoy it, and might find it the most worthwhile game you've bought in a long time.
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23 of 36 people (64%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 8, 2014
You know games like Rogue Legacy or One-Way Heroics or other (usually procedurally-generated) titles where you lose but make progress to assist you in making it to "the end"? Okay, this is that, but incredibly abstract and with no explanations given.

A lot of people recommend going into this blind. I'm gonna break this down into two tiers of review: one that's incredibly minimalist and gives away as little as possible, and one that'll be more detailed for the curious who give no heed about spoilers.

THE BRIEF REVIEW: Game only uses a few keys total. Plant seeds which grow in different ways/have seperate effects based on their color (or shape, if you have colorblind mode on). Your enjoyment will greatly hinge upon how much you want to experiment with this process until you figure basics out. Hint: grow upwards, grow outwards, and remember you can delete blocks beside/below you.

THE SPOILING REVIEW: Seriously, stop reading probably.

Okay anyway.

The game gets a little repetitive as you try to 'grow' Green blocks because they have block seeds in them. Your journeys into the resetting world(s - plural, you need to explore to find new ones) will be based on reaching a black speck in the void to get a key, so you can get inside the structure you've grown, grab the seeds, and use the gate at the bottom to make it 'home' with your haul. Use those to grow out the permanent structure, and find new places/some worldbuilding text.

Do this for a while, blindly seeking out the next area with whatever construction you create. That's the game, and as far as I can tell, it does not change. I cheated and looked around to see if I had anything new coming and went "I think I'm good here" a few worlds in. Not bad, but decide for yourself if this seems like your bag, spoiler-haver.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2013
This game is a simulation of trying to leave the house when you're minutes late for an event you don't want to attend, and realizing after you locked the front door that you've left something important inside. If you like that feeling, you'll like this game.
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