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 (321 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.

Reviews

"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

Windows
Mac OS X

    Minimum:

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

    Recommended:

    • Memory:1 GB RAM

    Minimum:

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

    Recommended:

    • Memory:1 GB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
57 of 78 people (73%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
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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25 of 31 people (81%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
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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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 4
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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7 of 12 people (58%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
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 20 people (55%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
Boring and pointlessly obfuscated. Less a game and more a, er, gardening experience?
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 29
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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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
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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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
If you have the time to invest in this fun little puzzler of a game, you're going to love the outcome. The musical accompaniment to every starseed being grown, and lighting of the pixels that will brighten up your room even if you have a solar system floating in it.
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6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Game is frustrating and too vague. Would rather have solid game-play than this awkwardness.
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8 of 15 people (53%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
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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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
29.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
this game is awesome. so simple so confusing, but so rewarding to figure out.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
16.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
This game is not for everyone.

To explain this game would spoil the whole game. Discovery is the point.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, and you don't mind being frustrated, you probably would enjoy Starseed Pilgrim.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
Has more depth and importance in the first five minutes than Bioshock Infinite had in its first five hours.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
Let me just say, this game is a good concept for what it is. At first when I got it I was expecting something like Fez, and that's what I got as a matter of fact... the game gives you that feel and atmosphere that Fez gives. It's almost creepy in a way, but I like that.

You start off in a room which shows you the digging mechanics and, if you dig enough, a simple little rhyme with the names of the developers underneath it. After that, you fall onto a platform with little heart-filled blocks, which give you the "seeds" of the game, hence the name. When you enter the "first" area, (I'm not quite sure if it's the first area or just ONE of the areas to be honest) you get 10 of those seeds. The seed blocks seem to be the first you get everytime.

At first, I thought the goal of the game was to simply plant as much as I possibly could, but then I noticed the giant blackish void infecting the blocks. I then thought I had to outgrow the void and simply get away from it. Obviously, I died, but when I died I entered some black zone. This zone keeps track of the blocks you previously placed, and inverts the air and the blocks to make a sort of jumping zone that you have to grab items in.

To be quite honest, I'm not sure what the keys even do, I managed to grab one, but it didn't unlock anything that I could visibly see, nor did I get any items for grabbing it.

My breakdown is that the game is for those who like to figure out challenges for themselves. If you're expecting some puzzle to be presented to you in it, you've got the wrong game, but some people like that sort of thing. Other than that the sounds are quite pretty, but unfortunately cosmetics don't make up for something that just isn't very much fun. I wish I had the drive to play it further... sadly though I don't.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Kind of weird, not what I was expecting. Good for 10 or 20 minutes, not much value past that.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
I got this in a humble bundle and just got around to pay it, which is good because I got some good games which takes away from my remorse of having this in my library. Dull, slow, repetitive, luck-based, trying to be misterious but instead makes itsellf badly explained. I normally like this kind of game but I do not reccomend this
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
I'm not going to lie, it can be incredibly difficult to get into this game, as there is pretty much no tutorial to speak of. However, if you put in the time and the patience, you will begin to discover its secrets and mysteries.

For me, it took quite a while to get into, and I originally just thought it was just another frustrating platformer. However, once I began to dig into the game, it became one of my favorites. I cannot stop thinking about it.

In my opinion, Starseed Pilgrim is one of the most beautiful games ever made.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
Starseed Pilgrim is a minimalistic but beautiful, secretive puzzle. It challenges the player to keep searching the allegedly endless space for answers.

The gameplay is intuitive but is layed out implicitly. Learning by doing - experiencing how the environment reacts to actions is a steady part of the progression and the core of this game. And with every seed you, the pilgrim, plant, you close on to a final, yet unknown goal.

I recommend this very relaxing, engaging and interesting experience not as a game but as an experiment to dive into and learn from.
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109 of 124 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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