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:
Overall:
Mixed (399 reviews) - 55% of the 399 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 16, 2013

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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
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mixed (399 reviews)
Recently Posted
zrw
43.6 hrs
Posted: August 3
the end made me feel good about myself
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ryguy
1.3 hrs
Posted: July 30
After about 45 minutes of playing and keeping an open mind, I wondered if there was something I'm missing.... There wasn't. The playforming is clunky, the sense of discovery is unfulfilling, the game itself is monotonous, and the philosophy is pretentious and falls short. Frankly, Starseed Pilgrim was a disappointing waste of time and money.
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Greznox
4.8 hrs
Posted: July 27
I like this game a whole lot and, after seeing the less then stellar average review score, I just wanted to let everybody know that this game is a perfect supplement to whatever your already playing right now. The perfect complimentary game, kick back and enjoy!
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Dinche
4.1 hrs
Posted: July 23
For people who are interested in game design, Starseed Pilgrim is a very interesting game to study. The player is dropped into the game world with little, if any, instructions or hints. They must experiment with the mechanics to discover their behaviour and relationships.

While players looking for a fun, familiar puzzle game won't find it here, players willing to dig deeper and figure out how the game works for themselves will be rewarded. Once past the initial confusion, the game's minimalist approach is refreshing. Each new discovery or "aha" moment is totally worth it, because you will have earned it by yourself.
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hi mom ♥
5.1 hrs
Posted: July 13
this game is a historical lesson of the pilgrims coming to america to seed in the natives.

8/10 should be named seed pilgrim.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
RutulianJoe
7.3 hrs
Posted: July 5
lobely pubble game, highly reccobenb
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Larrezi
13.8 hrs
Posted: July 3
Take your time, don't rush it, and this game will grow into you like a seed in the soil. It is extremely difficult to win (I only completed one or two of the challenges), but once you get the grip of it, you're up to a rewarding experience.
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eli
5.6 hrs
Posted: July 1
A beautiful, enigmatic little gem of a game. It's wonderful.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
celko
0.2 hrs
Posted: June 26
I don't get it.
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Jack
1.0 hrs
Posted: June 24
I'm not about to spend another half hour trying to grow blocks up next to another block only to get ♥♥♥♥ed over at the last moment by RNG. I'm not going to spend another half hour making exactly 0 progress when I know precisely what I have to do to achieve progress
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 30
After about 45 minutes of playing and keeping an open mind, I wondered if there was something I'm missing.... There wasn't. The playforming is clunky, the sense of discovery is unfulfilling, the game itself is monotonous, and the philosophy is pretentious and falls short. Frankly, Starseed Pilgrim was a disappointing waste of time and money.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
130 of 155 people (84%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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198 of 262 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
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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77 of 105 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
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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44 of 56 people (79%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
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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35 of 56 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
8.2 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
13 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
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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16 of 24 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.8 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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24 of 41 people (59%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
Starseed Pilgrim manages to be about so many things, and conveys all of that meaning through the simple act of playing, discovering, and exploring. The writing is beautiful, but what really hits me is when I realize the game is about x... and then after a while I realize it's really about y... and then I discover z, which totally changes my previous perception of the game. It's a never-ending process (at least, I haven't reached the end, yet) that manages to be consistently surprising, challenging, and thought-provoking. Highly recommended.
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