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 (394 reviews) - 55% of the 394 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
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (394 reviews)
Recently Posted
Quaznarg
( 26.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
Do I recomend this game? Yes.

Will you like it? Maybe.

This game is kind of like if an endless runner had a child with a level editor. It's unique and very interesting.

All I can really say is don't give up on the game until you have found out what the actual goal of the game is, because there is one.

I personally love this game. It's flawed, it seems that some people have a problem with the random number generator, and that's fine, but this game rewards you for trying to beat it. I feel the progression is more along the lines of the souls games. All the tools are there from the get-go, it's up to you to master them.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
celko
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
I don't get it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jack
( 1.0 hrs on record )
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
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PrincessSmilez
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 21
I have a love/dislike relationship with this game. Although I don't understand the aim or instructions of the game, I find it relaxing after a harsh game. It can get a bit frustrating at times. But, totally a fun game and worth trying out. Given it isn't for everyone so many research on it more before actually getting it. :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheTitaniumDragon
( 1.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 19
People say "You need to experience this game for yourself." They behave in an obtuse manner, as if there is some grand secret there, something that is wonderous that is just hidden away.

They're lying. There isn't anything here.

The game is garbage. You plant seeds. They grow. There are some mechanics related to them - the pink seeds can be harvested for more seeds. The bush sprouts heart flowers which can be collected when you go into the void. The orange block's growth is dependent on whether it has space to grow horizontally. The red one explodes outwards in blocks and will throw you into the void if you stand too close.

Your goal is to get to the void star blocks - not the one on the bottom, but ones which are off isolated on far edges of the screen. These turn into keys when you step into them, but unless you have brought your blocks up adjacent to it, you'll have no way out.

Once you grab your key, you can go back to the start and go back into the main world, where you can plant seeds and grow to reach other areas with bits of esoteric poetry hanging in the sky.

There's a hidden block with three little stars in it which spawns a three keyhole exit. Bringing three keys to it will let you unlock some secret levels which can then be navigated to completion.

There are a number of levels in the game, and they all LOOK the same, but are functionally slightly different. The void doesn't absorb you in some. You can't destroy blocks in others. The list goes on.

The way they describe it, it seems like an unlocking, unfolding type game, but it isn't. It is just the very basic growing mechanics which the game is obtuse about. That's the limit of the discoveries in the game.

It is boring. And it is a waste of time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
equinator
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
In my opinion, excessive RNG battles does not equate to welcome difficulty. In this game, you are given a random sequence of seeds that will grow in a completely random way. Yes, there are ways you can abet the enemy of randomness by planting them strategically, but unlike something like Tetris, where the player's strategy and direct control ultimately allows them to conquer the RNG, this game turns up the randomness times 10, and when the RNG beats you, it beats you HARD by throwing a wrench in your plans that you can't do anything about. Imagine if Tetris occasionally gave you an awkward shape that has 20 squares in it.

The discourse around this game will scoff at you and tell you that you just aren't artsy/smart enough, and you should go back to playing your easy games like CoD and AC, you non-progressive little pleb. I think this is just an unfortunate legacy from older players whose nascent years were the 80s and 90s, when publishers had to convince us that excessive trial-and-error punishment and RNG-derived difficulty were good things. If you are fine with (or enjoy) such game design, then you will actually find a really neat puzzle game underneath these things that I hate.

I definitely would have given this a thumbs up if it weren't for how punishing the RNG is, because the concept of the puzzle itself is fun, discovering the mechanics was fun, and the aesthetics were cool. It definitely isn't worth 6 dollars in my eyes (good thing I got it in a bundle), but I could universally recommend it more if it were around a dollar.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
huenm
( 28.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
This game got me back into gaming for it's minimalism game design. I can't but help but compare it to Tetris. In both you're constantly buidling yourself out of puzzle death. This is one of those games you'll start to dream about because it's mesmirizing, challenging, and creative. I loved this game. While the later stages are very strange and the story is simply vague, the game mechanics are brilliant. This is not an easy game. I died a ton of times yet I came back for more. The one downside is that you can sort of master this game. In the later stages I was frankly a little bit bored because I managed to sort out the best way of building without a sweat. However, learning how to master this game WITHOUT any sort of hand-holding or tutorial is the best way to play this game. I really hope they make a sequel, especially with online multiplayer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Graggle fraggle
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 6
Devs had their heads up their asses.
Humble Bundle only.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Awpteamoose#2687
( 15.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
Don't trust the negative reviews, the game is brilliant. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you can handle a bit of frustration during the initial few hours of confusion, you'll slowly start getting the hang of it and obtaining mastery and then you'll find yourself still playing it at 5 AM.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Misfit (tylerg1❖)
( 16.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 27
Interesting and unique.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
In my opinion, excessive RNG battles does not equate to welcome difficulty. In this game, you are given a random sequence of seeds that will grow in a completely random way. Yes, there are ways you can abet the enemy of randomness by planting them strategically, but unlike something like Tetris, where the player's strategy and direct control ultimately allows them to conquer the RNG, this game turns up the randomness times 10, and when the RNG beats you, it beats you HARD by throwing a wrench in your plans that you can't do anything about. Imagine if Tetris occasionally gave you an awkward shape that has 20 squares in it.

The discourse around this game will scoff at you and tell you that you just aren't artsy/smart enough, and you should go back to playing your easy games like CoD and AC, you non-progressive little pleb. I think this is just an unfortunate legacy from older players whose nascent years were the 80s and 90s, when publishers had to convince us that excessive trial-and-error punishment and RNG-derived difficulty were good things. If you are fine with (or enjoy) such game design, then you will actually find a really neat puzzle game underneath these things that I hate.

I definitely would have given this a thumbs up if it weren't for how punishing the RNG is, because the concept of the puzzle itself is fun, discovering the mechanics was fun, and the aesthetics were cool. It definitely isn't worth 6 dollars in my eyes (good thing I got it in a bundle), but I could universally recommend it more if it were around a dollar.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
I have a love/dislike relationship with this game. Although I don't understand the aim or instructions of the game, I find it relaxing after a harsh game. It can get a bit frustrating at times. But, totally a fun game and worth trying out. Given it isn't for everyone so many research on it more before actually getting it. :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
People say "You need to experience this game for yourself." They behave in an obtuse manner, as if there is some grand secret there, something that is wonderous that is just hidden away.

They're lying. There isn't anything here.

The game is garbage. You plant seeds. They grow. There are some mechanics related to them - the pink seeds can be harvested for more seeds. The bush sprouts heart flowers which can be collected when you go into the void. The orange block's growth is dependent on whether it has space to grow horizontally. The red one explodes outwards in blocks and will throw you into the void if you stand too close.

Your goal is to get to the void star blocks - not the one on the bottom, but ones which are off isolated on far edges of the screen. These turn into keys when you step into them, but unless you have brought your blocks up adjacent to it, you'll have no way out.

Once you grab your key, you can go back to the start and go back into the main world, where you can plant seeds and grow to reach other areas with bits of esoteric poetry hanging in the sky.

There's a hidden block with three little stars in it which spawns a three keyhole exit. Bringing three keys to it will let you unlock some secret levels which can then be navigated to completion.

There are a number of levels in the game, and they all LOOK the same, but are functionally slightly different. The void doesn't absorb you in some. You can't destroy blocks in others. The list goes on.

The way they describe it, it seems like an unlocking, unfolding type game, but it isn't. It is just the very basic growing mechanics which the game is obtuse about. That's the limit of the discoveries in the game.

It is boring. And it is a waste of time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
127 of 151 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
194 of 257 people (75%) 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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75 of 102 people (74%) 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 55 people (80%) 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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33 of 54 people (61%) 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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21 of 32 people (66%) found this review helpful
12 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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