Spate is a surreal experience set in a world that seeks to draw the player into its reality. Spate is a dark, brooding, and beautifully crafted emotional journey that is seen through the eyes of a struggling addict.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (322 reviews) - 72% of the 322 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 27, 2014

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Recent updates View all (3)

August 22

Mac update, sale, new site

Made some under the hood fixes on the mac version of the game to speed up fps. Also fixed a bug causing the game to look blown out on Mac.

The game will be on sale for the next week. Just a buck fifty!

Spate also has a new home online, www.ericprovan.com/games.

2 comments Read more

Reviews

“Metacritic - "Spate is heavily focused on what it can best deliver: story and atmosphere.”
8/10 – Eurogamer

“Metacritic - "If you loved Limbo, Dear Esther or Gone Home, you will definitely love Spate."”
8.5/10 – SpazioGames

“The variety and uniqueness of the game’s world is truly a joy to encounter.”
5/5 – Gizorama

About This Game

Spate is a surreal experience set in a world that seeks to draw the player into its reality. Spate is a dark, brooding, and beautifully crafted emotional journey that is seen through the eyes of a struggling addict. Created by former Disney & Jim Henson artist Eric Provan, this artistic game is a story about one man's struggle and descent into madness. Fueled by absinthe hallucinations and haunting memories, Spate delivers a deliciously eerie adventure as the main character deals with the tragic loss and grim reality of the death of his daughter.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz CPU (Dual-core recommended)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia 7600, ATI X1600 or better. Preferably with Shader Model 3.0
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2.5 GHz CPU (Quad-core recommended)
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated Video card with Shader model 3.0 support.
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, or later.
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher / Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu, Mint
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz CPU (Dual-core recommended)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated Video card with Shader model 3.0 support.
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (322 reviews)
Recently Posted
victimsofretail
1.6 hrs
Posted: August 22
WOW....just...WOW. Had this for a while, and every so often I rekindle the awesomeness of Spate. Vibrant colors, responsive controls, about as good a platformer as they come...and as an added bonus, you take a 'drink' and the visuals get even trippier. The only downside, personally anyway, is that I put this game aside to play other games, and I forget how awesome it is. If you've ever had the kind of romance that goes hot then cold, and every time you date them again you ask yourself why you stopped...well, this is like that, without whatever guilt trip they thro at you...lol. EASILY worth full price, but a must-buy during a sale!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Spleeno
2.2 hrs
Posted: August 19
The gameplay is nothing special, but I did like the story and the artstyle.
It's not Journey - but its a neat, short experience.
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Humerous Banjo Man
2.9 hrs
Posted: August 5
Best platformer i've played in recent years. Spate delivers a unique experience that sets it apart fom other games of the genre. The tone and the mood make Spate a game that grips you and pulls you into the story. Dispite being a sidescrolling platformer it makes you feel a genuine connection to the protagonist, a trait that not many games can claim. If you are looking for an entertaining, thought provoking game then Spate is a great buy.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
OhMagoo
2.7 hrs
Posted: June 12
Spate is story driven, which means there will be stretches in the game that you will have minimal interaction other than running and occasionally jumping, while the story is being narrated. And the narration is done very well, it reminds me of old black and white detective movies from the 40's.

Although I did die several times. the gameplay is not hard, nor did it reach a frustrating level.

The visuals were awesome IMO

Grab it on sale, set your expectations low, and be pleasantly surprised!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sativlan
1.6 hrs
Posted: June 12
Visually the game was cool looking, that's all it has going for it. You run right the entire time while listening to a vague "story"
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Razomir
3.6 hrs
Posted: May 8
A beautiful descent into the madness of alcoholism. Short, atmospheric and emersive. Not so much a game as a short experience but definitely worth going through.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nova Caine
4.5 hrs
Posted: April 26
This is awesome! It's like a mix of Beetlejuice with BioShock with some twisted yet brilliant mind!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MaFFianCZ
1.5 hrs
Posted: April 16
Don't waste your time.
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[GB] I.Rapid
7.5 hrs
Posted: April 9
If I had to describe what this game was about in 3 words I'd say Alcohol, Family, and Depression.

I got this game after seeing it on Steams store page and decided to buy it after being impressed with It's artwork, voice acting, and story in the trailers.

This game is DARK! The nature of the game, and the overall story is really surreal, and distorted. Spate is a side scrolling story telling game where you pretty much do nothing except scroll to the side and listen to the history of the character you play.
I was really impressed by Spate. The story is outstanding, the voice acting deserves an award, and the visuals altogether are brilliant.

Even though this game only lasted 2 hours I can honestly say this was an experience like no other. I was fascinated by this game. It's not usually a game I would buy, but this has made me consider buying more side scrolling story telling games.

Spate tells the story of an alcoholic detective who cannot get over the loss of his daughter, and collapse of his marriage. When he gets a contract to look for a missing business man on the same Island his daughter went missing the story begins to unravel...

This game leaves you with two endings. It leaves you with a choice. Which one will you decide?
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TheDezPirate
0.3 hrs
Posted: March 20
The story seems interesting enough. I didn't make it very far because it feels a little choppy to me, and it got frustrating to play. Someone else suggested using a controller, so maybe that would have helped but I'm on my laptop.

In the beginning you come to a robot who says "press ACTION button to continue." I have no idea what that means. Which button is the action button? It ended up being the left ALT key on my laptop, but why? There are so many other keys on my laptop, why map it there?

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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
77 of 84 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2014
A fantastic 2.5D jump and run game
Played in a black surreal world, somehow the visuals remind me of American McGee's Alice.
You will follow a story that the narrator, which is the player, will tell you while playing.
There are obstacles but no enemies, except for your faulty jumps and falls.
The music, the colors, the narrator, the rain, everything adds to the atmosphere.
It's not about achieving a big boss goal by fighting your way to this point through loads of enemies (no spoilers here), but about enjoying the story and the surroundings.
You will meet robots, strange creatures, talk to them, come to strange places and you will be seeing stuff that could have been drawn by Dali.
The game is far to fast over if you sit in there and are an avid jump and run player, but just to remind you, you will miss a lot if you just rush through.
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50 of 62 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2014
Fun fact: absinthe doesn't actually cause hallucinations.

Spate is, despite it's erroneous science, immensely beautiful. The surrealistic backdrops and bright colors are truly wonderful. The constant storms, the overlay of winds that manipulate the lighting does add to the chaos of our assigned absinthe addicts mind. It adds to the madness. It's a 2D game in a 3D plane, which gives way to a plethora of amazing art-decisions. There are houses, cliffs, rubble, just floating around, sometimes in front of our screen - this can be incredibly annoying while doing some of the more precise platforming since it obfuscates our path, but it could be intentional to make an otherwise easy game a bit harder(bad way of doing that though). But the 3D and the more modern graphics - if you compare it to other indiegames - is a nice change in the way of storyfocused 2D platformers. Spate always give you something to look at, you will never be bored, visually.

The gameplay is bog standard, but for the most part it's well done, relatively fun and doesn't bring too much frustration to the overall beauteous atmosphere. Parts of the gameplay are not really enjoyable, and doesn't really partake in the physics that the game otherwise upholds. It didn't make sense and it felt contrived. I am mostly referring to the parts where you used a cannon. Especially when you use a cannon to shoot balls into a basket that at the same time moves up and down, it felt out of place and I also fps-dropped in these parts of the game, which made it even worse.These were however short enough to not ruin the experience, but annoying nonetheless. These stops in movement made the game stagnate a bit, it ruined the flow and atmosphere in a way, for me. It felt really gamey, it snapped you out of the game and into a world where you are playing a game, trying to time a frustrating, fps-dropping ball into a bowl which seemingly made nothing happen. It didn't really give you the feedback you needed either to understand that you progressed. Or maybe I was just not paying attention in my boredom. Otherwise the gameplay is okay, but perhaps not the main draw of the game.

The story was interesting. But in a way that reminded me of Contrast, it didn't get it across in the best way possible. The end seemed rushed, lackluster in a way, the death of his daughter didn't really seem to have been absolved. That could just be the ending I chose, the mindless optimist that I am. Which some people may enjoy being there, but it seemed out of character and trivialized the daughters death.
There was also some weird writing, where the robot calls attention to the protagonists alcohol problem and he answer in anger, just after he himself have admitted to it being a problem. It felt like it was forced to give way for a dialogue later on. A dialogue infected by cliché.
The narrator is this deep voiced guy: Jack Bair, sort of sounds like Morgan Freeman and he really makes the narration a joy to listen to. It's a third person telling of what you're doing in the way of Bastion, only it's the protagonist talking from his point of view. And apart from some trite observations, or "ruining" - perhaps confirming - the symbolism you yourself get from the background, the narrator does really add to the game. It's simply great.

So Spate has its moments. It can be hilarious at times, it can be depressing at others. It does illustrate the delirium of an absinthe drinker. It's worthwhile for everything that it is. And for everything that it tries to be. It's intelligent, quirky, surreal, humorous, pretty, colorful. It has spirit.Hehe
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28 of 31 people (90%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 17, 2014
If you played through Limbo and thought to yourself, "Boy, I could really do without the quality level design, evocative story, and intelligent puzzles", then Spate is the game for you. It's a 2D platformer that seems to try and emulate better games but only does so at a superficial level, leaving it completely devoid of any substance at all. The level design is bland, the platforming is unsatisfying, and the game offers little to no challenge at all. The gameplay itself is almost non-existent at times; one level in particular is pretty much a Flappy Bird clone, while another has you sliding down slippery slopes and jumping over gaps for about 2 minutes straight. There are instances where you're doing nothing but moving to the right while admiring the scenery and listening to the narrator go on about regret and how alcohol has consumed his life. It's just all too repetitive and boring.

On the positive side, the game is quite the treat visually and musically. I really enjoyed the art style, in particular the impressive backdrops of each level. The orchestral composition was probably the high-point of the experience. It did a great job of creating atmosphere and was one of the main reasons I continued playing for as long as I did.

All in all, Spate is a game that looks better than it plays. It builds up a strong ambiance, but unfortunately everything beneath that feels empty and shallow.
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
A short, mild/slow platformer with good graphics and a basic story. This game is mostly about visuals and atmosphere. I don't think there is enough or difficult enough platforming to recommend it to someone who is mainly looking for a platformer and I don't think there is enough of a story to recommend it to someone looking for something closer to a visual novel, RPG, or adventure game. Also, there are no puzzles or problem solving in Spate.

If you are looking for an atmospheric game with good visuals and a very basic story, then I would reccomend it.
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26 of 31 people (84%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2014
Spate is a fantastic experience and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

The game takes a very original approach to gameplay story telling and it pays off wonderfully. A deep and insightful story told through a man's journey in an unfamiliar environment.
You'll laugh, you'll feel alone in the world, you'll cry and you'll do all that as you navigate the most amazing landscapes. The graphics, sound and narration combine to make a surreal and irresistable setting. I found myself unable to stop playing it right through to the end as I wanted to see what was coming next. I won't spoil the game by giving any part of the story away as you really need to play through it to appreciate its originality.

I highly recommend this game.
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29 of 38 people (76%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 21, 2014
I greatly enjoy artsy, story-driven "walking simulators", and this seemed right up my alley. It definitely got the artsy walking simulator part down, but the story is really... boring. It's essentially "gosh, absinthe/alcoholism sure did ruin my life, but now it's the only thing keeping me going. Also I'm sad that I lost my wife and child." repeated about 30 times with different wordings. The ending bashes you in the face with symbolism that would make an English teacher proud. "Climbing this tower represents his struggle with alcoholism. The boss at the end sustains his life by feeding off the souls of those around him, just like the main character destroys those around him with his alcoholism."

The platforming bits are alright, but nothing particularly special. And though it might seem petty, I really didn't like the narrator's 1920's New Yorker accent - just didn't seem to fit the character at all. I like these kinds of games for their interesting stories, and this one's just too shallow and unengaging.
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35 of 51 people (69%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 4, 2014
As someone who helped kickstart this game I have to say I am pretty disappointed in it. While the art is beautiful and the story is alright, the gameplay is virtually non-existant. The movement is too slow and of the 84 minutes it took me to complete the game, probably half it was spent just pressing right and literally nothing else. Some of that was to allow you to hear the exposition without distraction, but far too much didn't even have that.

This really should have been a short film rather than a game.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 6, 2015
Press X to drink.

Basically, you are Christopher Walken and you're slowly losing your mind from drinking too much absinthe after the loss of your daughter. A brilliant set up for a story and nothing more needs to be said about that.

Spate is a nice little platformer that you should have no trouble finishing in around 2 hours. There aren't really any enemies to speak of in the traditional platforming sense; Spate is more about platforming and then interacting with characters and objects. Does that make it a puzzle platformer? Not really, no. I wouldn't call anything I came across in this game a puzzle, and to be honest the controls didn't feel particularly tight so it wasn't particularly good as a platformer either, but since nothing too much is expected of you it doesn't really matter that much. In terms of gameplay Spate isn't sounding that good on paper, but it still somehow manages to be a good game.

There are a few things that make Spate a bit special. Being able to drink a seemingly unlimited supply of absinthe as you navigate through the world adds an extra element I haven't seen in many games. The effects of the absinthe warp the screen and environment around you. It makes jumping a little floatier and can affect how some environmental objects function too. While drinking isn't really necessary, you'll find yourself doing it often just for the hell of it. Just like in real life ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°)

What really goes a long way towards making Spate a good game is the fact that it has well thought out audio. The moody string instrument soundtrack adds to the atmosphere of the dark and deranged art style. Spate is narrated by a Christopher Walken sounding man - it's actually Jack Bair, but I've not heard of him before now. Just imagine someone that sounds a bit like Christopher Walken. The only thing I wish was done differently in Spate is that they could have voice acted the dialogue as well as the narration. Having a well done narration (although Jack Bair lacks emotion in some parts where he's meant to be quite upset) makes it seem quite jarring when dialogue appears and it is text only.

I played the game through using only my Xbox 360 controller and it worked very well. There aren't many buttons required, but controller support was good.

I'd recommend Spate based on the art style, the drinking effects, and the narration/music - although it only just scrapes in on the recommendation line for me. Spate is a fairly simple little platformer, but it shows a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing more games from Eric Provan - Ayyo Games.

6.5 out of 10 - Would press X to drink again.
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21 of 27 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 27, 2014
The game is actually an art experience. The gameplay is casual but carefull because you get easily distracted by the amazing graphics. The music fit perfectly the atmosheres.

This little journey is worth each penny of it.

I played it on gnu/linux, the only little thing I did not like: the game did not run with the radeon open source drivers.
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16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
Short (1.5h) experience that's half platformer, half walking simulator, set in a bizarre, dreary 2.5D world.
Controls are not the best, but they are suitable for the game, which is not very difficult. There are places where I died few times, but death only sets you back a little. There are two sections where you fly your airship, which is only controlled by one button similar to "copter.swf" which I played a lot in the early '00s. You also have a button that makes you drink absinth, which makes your screen swirl a little and makes you jump a lot higher. I'm not sure it's required to do so in any point of the game, but it can make your life easier... maybe that was the point of the story?

Narration is done by a guy who does sound like Christopher Walken, the few dialogues the game has are text-only.

Not all is good, though, I noticed few problems. Ingame options (subtitles specifically) are not saved when you exit the game. Sometimes you get stuck walking slowly like you're crouched even if you are not. There was a jump-pad that kept killing me instead of propelling me upwards? A swig of absinth got me out of there.

Sloth Academy rating: 5 silver sloths
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