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: Mostly Positive (167 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 27, 2014

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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

Feature List

  • Visuals - Artist Eric Provan, previously of Jim Henson, Walt Disney, and Sony Animation, has created an unforgettably surreal steampunk world. Layered with rain, symbolism, and atmosphere.

  • Narration - Fully narrated by award winning Voice Actor Jack Bair

  • Story - Join the detective on a missing persons case that brings him to the mysterious X Zone islands. He hopes to uncover some of the island’s mysterious, but is finding it increasingly difficult to battle his own pain; the death of his daughter and his growing alcohol problem. Will he succumb to the impending madness?

  • Secrets - Discover tons of hidden content and easter eggs

  • Alternate Endings - Which path will you chose to take?

  • Drink - Take a swig of absinthe at any point in the game. Side-effects may occur.

  • Soundtrack - Enjoy the haunting handcrafted score by award winning composer Mike Raznick

  • Controls - Fully tested with Xbox360 controller and Logitech Gamepad F31

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

PC
Mac
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
    • Hard Drive: 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.
    • Hard Drive: 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
    • Hard Drive: 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.
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
have trouble with sleep? try this medicine...
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2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
Pretty much what the tittle says. I thought this was a really great/deep/one of a kind experience that I wasn't really expecting. I was following this game for quite awhile and then had forgotton about it till it showed up on a steam sale recently. The game is short, but I'm okay with that, the story is as unique as it is weird and the narration I thought was very good actually. Perhaps was expecting more for the ending, but it was still very rewarding none the less as the game does a really good job and making you keep guessing exactly what the hell is going on.

Graphically was beautiful and the orchstral soundtrack really did the game justice, fantastic music. Loved how you can just drink endlessly and the weird funny effects that it does on the game can really trip you for a loop! Beautiful game with quite a deep story even though it is short, and read the credits, some meaningfull stuff in there I wasn't expecting either, so take the time to read some of em....

Game ran flawlessly for me with great mechanics. Ending was unique and just enough to walk away with a satisfied feel you finished the game. I hope there will be another game someday with perhaps more to it, doesn't matter if its a sequal or a whole new story/adventure. There isn't many games that are so simple, but yet, move me a little and this did that.... If you're thinking about buying this game, just don't think about it what this game is when you play it, just let the game take you on its journey is really the best way to describe how to play this game....

I highly reccomend this game, especially when it was only $3.99 from sale.

1 side note though:
Game isn't optimized very well, It ran good for me, but then I am sitting with a GTX 980 so it would but I would go from 220FPS down to 40 something without much going on with my GPU/CPU or much going on the screen.
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2.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
If you are trying to find a beautiful audiovisual experience which is more an art than a game then this game is way to go. If you try to find a game where you have lots of challenges in gameplay, this won't be it.

As a game this is very easy to play through if you have any kind of experience about platformers before this. Still, sometimes it is very relaxing to play games which is as easy as this is, so I wouldn't say that it is a bad thing that this game was easy to play - especially because the best parts (for me at least) of this game was not the actual gameplay but music, story and graphics.

Probably it is easier to think this game as an interactive audiovisual experience and art than a game. I recommend this :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
As a game, it is tedious, as a narrative, it is boring as hell. Don't buy, play Limbo instead.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
First of all, its negative points:
* Becomes a 2D walking simulator from time to time
* Has some bugs (neither pleasant, nor game breaking)
* Has mediocre endings (I actually seen only one of them, did not bother for the other)
* My laptop could not keep the framerates up (or even stable)
* The game screams Unity engine
* Not worth replay

Despite these negative points, I can't not recommend the game... I think this is because of the robot. That little ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ grew on me. Hence considering its cool graphics, good music and average story, the game could barely get a recommendation from me.

Buy it when you see on sale, and when you have spare 2 hours.
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1.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
This game is marvelous. The Story is gripping. The art style is breathtaking. The score and ambiance is thrilling. And the effect of the green fairy is so surreal. Definitely suggest playing, or at least watching someone play it.
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1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 12
Pro - Great voice acting in a unique platformer.
Con - Terrible script with little depth, I gotta hate on Spate.
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1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
Beautiful game, keeps you wanting to play more as the story is so engaging. The graphics are surreal and fantastic, there are no games like it!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
Nice Atmospheric game, though not really interesting for me 4/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
Beautiful, haunting and surreal, Spate delivers on story and atmosphere but its lack of gameplay, longevity and replayability stop it from going form good to great.
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1.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
Visually impressive, but otherwise mediocre. Platforming is fairly simple, the plot is dark and slow (with a message about drinking, I guess), and there's much too much holding down the right arrow key with nothing in your way. Worth the 90 minutes to play through, but not much more. It can't compete with Braid or LIMBO.
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1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Very touching story. It has lots of platforming, but the game is about the story. Took 90 minutes to complete in which I choose the good ending. Only complaint is you have to start a new save and playthrough the entire game to see the bad ending, which I don't see on Youtube. But on a video someone does describe it in the comments. Needless to say I didn't playthrough the entire game to see that ending.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
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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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
Spate... If I was asked to give a list of examples of how to make a so-so atmospheric platformer, I wouldn't hand over Spate, because that would imply that this game was good enough to even be considered "only" mediocre. No, Spate is the epitome of what people who hate the genre believe it is: creepy/trippy backdrops to make up for a dearth of actual gameplay elements.

Spate is the story of a detective who ventures to an supposedly uninhabited island that was once the scene of a mass disappearance of its citizens, and is now covered in a layer of fog and precipitation. His goal is to find some missing entrepreneur, but that quickly resolves itself to make way for heavy handed existential talk of him losing his daughter. You really begin to feel for the good detective when transparent photos of his deceased daughter are superimposed in the background. It looks as terrible as it sounds, but sounds nowhere near as terrible as the voice actor who portrays our detective. More often than not, Detective Hevyhans sounds like one of the more hilarious Christopher Walken impersonations littering youtube. It's as if the actor who portrays him truly means to do his best to destroy any remaining potential for solid exposition, at least any that the highschool level monologue that runs ad nauseam fails to deal with.

Levels typically consist of overly long straight and narrow pathways, and occasionally these turn into overly long platforming segments where the platforms barely differentiate in height, size, or distance from each other. And don't worry, equally mediocre jumping controls complement these mediocre jumpways. Some areas introduce more puzzling elements, and I don't mean that they in any way promote thought on the part of the player. An early example of puzzling elements include machinery (usually controlling buzzsaws) that may try to throw a wrench in your plan to move rightward. There is no rhyme or reason to their inclusion in the game, and they don't even match with the surrounding scenery. So why are they here? Likely because someone played too much LIMBO whilst developing Spate.

Another puzzling addition to the game is the inclusion of a "drink" button. This lets you take a swig of absinthe whenever you please, because your daughter's dead, which twists the world a bit, adding oddities like eyes to trees and giant floating fish in the sky. It also allows you to jump really high, because absinthe is apparently a very powerful hallucinogen, now. From what I've played, there's no point to the function, other than to break up the monotony of moving right for minutes while nothing happens. I've never needed the high jump, and the "hallucinogenic" effects wear off in a matter of seconds unless you smack the "drink" button between every couple of breaths.

Spate does do one thing right. It gives me an even higher appreciation of games that absolutely nail the whole atmospheric bit, like LIMBO. I remember first playing LIMBO years ago, thinking how easy it would be to make a similar game. After all, how difficult could such a minimalist experience be to create? If Spate is any indication, I clearly gave the creators of LIMBO far too little credit.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
Before I start this game review I will tell you a little bit of info about the game creator Eric Provan.

Mr. Provan has a lot of experience in animation since he worked at Walt Disney Studios, Jim Henson's Creature Shop & Sony Animation so artistically he knows what he is doing but anyways I'll try my best to explain the highs & lows on this little game.

Spate is a steampunk themed run & jump platformer that surprisingly tells a good story (It also has a badass narrator) about alcohol addiction or the fact that any drug can make you see crazy ♥♥♥♥ but be aware the game does more storytelling than actual gameplay so I'm just telling you now in case you are thinking of buying it (Think of it like Dear Esther meets a platformer). Mike Raznik's haunting/lonely orchestra soundtrack is one of the best videogame soundtracks I have ever listened too in a while with steady perfection with the violin, cello, bassoon & the oboe with a sprinkle of some vocals added in the mix (Give a look at his music it's ♥♥♥♥ing awesome http://mikeraznick.bandcamp.com/ you won't regret it). Artistically it's like being in a horror museum with weird content like a green vulture head with orange stripes for example so if you like weird art Eric Provan is your guy (I have no words to say how amazing the artstyle is).

I'm not going to explain the story much because I suck at explaining stories but I will say that it involves a depressed dad (Detective Bluth) who lost his wife through his absinthe addiction & his daughter is dead so it's just an idea of what some of the story is. The biggest con I can give this game is the option menu because it really doesn't offer much besides rebinding your controls for example & the gameplay might be a turn off for most people because of how simple it is. (I finished the game in 1 hour & the game tries to be more interesting with the use of side effects from drinking absinthe, using a cannon or driving a submarine but the gameplay feels boring/bland to be honest)

Overall this little game delivered amazing music, a good story & some kickass art so I hope you can support Mr. Provan's 1st game.

Additional Notes:

I'm going to promote some of Eric's inspirations for making this game so make sure to check them out. (Here is his IMDB profile if you don't believe he worked in the film business http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2846786/ & honestly anyone who has a history of working with films automatically gets money from me)

http://www.syfy.com/creatureshop

http://www.waltdisneystudios.com/

http://www.sonypicturesanimation.com/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/48000/

As much as I hate IGN I'm also going to show you Eric's Game Boss award as a bonus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AljUclbAYKY&feature=
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 17
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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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 22
Dear god. This game was seriously epic! And I'm not even into platformers!

Long Review:
When I got this game from a friend, I didn't expect much. I installed it and when I loaded it up, I instantly saw the graphics where fenomenal. I created a save and started playing. It sounded like the narrator was Morgan Freeman, which was pretty rad. The story was very emotional but very creative, too. The world has some issues like certain objects not working like they're used to, so that's a shame. Aswell as some walking/crouching bugs, whereas I went crouching, I was stuck in a constant crouching mode unable to quit it. Luckely you can reset yourself to the last checkpoint to fix this. World bugs are easily fixed by leaving to the menu and going back into your save. What more can I say?

Rates:
Graphics: 9.5/10
Story: 10/10
Mechanics: 7.5/10
Creativity: 8.5/10

tl;dr version:
sp8 is gr8 m8 8/8 no need 4 a deb8 i apprici8

r8es:
gam: 8/8
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
Just AMAZING game.I have no words for it.Maybe the BEST 2D platformer game i ever played ,The story is amazing,graphics is incredibly beautiful,atmosphere is superb,nature in the best,the plants water etc... just beautiful.If you like the game *Trine* for the beauty,than you are definitely gona love this game.
I suggest this game to every one who like this tipes of exploration/adventure tipes of platformer game.

10/10
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 26
Spate reminds me of so many things, from Limbo, to The Wicker Man, of all things. In Spate you play as a detective sent to an abandoned island to investigate the disappearance of a business man. Detective Bluth has a troubled past, as most detectives seem to have, involving his daughter disappearing, his wife leaving him, and having a drinking problem, which makes its way into the game as a surprising game mechanic.
The first thing I noticed right away just by the game's screenshots is the game's style is gorgeous. They even say in the discription that they took influence from several artists such as Jim Henson and Dr. Seus. They way I could describe the overall style of the game is, Tim Burton remaking "The Wicker Man" with elements of Dr. Seus.
The other cool mechanic of the game is the use of the main character's addiction. The game itself is a puzzle-platformer, like Limbo. And the reason the game looks so surreal is you don't know how much of the strangeness is real and how much of it is hallucinations from his addiction. And by drinking the alchohol during a puzzle it will make completing the puzzle easier. My only complaint about this that only a few puzzles actually needed to use the mechanic on. I like that it didn't force the mechanic on you, but the puzzles just seemed a little too easy, at least to me. I feel it could been a little bit harder to really make you sort of fight yourself not to use the alcohol. For the most part I just said "Okay I'll try not to use it!" and I didn't really have to try.
The story also keeps you interested. The main character slowly feeds you what happened to him in his life and why he's become like this, and what's really going on, on this myserious island.
The only other thing I have to complain about is the ending, or should I say endings. The game has two different endings. And while I liked them both, I feel like the way you get them could have been handled a lot better. I feel like what they should have done was one ending you get if you solved more puzzles without the need for the addictive substance, and the other ending you get if you rely on it too much.
It's also surprisingly short, it only took me 99 minutes to complete on my first try. But to the game's credit I'm not sure how they really could have made it any longer without it feeling like they were dragging it out.
Overall I liked Spate, it's a little flawed, but it's got a beautiful and interesting style, and a good story about overcoming loss and addiction. If you like games like Limbo, Braid, or Bastion, check this out.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 10
9/10
"The story has depth, the visuals are superb, the world reminds on Beetlejuice."

SPATE is a story driven atmospheric dexterity Jump'n'Run Adventure. I totally didn't know what to expect, got the game before the trailers... well I was astound & amazed. Be aware that it is quite short, nevertheless it is totally worth it.

Pros:
+ great atmosphere
+ great visuals/background design
+ great ost&narrator
+ great story
+ good graphics
+ exciting&fascinating
+ A=Jump X=Absynthe
+ full X360 controller support
+ SLI Fix

Cons:
- quite short (2hrs)
- no achievements

It's very rare to find a Jump'n'Run with depth, but here you go!
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