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 (175 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

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
    • 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
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
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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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Short walking simulator in platformer form, with elements of Angry Birds and Flappy Bird.
The usual noir theme (family member dead, alcohol and despair) is pushed towards absinthe addiction. Mechanically you can drink it anytime - it applies some Unity filters and makes you jump higher for a couple of seconds.
This drinking mechanic is virtually useless - during long walks with bits of narrative it's used 2 times to jump higher - that's it. And in pointless single button flight sections (2 of these) or no less pointless cannon sequences (3 of those) it provides no benefit whatsoever. So I conclude that it was added to make the game more 'artsy' and to tie it to whatever moralizing story this game is thought to tell.
Overall, I couldn't find anything impressive or interesting in this game. Crude 3d models with distortions and particle effects didn't do it for me.
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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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1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Well, it took 1.6 Hours to complete. I can't say I was sorry it ended, or that I particularly enjoyed that 1.6 hours. It was just.. okay. The artwork is definitely beautiful and if you're the type who can enjoy a game for the artwork then I'd definitely recommend it, its wacky, colourful, weird but pretty. The story was ...okay. It could have been so much better, could have had so much more depth, but as it was it was just ... flat, didn't make me feel for the guy at all.

As for the gameplay, I think I spent at least half of the game simply pressing the right arrow. Sure there were platforming elements but though they looked challenging and fun, they were simple jumps and swings, easy. The flying through the caves I felt went on far too long on both occassions, it just got old - which, in a game this short, is definitely saying something. For anyone expecting a decent platformer or a hell of a story, I definitely can't recommend it.
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1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
A trippy and haunting adventure. Platforming not too difficult and finished in 90 min. Touching story. Great soundtrack.
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1.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
This isn't so much a game as an interactive novel with very light platforming elements. It does have an interesting storyline though revolving around addiction. The graphical style is very nice. Great music as well. It's worth checking out.
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1.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Expect the atmosphere and storytelling of Dear Esther, in the form of a platformer with game mechanics reminescent of Limbo. Not as smooth as Limbo, but really beautiful and interesting on the art side. This is a very short game but it kicked me right into the feels.
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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 12 people (83%) 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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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
I truly, truly wanted to love this game. In sincerity, I don't really buy very often on Steam. From the glowing reviews, I wanted to give this game a shot, especially considering the breathtaking design that the screenshots promised.

The noir/steampunk design lended itself nicely to the plot, which is ripe with cliche dialogue that would make Max Payne's grimace transform into a prideful smile. Although, I have to admit that the main voice actor in the game sounded very similar to Morgan Freeman. Not that it's a bad thing. Truly, the sin of the story is that it doesn't seem to go anywhere. You can plop down the most surrealistic architecture, but if you have a plot that stands still, why am I even listening to the protagonist?

If you're used to platformers, the gameplay is par for the course. Jump on things that spin, dodge pits, dodge spikes, throw in a cannon or two. Don't get me wrong, it's obvious that the developers put a ton of work into the game, but I still can't recommend the title, even at 50% off.

To be honest with you, I haven't finished the game. There was a respawn glitch that sends me to through the floor, straight into the kill barrier. After shutting off to my desktop, returning to my save file, the glitch was still happening. There's no excuse for this kind of game stopping glitch, which is a shame.

There was a lot of potential for a truly special experience.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
Real good visuals being just a Run,Climb and Jump game lol It has a real good narrative, kina like Bastion.I say try this one if you like real nice looking platform game :)
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
Oh Spate what a suprise this one was.

I saw this game some time ago on that half bad youtube show IGNs next game boss where this game won my thoughts where that it had a good artstyle but not much more. Now when i played the full game i do not think the art is good its amazing and so is the game.
Im not going to talk much about the story but it is told in the way that something like Bastion is with a narriator telling a story as you play. The gameplay reminds me of Limbo its a simple slow paced platformer without the puzzels witch i do not mind as im awfull at them.
I do not have much to say about the game as i feel the less you know the better it will be but i do recomend anyone that like a good story that is told well and do not mind a short game that you play in one sitting becuse it is short i finished it in 2 hours but i felt it was a perfect time for a game like this as nothing got boring and i was hooked all the way.
One of the best games of 2014 a real hidden gem i can recoment this to anyone!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Review Spate - well, that's a challenge as whether you count it as a platformer jump'n'run indie game or as an experience but I see it as both.
When I made my first jumps I thought crap - the jumping doesn't feel 'right' - it's clumsy somehow and not that precise but after some minutes I got used to it, somehow it fits the game. I don't want to say much about the story but there is a personal tragedy evolving around the character you play throughout your journey through the world. You can drink Absinthe whenever you want and it changes the play world in terms of colors, surroundings and so on but most importantly it changes gameplay as you can jump much higher even though it gets really hard to control those jumps but overall it makes the jumping challenges easier. First I thought it would be useful to have a limitation on the Absinthe consumption but well, it's a crucial part of both game and experience. At anytime you can get hallizunations - if you want but you don't have to.
The narrator of the story - the character you play - does a great job in telling your story and it's pretty immersive if you are open to it. Even though gameplay is not perfect and there are some minor glitches, the 2D side scrolling is perfectly built into the 3D surroundings. It has become quite common and usual but the game developers did a great job on that!

So, if you are thinking about getting this game - look at some screenshots (I loved to do some myself).
I recommend this game if you liked e.g. Limbo even though it's not that concentrated on survival. It's more about the experience and you can take your time and are not in a hurry. The jumping challenges are a bit repetitive though and the sometimes you jump from platform to platform which somehow is in conflict with the atmosphere of the game world as the platforms look mechanic and quite unfitting but it's aside from that there is nothing to add.
So have a look at Spate and maybe you pick it up while it's on sale (Y)

Edit: I forgot to mention that the voice-acting itself is outstanding and all sounds add beautifully to the experience.
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