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 (285 reviews) - 73% of the 285 user reviews for this game are positive.
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

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
Helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
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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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
Very much a flawed gem, this isn't as strictly gameplay focused as some might hope for and because of the story focus with simple, even bland gameplay it's no wonder a lot of people expected more, but for me Spate was a short, visually strange and interesting journey that only suffered from a few minor annoyances and delivered a lightly moving story. Because of that I'd recommend it as a flawed but good, or at least interesting game worth an hour or two of your time.

Highlights

The balance of gameplay with the narrative/story was what stood out most for me in Spate. Thrown into a dark damp and rough visual art style, you feel slightly out of place and isolated when you first begin your journey, and that matches the point at which the story begins, which is a good example of the multiple instances of putting the narrative ahead of the gameplay, for better or worse. Throughout the stages you'll pass through relic and forgotten structures and visuals from the past, just as the character does. In many stages I felt as though the game was far too simple and I was simply being carried along, later realizing this was intentional and even emphasized during a long slow water stage. Everything tries to feed the story in much the same way Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons did, and while this game is in no way as well polished and designed as Brothers, it does have its own charm and some interesting design points.

The narrative and art style are also beautiful and solemn, the strange mix of rough low-res textures and gloomy but vivid lighting are different enough to stand out but not enough to take away from the story or feeling of the game.

Mistakes and Annoyances

There's plenty wrong with Spate and that mostly come down to lack of production value and polish. As a short simple platformer you'd expect the controls to be a priority, but they feel floaty, slow and frustratingly inaccurate. You could argue that this is intentional to help feel out the story, but it still feels cumbersome and when mixed with poor stage design where you might need to repeat a section a few times or repeat the same action 10+ times to proceed and faulty graphical artifacts and clipping, it really sucks away some of the immersion and takes away from the game as a whole.

The other concern is the length. At just an hour or two of gameplay Spate really needs to offer something well crafted and refined. I'm glad there're no false gimmicks like jaunty collectibles or multiple characters and I understand that every section of the game attempts to represent a part of the characters journey, but with the fairly simplistic design of the game and the one line story it needs something else in terms of gameplay to keep it going long enough or make it challenging enough to have an impact and they've missed a beat.

Recommendations

At just $4.99/£3.99/4.99€ Spate isn't overpriced, but due to the very short length and lack of technical care in design it's a game I'd actually recommend waiting for a sale on to keep you from feeling robbed out of a more traditional gameplay focused game. If all you want is a short interesting journey, this is very much worth a play, just don't expect a puzzle/platform title like LIMBO and be prepared to forgive some poor design and you'll enjoy what this has to offer.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/269810

* There are a number of hidden bunny's (Easter Bunny's = Easter Eggs) throughout the world which usually offer a line of dialogue, spoilers available here

Unedited review notes 27/12/2015 for Spate:

-Poor menu system, have to switch between mouse and keyboard multiple times and backtrack etc
-Really lacking in polish, multiple small jagged bugs from artifacts to timing, big problem for such a simple game
+Good narration and fairly good writing that match the art style
+Rough indie art style makes it feel more personal, like a student art movie
+Moves slowly and gameplay always seems to match narration in terms of pace, point in journey etc
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 27, 2015
What a lovely little game. Not too hard and very forgiving. I hate it when you have to do a part of a game over and over again. In this game you just start where you went wrong. The world is absolutely beautiful with a very good story.
I realy enjoyed this game. It is not very long but with a pricetag of only 5 bucks definately worth your money and time!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2015
If you like absinthe and cool games, this is the game for you.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2015
Weird descent into drunken madness and maybe even redemption?
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