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 (311 reviews) - 72% of the 311 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 27, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Spate

 

Recent updates View all (2)

February 15

2 year anniversary, new game in the works!

Game is 1$ starting tomorrow. Feb 16, 2016.

It's hard to believe that it has been 2 years since I released Spate. Unfortunately, while the reviews for Spate were amazing, in the end, it was not the global sales hit that i'd hoped it would be. That's ok though. Spate was a 4 year passion project of mine that taught me many things. While not perfect by any stretch, I still believe it is a wonderful game, and one that I am very proud of. The goal for Spate now is to simply get it into as many peoples hands as I can. With that said, the game will be on sale soon for just a buck. Give it a try!

New game....
I am happy to say, that after a few years of developing new ideas, I finally have one that I am moving forward with. I don't have a great elevator pitch yet, but for those curious, it's a lot like a mix of Hohokum and The Unfinished Swan. I can't wait for you all to see where that is heading!

Sincerely,
-Eric Provan

12 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 (311 reviews)
Recently Posted
Razomir
( 3.6 hrs on record )
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 Hyperion
( 4.1 hrs on record )
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 on record )
Posted: April 16
Don't waste your time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[GB] I.Rapid
( 7.5 hrs on record )
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?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheDezPirate
( 0.3 hrs on record )
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?

Helpful? Yes No Funny
ToXeN
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 11
Beutiful game, nice sounds, amazing narration, you had me at the first sentence. 85 minutes of gameplay, sometimes hard but it's totally worth it. Recommended.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
individual865
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 10
Laughably poor writing, floaty and awful controls, not worth your time or money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
crisgrossi
( 2.7 hrs on record )
Posted: February 28
Spate was a nice surprise. A beautiful 2D game experience with nice graphics, music and story so far.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shakj
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 28
Quite difficult to enjoy your beer with. But a great journey to the right side... of the screen. *sigh*

At first i would not recommend it at all. But on the other hand... if you can get 3 or 5 "Ahhh" or "Mmmh"-moments for about 1 euro and 90 minutes of your lifetime. Why not. Plus: You can put it in the category "done".
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jamez
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 26
From the game's credits it looks like it was done by 2 guys. Considering that, the outcome is pretty amazing, but other than that, the game's little more than a walking simulator.

Pros:
+ Great plot
+ Narrator does a good job
+ Beautiful music
+ There were a couple of parts in the game that were really fun

Cons:
- Endless sequences where you just have to move forward.
- The saturated colours and oversized 3D objects don't necessarily make a dream-like world, they make a cheap trick.
- The textures of the main character don't blend with the rest of the game.
- 1,5 hours to finish the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hyo
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 25
Spate is an Adventure 2.5D platformer game set up in dystopian Pearl Isles.

You are Bluth, a private detective that was hired to find the whereabouts of a missing business man, he was last seen around the X Zone, a forbidden place where a lot of people vanished years ago, why would a business man be there? You have no clue and frankly, you don't care, you've lost it all, your daughter, your wife, your sanity... The only thing you have left, is the drink.

Why then are you doing this job? What happened to the island back then? What can you do now? And finally, What is real and what not?

★★★★☆ | Liked it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Derk
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: February 25
Spate.....where do I start? It's kind of a odd contradiction in itself, theres a bit of good and a bit of bad. The narative is kind of fun to watch as it plays out alabiet it feels a bit flat. It's short but each level seems like it's drawn out longer. There are some interesting platforming sections, but some of the jumps outside of those sections feel like they're there to engage the player. In some sections it feels like there are some moments that are really able to draw you in, but others just kind of remind me that I'm playing a game. The main character feels resonably fleshed out, but it's as if there missing sections that I can't understand. There are creative monsters that give you a conversation, but never apear again. At the end of the day this is a fun game that is worth a look see because of the price. There seems like there could be multiple endings outside of a mere choice but I'll update if thats the case.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Harp
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: February 24
Such a beautiful game. It's a little bit short, but the story is so great that i cannot really complain about it. It's hard to find true scenarios like that one. Thanks.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
liquid spray
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: February 23
10/10 this game is fun and trippy as ♥♥♥♥
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Keksos Der Große
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 23
Spate a wonderful game with heavy emphasis on music, narrative and an overall style I can hardly describe. It is surreal, strangely enveloping and brings all the colors and illusions you always wanted to experience for yourself unless you can't get rid of them. Combine with slow-to-come platforming were, apparently, alcohol makes you faster and jump higher, you get truly awe-inducing game. Not to mention the art style and visuals - I often felt as if Machinarium had married The City of Lost Children along with bits from Fantastic Mr. Fox' 2.5D perspective.

Thus, I wholeheartedly recommend this game. It's perfect for those times when you feel like there's nothing in life but numbing away from your pain. And then it surprises you with something so otherwordly that you simply have to change your perspective.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BrokenEye the True False Prophet
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: February 19
I'm not sure whether to term this a 2D platformer with narrative walking simulator elements or a narrative walking simulator with 2D platformer elements. What I can tell you is this game is absolutely gorgeous. As a great lover (perhaps even connosuier) of surrealism in non-static media such as films and video games (and static media too, mind, but those already get all the attention), I think I know a thing or too about seeing surrealist video games well done, and Spate is defintately a surrealist game well done.

Spate is the story of an unflappable, self-loathing, absinth-addicted detective whose prone to blackouts and vivid hallucionations investigating a rich businessman who suddenly ran off without explanation into the surrealist, rain soaked, sunless wasteland of the Pearl Islands, known as the X-Zone (likely short for "Exclusion Zone") ever since everyone on them suddenly disappeared and the Islands turned into a surrealist, rain soaked, sunless wasteland. The style is a bit hard to put into words, so I recommend just checking the game out for yourself. You won't regret it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
McGern
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 17
There is a lot of holding down the right arrow without much else happening; lucky I had the tv on otherwise I might have lost the will - at one point I was running solidly for about 5 minutes without needing to look at the screen.

Not really a game at all. The main challenge is sticking it out to the end which luckily didn't take very long. Also the drinking gimick was pointless from what I could see.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
teh_444
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: January 22
Atmospheric game. Voice overs and music were eerie which matched the environment.
Gameplay was complete crap. For over 90% of the game, you just held the joystick right and kept walking or jumping right.
I would not recommend this game to other people apart from the atmosphere.
5/10 for lack of gameplay.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
tcmcqueen2063
( 1.8 hrs on record )
Posted: January 14
First of all, I am a father myself and I like to drink absinthe, so I kind of understand the protagonists feelings.

The game is a story driven 2D-Sidescroller with great optics and even better music. The strings actually reminded me in their saddest moments of Urfaust, which is meant totally as a compliment. Sometimes the controls are foggy, but the short game nevertheless is worth the 5€, total recommendation here. 8/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sloth speedskater
( 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
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 11
Beutiful game, nice sounds, amazing narration, you had me at the first sentence. 85 minutes of gameplay, sometimes hard but it's totally worth it. Recommended.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 26
This is awesome! It's like a mix of Beetlejuice with BioShock with some twisted yet brilliant mind!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 25
Spate is an Adventure 2.5D platformer game set up in dystopian Pearl Isles.

You are Bluth, a private detective that was hired to find the whereabouts of a missing business man, he was last seen around the X Zone, a forbidden place where a lot of people vanished years ago, why would a business man be there? You have no clue and frankly, you don't care, you've lost it all, your daughter, your wife, your sanity... The only thing you have left, is the drink.

Why then are you doing this job? What happened to the island back then? What can you do now? And finally, What is real and what not?

★★★★☆ | Liked it
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 19
I'm not sure whether to term this a 2D platformer with narrative walking simulator elements or a narrative walking simulator with 2D platformer elements. What I can tell you is this game is absolutely gorgeous. As a great lover (perhaps even connosuier) of surrealism in non-static media such as films and video games (and static media too, mind, but those already get all the attention), I think I know a thing or too about seeing surrealist video games well done, and Spate is defintately a surrealist game well done.

Spate is the story of an unflappable, self-loathing, absinth-addicted detective whose prone to blackouts and vivid hallucionations investigating a rich businessman who suddenly ran off without explanation into the surrealist, rain soaked, sunless wasteland of the Pearl Islands, known as the X-Zone (likely short for "Exclusion Zone") ever since everyone on them suddenly disappeared and the Islands turned into a surrealist, rain soaked, sunless wasteland. The style is a bit hard to put into words, so I recommend just checking the game out for yourself. You won't regret it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2015
If you like absinthe and cool games, this is the game for you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2015
If this is on sale and you like a dark story, then this is well worth a couple bucks and a few hours of your time to complete the story line.

You will face almost no real challanges, but you will find yourself pleasently entertained by the story for a few hours and I think that was the primary goal for this game; not to let game mechanics distract from plot.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2015
Spate is a short yet enjoyable experience into the life of a wrecked man.
This was the intent, and the sensation is, for the most part, entirely felt through gameplay and art alone.
Beware, it's not the prettiest indie game out there in terms of polygonal richness, and sometimes the technic and narrative department fall flat (especially at the end). But everything else is more than okay, and for such a price, I can't really complain.
If you have 1 hour to spare and you want to feel immersed, you should check this out.

P.S. Sorry if I made any mistakes, English is not my main language
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2015
Visually it's ok,music is nice as well but the game is repetitive and too short.Perfomance is horrible even for Unity standards.I m not really sure if i should recommend it or not
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
74 of 81 people (91%) found this review helpful
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
47 of 59 people (80%) found this review helpful
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
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
23 of 26 people (88%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
25 of 30 people (83%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
28 of 37 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
16 of 17 people (94%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
34 of 50 people (68%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 26 people (77%) 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 5, 2015
Gorgeous visuals. Nothing else.

PROS:
-Great visuals.

NEUTRAL:
-Controls are just barely ok. For a few parts that have actual platforming, they are not tight enough and result in some frustration.

-Absinthe (and alcohol in general) aren't psychadelics. Not really to the gameplay, but a cheap cop-out to use alcohol to make the game "socially acceptable."


CONS:
-Walking simulator: the level design is pretty much as bad as it can get. Huge stretches of just walking to the right (some have narration, but lots are just in silence).

-Nothing happens. I played for about 40 minutes and all he does is mention his dead daughter, his exwife, and the drink. There is no character development or anything resembling a story; he just keeps mentioning them over and over.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny