Celeste was one of the most acclaimed games of 2018, but what you may not have known is that the tightly designed platformer was an expanded version of a smaller project developed in four days at a game jam. Maddy Thorson and Noel Berry created the original Celeste for the Pico-8 platform, and now that version has a sequel called Celeste 2: Lani’s Trek.
The developers, now including composer Lena Raine, say that this game took just three days to make. The release is to celebrate the third anniversary of Celeste’s release.
If you’re not familiar with Pico-8, it’s a “virtual console” that gives developers a framework to build games as if it were actual hardware with defined technical capabilities. Games are limited to 128 x 128 resolution, for example, and a specific 16-color palette, which results in a distinctive look. Games can be accessed through the Pico-8 front end itself or distributed separately.
In Celeste 2’s case, you can download Windows, Mac, Linux, and Raspberry Pi versions for free from Itch.io, or play it in your browser at that link. (I would strongly recommend using a controller, since the keyboard controls are... tricky.) The soundtrack is also available on Bandcamp.