The best indie game from 2018 is about to get a whole lot better. The Celeste Strawberry Jam Collaboration is an upcoming mod that will add over 100 levels and eight hours of original music, including new biomes and brand-new game mechanics.
For those who don’t remember life before the pandemic (hey, I don’t blame you), Celeste is an action puzzle platformer from Extremely OK Games about a young trans girl named Madeline. Dealing with depression and anxiety, she decides to climb Celeste Mountain where she meets several interesting characters and defeats her own manifested self-doubt. The game was critically acclaimed upon its release, winning The Game Awards’ Best Indie Game of 2018, and its success created a huge community of supporters for both the game and Extremely OK Games.
Now, 350 of those supporters are giving back with the “largest collaborative project in Celeste history.” Celeste Strawberry Jam releases on February 17 where it will be 100 percent free–all you need is a legal copy of the original game on PC.
The group which created Strawberry Jam has put out a very professional-looking trailer showcasing all the new biomes added in 111 new stages, including the titular Strawberry Jam fields, the urban ruin surrounding a coniferous forest, an arid desert, an area of endless autumn leaves on cobblestone roads, a mountaintop rainforest with macaws, and a biome with giant roses that can send Madeline flying skyward.
Some of the platforming looks extremely precise, which might put off those who haven’t beaten Celeste’s B-sides. The mod promises five difficulty modes, but it’s unclear how these difficulty modes will change the levels or how they’ll interact with Celeste’s existing accessibility options.
Although the music is not from the fabulous Lena Raine, it is certainly in the same style and a perfect fit for this massive unofficial Celeste expansion. You can get a preview of the new songs over on Strawberry Jam's YouTube channel or Bandcamp. All revenue from Bandcamp streaming will be donated to the Trans Lifeline, a non-profit crisis hotline for transgender people.
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