What is going on in Starseed Pilgrim?

, | Games


I partly admire Starseed Pilgrim, a colorful languid creation that might be the game design equivalent of poetry that doesn’t rhyme, for how it plays its cards close to the vest. It took me quite a while to figure out the first few steps, and that’s something you don’t see much in this age of hand holding and spoonfeeding. Instead of instructions, I got a snippet of verse that didn’t make a lick of sense until after I’d figured out what to do. It’s a rare game this willing to elude me for this long. Pacing is not on the agenda.

But it’s also a rare game that puts this much trial and error between me and progress. This color does that, that color does this, but not always in the direction I want, and now that block went to the wrong place and I think this sortie is all for naught, but I’m waiting to see if the pink blocks can grow fast enough, and hey, I didn’t know I could float, so maybe I should try a few more times. You will have no idea what this means if you haven’t played Starseed Pilgrim. You might have no idea what this means if you have played Starseed Pilgrim. And for all I know, it’s all about to be meaningless because Starseed Pilgrim is on the verge of doing something else entirely. So do I hunt down spoilers about how it all works, or will that just defeat the purpose? I had hoped to explore a lovely spare universe, but I think I’m in a game about exploring a set of rules instead.