I’m not mad at Seed of life, just disappointed. There are plenty of reasons to be frustrated and even angry, however, especially with a game doing no good. I rarely say this about a video game, and although I believe that even Seed of life has redeeming qualities, it’s one of the less enjoyable games I’ve played in a while and I play a lot of games.
Seed of life is an adventure platform game with puzzle elements. You play as Cora, a young girl who is the only hope for her dying world. An alien species has invaded and left Cora’s world poisonous, killing almost all life. She must save her planet by finding Seed (underline theirs). Finding the seed will repair the planet and stop its toxic decline. To do this, you will have to gather Lumia and brave the toxic atmosphere as you navigate the platform sections and solve puzzles using the abilities you acquire along the way. Alright, so far it’s been fine, hasn’t it? But things fall apart once you actually start playing.
While Seed of life is, at first glance, a nice game, everything is on the level of the surface. The appearance of the levels and environments is decent, but what stands out are the rigid animations, especially for Cora. Lots of other global interactions are staid as well, with some animations almost feeling like placeholders. It’s not that I need complex animated interactions to enjoy a video game, but everything is so rigid in Seed of life it’s off-putting.
This rigidity also translates into rigid gameplay. Move around the world of Seed of life is miserable, and not fun. Platforms are better with smooth and tight controls, but my experience with Seed of life was the opposite of that. I tried using both a controller and a keyboard + mouse combo and neither felt good, although the controller was the best. Eventually, Cora will get different abilities like sprinting, generating health, spiritual seeing, etc. These different abilities will allow Cora to bypass obstacles and brave the harsh toxic environment without dying.
Level design Seed of life isn’t great either. There isn’t enough markup to really point you in the right direction. There are arrows that direct you to objectives, but it’s not always clear if you can climb some of the rocks or be able to climb the obstacles in front of you. There are other times when games force you to move slowly, sometimes inexplicably, something I’ve always hated in video games, even when used for storytelling purposes.
There are sparks of good in Seed of life. It has an interesting world-build, mixing sci-fi and fantasy settings. Sadly, the game’s story doesn’t do the world-building justice. Seed of life is narratively driven, with most of its story told by Cora through voiceovers. Unfortunately Cora’s vocal performance is one of the worst I’ve heard in a while. The actor voices Cora with a baby girl affectation which I think is meant to express wonder, but it’s entertaining at best. I struggled to take its story seriously, which is a big deal for a game that relies on its storytelling as the impetus to keep playing.
Seed of life is a game I struggled to play. I wanted, at almost every moment, to do something other than force myself to spend more time with it. I really hated him that much. It has a rudimentary puzzle platform and atrocious controls with a story that’s told in a heinous way. It’s hard to find many redeeming qualities other than “sometimes it’s pretty”.
Seed of life is available now on PC via Steam and on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
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