Celestial Hacker Girl Jessica

Jan 10, 2021

Celestial Hacker Girl Jessica

This is the game that starts with "Celest" that everyone bought the bundle for, right?

I think the game description does most of my work for me, here:

jessica is a magical girl who is also a marble and she hacks computers and dodges lasers and eats cake and also she's in space!

There's a certain... aesthetic, of game that I find myself positive or neutral towards. They're a bit B-game in that they have a cheap look to them (and Celestial up-front declares its use of Unity store assets), they trend towards the surreal, and they are also completely proud of what they are. I think Celestial hits that aesthetic properly, with levels being very cubic, random 3D assets thrown in a haphazard-looking way, and generally looking like someone's first video game.

Better aesthetics than Cyberpunk 2077.

And yet the game itself compelled me. Often when looking at the bizarre environments mid-play I thought to myself "why is this game so good?", and the answer is right there: it's just a very well-designed game. Rolling around as a marble is fun enough: Celestial's huge open areas let you get some massive speed while your brakes let you stop on a dime. Interactable elements are introduced sensibly one-at-a-time, the difficulty ramps up properly and it's clear there was a good deal of thought put into making the levels fun, or at the least interesting. There are a lot of objects lying around for you to collect, and a quest to get all the cake colas you can search for.

There are some rather tricky moments - and Celestial's large environments come back to bite it when I have to roll my way for a few seconds to get back to the first obstacle - and if you don't get the hang of the marble controls fast you'll be in for a rough time. I wouldn't call this a strictly relaxing game, given some of the tense moments I had steering through danger, but the tougher points are more peaks of a generally easygoing game, with some levels having no meaningful opposition outside of your own platforming mistakes.

I enjoyed it. Celestial Hacker Girl Jessica is a good game.