In 2015 Lexaloffle Games released the Pico-8, a brand new game console…that doesn’t exist and never did. The Pico-8 is actually a game engine that self-imposes the limits of retro consoles, challenging developers to find the best methods of working around those limitations. There are those that prefer it!
If you’ve never heard of the Pico-8, you’ve definitely at least heard of the most popular game to be birthed on the virtual console (at least to date): Celeste. Yes, the original Celeste was a Pico-8 game, released in 2016, and was the product of a four-day game jam. They decided to make a non-Pico-8 version and the rest is history. If you play well on the more popular “modern” version of Celeste, you can unlock the Pico-8 version, but it’s also free to play online.
We’re telling you all this because as of now, there’s a sequel to Celeste…but we don’t mean the Celeste everyone knows, we mean the Pico-8 version. It was created by the team at Extremely OK Games, and like its predecessor, Celeste 2 was programmed in less than a week. But don’t sell it short.
Celeste Mountain is back, with all the brutally punishing difficulty that typically comes with it. But this time, it’s not pink-haired Madeline climbing its cliffs. It’s a newcomer named Lani, and though she may not have Madeline’s wall-jumping power, she’s rather handy with a grappling hook.
You can play Celeste 2: Lani’s Trek for free right now on itch.io. We have to wonder if it’s a precursor to a larger project…