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Sea of Stars - Turn based RPG from the makers of The Messenger, update: 250K+ units sold in first week of release


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Sea of Stars is a turn-based RPG inspired by the classics. A prequel story set in The Messenger’s universe, it tells the story of two Children of the Solstice who will combine the powers of the sun and moon to perform Eclipse Magic, the only force capable of fending off the monstrous creations of the evil alchemist known as The Fleshmancer.

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  • 2 years later...

I thought that this was finally going to come out sometime this year, it’s been in development a long time. I guess that it’s yet another game being delayed until next year along with so many others.


I wonder how many games getting delayed until next year are going to get delayed until 2024, because a lot of games that were delayed until this year have been delayed again until next year.


In all of my years of gaming, I’ve never known so many games to take so long to develop or get delayed as much as they have been in recent years. And it’s not just big ambitious AAA titles, but indies as well.

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2 hours ago, Phaseknox said:

In all of my years of gaming, I’ve never known so many games to take so long to develop or get delayed as much as they have been in recent years. And it’s not just big ambitious AAA titles, but indies as well.


I'll challenge that idea.

With AAA, there's been many bleak years in the past that no pandemic could be blamed for.  Think back to last gen. We would have just turned the corner on Witcher 3 coming out back in May, if timelines coincided.  Before then, things weren't so hot, even for cross-gen games.  This generation may have suffered at the start from Microsoft Studios being mostly AWOL, and still has a few too many cross-gen projects... but the slate of big released games kicks the pants of the XBO/PS4's first 1.5 years.  A weaker year's end leading into a stacked early 2023 is a temporary blip.

As for delay announcements, timelines were already shifting away from the holiday months last gen.  Sometimes to get away from CoD.  Or because it became apparent that a big enough game didn't need a holiday boost.

With indies, they've always been unpredictable.  Some teams finish fast.  Others, like Owlboy, take 10 years.  There's no rhyme or reason to it.  An indie being delayed is even less shocking than an AAA project.

EDIT: Spun off my thoughts here.

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* Goes to game list, moves latest victim from 2022 to 2023

* Shakes fist at sky while silently acknowledging that people make these games

* Audibly elongates a "booooooo" sound to externalize my woe

* Receive a doubtful side eye from my wife




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I am very much looking forward to this one! The first sign this team knew what they were doing was when they projected completion a few years out from when they originally announced the game's development. This told me that they likely understood development complexities or at least had the good sense to understand that development is hard. Too many Early Access games just say, 1 year! Its not a real schedule, but a mile marker tossed out to there to make people feel like the game is right around the corner. This game looks to be in good hands! :sun:

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/30/2022 at 3:04 PM, Phaseknox said:

I thought that this was finally going to come out sometime this year, it’s been in development a long time. I guess that it’s yet another game being delayed until next year along with so many others.


I wonder how many games getting delayed until next year are going to get delayed until 2024, because a lot of games that were delayed until this year have been delayed again until next year.


In all of my years of gaming, I’ve never known so many games to take so long to develop or get delayed as much as they have been in recent years. And it’s not just big ambitious AAA titles, but indies as well.

I'm guessing Covid set developments back at least a year or two. That's why were getting slammed this year with so many releases that were being worked on in 2019 and 2020. Idk just my 2 cents 

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Game Information

Game Title: Sea of Stars



  • PC (Aug 29, 2023)
  • Nintendo Switch (Aug 29, 2023)
  • Xbox Series X/S (Aug 29, 2023)
  • PlayStation 5 (Aug 29, 2023)
  • Xbox One (Aug 29, 2023)
  • PlayStation 4 (Aug 29, 2023)

Developer: Sabotage Studio

Publisher: Sabotage Studio 


Review Aggregator:

OpenCritic - 89 average - 98% recommended


Critic Reviews


But Why Tho? - Charles Hartford - 10 / 10

With Sea of Stars Sabotage has crafted a unique and engaging game that any fan of the genre will enjoy playing. Its polish and innovation make it not only a Game of the Year contender but also makes it deserving of being added to the pantheon of indie games’ greatest right up there with the likes of Celeste and Hades.

Dexerto - Brad Norton - 5 / 5

Sabotage Studio has accomplished its grand vision. With a mission statement of “creating definitive editions of the game genres we enjoyed as kids,” not only have they tactfully paid homage to their inspirations, but through a number of dazzling new ideas, they’ve now left an indelible mark on the JRPG genre. Sea of Stars is a modern classic.

GameGrin - Alana Dunitz - 10 / 10

Sea of Stars is an amazing-looking and sounding title that has captured all you love from classic turn-based RPGs and improved upon it. I can't recommend this game enough; this is how you modernise and pay tribute to a classic genre!

Gamepur - Matt Fuller - 10 / 10

Sea of Stars is a triumphant JRPG that pays homage to the classics and carves its own space in the pantheon of its best titles. The world and characters were excellent, and experiencing the story alongside them was an absolute joy. Whether it was combat, exploration, or puzzles, I always found myself fully invested in the adventures of Zale, Valere, and everyone else I met on the journey.

The masterful way that Sabotage Studio has been able to capture that feeling of adventure and nostalgia is nothing short of incredible, and Sea of Stars not only sits among some of the genre’s greatest, but it manages to exceed them. It is truly one of the best JRPGs I have ever played.

God is a Geek - Lyle Carr - 10 / 10

Sea of Stars is the new benchmark for turn-based RPGs, with sublime combat, a cast of charming characters and a soundtrack that's an all-timer.

Guardian - Sarah Maria Griffin - 5 / 5

This homage to classic Japanese RPGs picks from the best to create something original, and its rich, engaging world makes it feel like a classic in its own right

Hey Poor Player - Shane Boyle - 5 / 5

Sure, it could be argued that in its opening hours, Sea of Stars doesn’t put its best foot forward, but when what follows an admittedly slow start is such a joyous experience, that’s nothing only a small blemish on an otherwise impeccable product that is easily forgiven. I’ve played a lot of retro-inspired RPGs over the past few years, and while I’ve enjoyed many, rarely have I come away with the opinion that they can hold a candle to their inspirations. Sea of Stars, on the other hand, not only manages to confidently stand shoulder to shoulder with the greats, but in many ways, improves on them to create an unmissable JRPG experience.

Kakuchopurei - Jonathan Leo - 100 / 100

There's no other way to put this: Sea Of Stars is sublime from start to finish. It's a love letter to the best era of JRPGs -the late 90s to 2000s- made to look like the past but comes with a lot of newfangled modern-day features to duplicate the spirit and joy it emanates. And despite its obvious inspiration, it stands tall and proud on its own two feet, sword in one hand and Solar/Moon powers to blast away all doubt of JRPGs existing in proper and fun form in 2023.

MonsterVine - Frank Wood - 5 / 5

If you have any love for RPGs or are even maybe even looking to get into them, please check out Sea Of Stars, it really feels like a labor of love that delivers on everything it sets out to do.

Nindie Spotlight - Justin Nation - 10 / 10

In practical terms without flaws, and filled with thoughtful and creative touches from top to bottom, this game truly is a star

NintendoWorldReport - Jordan Rudek - 10 / 10

At times it wears its SNES inspirations on its sleeves (and proudly), but it evolves the combat to a level of perfection. Every aspect of the game is fun, or emotional, or tantalizingly brain-teasing, and I haven't been able to put it down even after rolling credits a dozen hours of playtime earlier. You'll smile, laugh, and maybe even cry as you help Valere and Zale complete their mission, but there's one thing for certain: you'll never forget it.

Prima Games - Meg Bethany Koepp - 10 / 10

Sea of Stars is a beautiful tale of friendship that tugs at your heartstrings and is impossible to complete without shedding a tear. If you're a fan of classic RPGs like Chrono Trigger and Golden Sun, you're in for a real treat here.

Pure Xbox - PJ O'Reilly - 10 / 10

Sea of Stars is an exhilarating and absorbing indie gem that serves up delightfully clever turn-based RPG action in a world that's packed full of great characters, fun puzzles and genuine emotional heft. Sabotage Studios served up a bonafide banger with 2018's The Messenger, but this time around they've gone a step further, crafting an RPG adventure that's every bit the equal of the stone-cold classics it takes inspiration from. Don't spoil this one for yourself, dive in as blind as you can and enjoy a truly magical journey that's easily one of the best games you'll play this year and an absolutely essential addition to Xbox Game Pass.

Siliconera - Jenni Lada - 10 / 10

Sea of Stars is a lovely, heartfelt game with a cast of well-realized characters, a fun battle system, and a world begging to be explored.

The Outerhaven Productions - Scott Adams - 5 / 5

Sabotage Studio creates another masterpiece with Sea of Stars. With great gameplay mechanics, a thrilling narrative, and stunning visuals, there isn’t anything I would change about this game. Perfection is a word that comes to mind.

Thumb Culture - 5 / 5

Sea of Stars is a masterpiece in my eyes. The gameplay offers a nice challenge without being too hard. If players struggle, they’ve implemented relics to help make the game easier. The characters all have great chemistry, and I couldn’t hate a single one (Garl is my favourite). Combat is very engaging without asking too much of the player. I enjoy the animations for cutscenes to help emphasise what’s going on. When performing a spell or combo, the animations look smooth. I found the Ninja Seraï’s skill where she goes behind and attacks through a portal to both look amazing and cold. The soundtrack does well to set the mood.

Try Hard Guides - Erik Hodges - 10 / 10

Sea of Stars is a fantastic RPG that pays homage to its inspiration while standing out on its own. A beautiful world and a story that’ll captivate anyone, this is truly a game I recommend to all audiences. Even those who aren’t a fan of turn-based RPGs will find something to enjoy in this game, which cleverly innovates on classic gameplay and delivers a title worth truly trying for yourself.

Use a Potion - 10 / 10

Sea of Stars is an unmissable RPG that blends together wonderful storytelling, captivating gameplay, and dazzling audio and visuals into one masterful package. Honestly, I was utterly enthralled by the whole experience from start to end, with every aspect of the game’s design perfectly crafted to ensure it keeps the player completely hooked in. Whether you’re encountering one of the game’s charming characters for the first time, fighting through a challenging boss battle that puts your skills to the test, or simply admiring one of the many majestic sights of the world whilst some beautiful music plays in the background, it’s hard not to be blown away by the wonders of Sea of Stars.

Windows Central - Alexander Cope - 5 / 5

From the beginning of the game to the end credits, I loved Sea of Stars. It has an engaging combat system, gorgeous pixel-art graphics, a large variety of intriguing side content, and a fantastic plot featuring a charming world, likable characters, and crazy twists that I didn’t see coming. If you grew up playing JRPGs in the 1990s or are a younger fan who likes JRPGs in general, then I guarantee you’ll love Sea of Stars.

ZTGD - Terrence Johnson - 10 / 10

I freaking loved Sea of Stars, from its adorable graphic style to its heartwarming story Sea of Stars is a sure-fire hit. Even the times I ran into glitches and bugs I still enjoyed my time within its world. Sabotage studios already proved the pedigree of their studio with The Messenger but I fully expect them to level up with the release of Sea of Stars. With its enjoyable story, utterly fantastic musical score, and beautiful pixel world if you are a fan of RPG’s this one is NOT to be missed!

Atomix - Alberto Desfassiaux - Spanish - 95 / 100

Sea of Stars is much more than just a tribute for games like Chrono Trigger and Golden Sun. Sabotage created a truly special RPG experience that deserves to be considered as a GOTY contender.

COGconnected - Paul Sullivan - 95 / 100

Balance is important, so I searched high and low for something to cite as could-be-better. I found nothing. Lovingly crafted by Quebec City’s Sabotage Studio, Sea of Stars is quite a departure for the team responsible for The Messenger. It’s a risk that’s resulted in one of the most beautiful, heartfelt, and well balanced RPGs I’ve ever played.

Cultured Vultures - Abigail Shannon - 9.5 / 10

Sea of Stars is a love letter to classic 1990s JRPGs that transcends the genre and perfects the form.

Digital Chumps - Ben Sheene - 9.5 / 10

Sea of Stars is a pitch-perfect homage to many of the classic turn-based RPGs from a bygone, beloved era. Rather than mere imitation, Sabotage Studio has crafted a loving tribute to genre hallmarks.

Gaming Instincts - Leonid Melikhov - 9.5 / 10

Sea of Stars is a true spiritual successor to turn-based JRPGs that I believe any fan of old-school Final Fantasy titles specifically Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire must play. I felt like I was teleported back to the PlayStation 1 days playing a classical turn-based JRPG.

PlayStation Universe - David Carcasole - 9.5 / 10

Sea Of Stars is an excellent, retro-inspired RPG that I would recommend anyone play, with feel-good characters, intricate and engaging combat, a stunning soundtrack, and beautiful world with a wonderful sense of adventure, friendship and love. While the story doesn't break any molds, its characters are all charming and endearing, to the point where I feel like I'd follow them to the ends of the world and beyond.

RPG Fan - Caitlin Argyros - 95%

Sea of Stars is both a nostalgic callback to classic RPGs and an instant classic in its own right.

Seasoned Gaming - Eric Bezanson - 9.5 / 10

Sea of Stars is more than just the sum of its parts. It's an unmissable experience for anyone who’s ever enjoyed a 16/32 bit RPG.

WellPlayed - Mark Isaacson - 9.5 / 10

Sea of Stars is a breathtaking ride through familiarity and originality, engaging in its mechanics and colourful in its story, culminating in some of the best twists and turns of any RPG I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying.

DualShockers - Mohamed Hassan - 9.3 / 10

A beautiful homage to the JRPG genre that still manages to stand on its own, while taking care to let go of all the annoying gimmicks that plagued JRPGs in the past.

Spaziogames - Domenico Musicò - Italian - 9.1 / 10

Sea of Stars sits on the same throne occupied by Chained Echoes. This new wave of JRPGs is the perfect example of what the genre needs and what it needs to get rid of. A new Renaissance has begun.

Attack of the Fanboy - Marc Magrini - 4.5 / 5

Sea of Stars manage to stand amongst its inspirations as a fantastic role-playing experience. Beautiful graphics and a fairly charming story are joined by creative turn-based combat and mind-bending dungeons, making for an incredibly fun adventure. With so much to love, one can only hope that Sea of Stars will go on to inspire other games as well.

Cinelinx - Becky O'Brien - 4.5 / 5

Sea of Stars may look and feel like an old-school RPG, but it’s story, music, and overall approach make for a stunning title for modern gamers to enjoy.

Expansive - Tom Hynes - 4.5 / 5

Sea of Stars is a defining moment for classic RPGs reinterpreted in a modern way. Sabotage Studios have found a unique balance that compliments everything that came before and presents it in a way that today’s gamer will recognise and appreciate. From story, to visuals, music, and combat, this game is an incredible accomplishment that you simply must play whether you’re pining for days gone by, or are looking for an experience to wash over you with a wave of refreshment, taking you on a memorable adventure you’ll never forget.

Game Informer - Kyle Hilliard - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars is a stellar throwback that appeals to fans like me who love 16-bit RPGs, but it also functions as an excellent entry point. Annoyances that hindered early games that inspired Sea of Stars are nowhere to be seen. Simple actions like moving around the world feel great, the story picks up quickly, and farming experience is effectively unnecessary. It all leads to a smooth, consistently thrilling adventure with fun combat, all in a gorgeous and inviting world.

Game Rant - Pam K. Ferdinand - 4.5 / 5

Overall, Sabotage’s retro-inspired RPG is a strong offering that is doubly impressive considering it’s only the second project from this budding indie studio. There are too many points to expound upon — be it the soundtrack, story, combat, gameplay, or graphics — but they are all skillfully implemented. Even on the technical side, there are no complaints. Sea of Stars is simply a really fun, well-rounded game that any fan of RPGs will surely enjoy.

GameBlast - Farley Santos - Portuguese - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars is an exciting journey through a richly crafted world that combines nostalgic elements of classic RPGs with modern innovations. In the company of a captivating group of heroes, we dive into a spirited adventure full of twists and good times. In addition to having a well-constructed universe, the game enchants with beautiful visuals in pixel art and memorable soundtrack. As an RPG, the title offers a remarkable mix of elements. Turn-based combat captivates with real-time commands, many tactical options and characters with diverse styles. Exploration is agile with scenarios full of obstacles to be climbed or jumped, with several secrets, puzzles and alternative routes. And there's plenty to do, like optional quests and minigames. In the end, Sea of Stars perfectly balances nostalgia with contemporary elements, resulting in an unmissable RPG experience.

GameSpot - Jason Fanelli - 9 / 10

Sabotage Studio unearths a time capsule in this incredible retro-style RPG.

Gamers Heroes - Johnny Hurricane - 90 / 100

Sea of Stars sets itself apart with its unique look, relaxing vibes, engaging gameplay. Not only is it a great indie RPG, but it also currently sits at the top of my indie GOTY list.

GamesRadar+ - Jon Bailes - 4.5 / 5

It's a joy and a relief to realise that Sabotage hasn't merely mimicked classic '90s JRPG, but committed to understanding what makes them tick. Its nostalgia is neither gratuitous nor cynical, instead working disparate references together with original ideas into a coherent whole. While it's a little disappointing to discover that there's isn't great depth to the turn-based battles and other systems, the immense quality and detail in the pixel art, soundtrack, location design, characters and plot ensure that Sea of Stars remains a stunning achievement to the end.

Gaming Nexus - Eric Hauter - 9 / 10

Top tier storytelling, environmental puzzles, and exploration make Sea of Stars a must play for RPG fans. Though the combat system wears slightly thin after a while, the rest of the game is absolutely stellar. Colorful, funny, and packed full of memorable characters and moments, this is a game that is not to be missed by RPG fans.

GamingTrend - David Flynn - 90 / 100

Sea of Stars shows modern RPGs how it's done in this incredible throwback to SNES classics. It's an absolute joy to play from start to finish, though the story, writing, and flat characters leave some potential untapped. Even so, this is a gorgeous adventure that you won't want to miss.

Hobby Consolas - David Rodriguez - Spanish - 90 / 100

Sea of Stars is a wonderful astral conjunction between the classic and the modern. We are facing a JRPG that must be played by every fan of the genre, an indie that culminates as one of the best of 2023 and that only needs to have been a little braver in its narrative to achieve perfection.

LevelUp - Pedro Pérez Cesari - Spanish - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars might not quite reach the legendary status of classics like Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy VI, but it's undeniably a stunning game that every genre lover should dive into. It's an adventure that's pure joy because it gets what makes JRPGs so darn captivating for decades.What really matters about Sea of Stars is that it's nailed that magical vibe from a bygone era that might never come back. Let Sea of Stars cast its spell on you, and let those waves of nostalgia wash right over you. You won't regret it

Multiplayer First - Paulmichael Contreras - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars will take any seasoned gamer back to a simpler times, when the games were colorful, flat, and lengthy. If you want a turn-based RPG that is easy to pick up and yet quite challenging, then you’ll want to check out Sea of Stars. Some of the enemies can occasionally cheese you to death, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. The added accessibility options are appreciated, and the imaginative story is entertaining. If you ever want to just chill with a simple game after a long day, Sea of Stars would be a good choice.

Niche Gamer - Fingal Belmont - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars understands what fans of Chrono Trigger have been longing for. It tastefully incorporates homages and exhibits greater originality than might be initially perceived. Sea of Stars is a masterful artistic achievement in both visuals and audio, featuring utterly engrossing turn-based combat that showcases air-tight design.

Nintendo Blast - Juliana Paiva Zapparoli - Portuguese - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars evokes nostalgia by bringing an adventure reminiscent of 20th century RPGs to modern consoles. With a meticulously crafted audiovisual package, charismatic characters and locations and lots of lore to be explored, its simplicity makes Zale and Valere's adventure a full plate for both veterans and newcomers to the genre. Even with a few caveats here and there, this game is proof that, although there are setbacks along the way, the result can be – and a lot – worth it.

Nintendo Life - Mitch Vogel - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars is a sensational achievement for Sabotage. The studio is two for two in providing impressively designed and genuinely innovative takes on classic genres. Some pacing issues aside, the complex narrative, deep and strategic combat, thoughtful level design, and fantastic visuals and music all combine to make this one of the easiest recommendations we can make. If you consider yourself a fan of old-school RPGs, you must play Sea of Stars. And if not? The execution and polish here are so good that we'd suggest you give it a try anyway. There are few games that would be a better introduction and representation of what makes JRPGs great. Sea of Stars is an instant classic and a new high-water mark for modern retro-styled indies. You really shouldn't miss out.

PCGamesN - Lowell Bell - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars is a worthy pseudo-spiritual successor to some of the greatest JRPGs ever made. It improves on what made those games so special by modernizing their magic through balanced and engaging turn-based combat wrapped up in an enthralling world to explore.

PSX Brasil - Victor Vitório - Portuguese - 90 / 100

With well-done writing, dynamic battles, and luxurious pixel art adorned by vivid lighting, Sea of Stars passes the test of being a retro and modern turn-based RPG at once retro. We can still notice some outdated little legacies of the genre, but that doesn't affect the enjoyment of embarking as young heroes to save the world in an epic and witty campaign worthy of the new old days.

Press Start - Harry Kalogirou - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars is simultaneously a love letter and modernisation of the legendary turn-based RPGs of old. It retains everything that made them such a core part of the industry so many years ago, while poking fun at tropes and conventions in an entertainingly self-aware manner. Much like The Messenger, Sea of Stars is another smash hit from Sabotage Studio, and is undoubtedly one of the best games of this year.

Pure Dead Gaming - DeadbeatpunK - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars is an outstanding title, if any newcomers were curious about turn based RPGs, this is the game I would steer them towards. Old hands will also have a great time revelling in this nostalgic quest. Although it may lack the full heft of a classic RPG, there is still enough meat on the bone to satisfy the seasoned RPG connoisseur. In a year already packed with future classics, this stands tall among them. Sabotage’s Kickstarter project has delivered exactly what the fans wanted and took no shortcuts in delivering their promised vision.

RPG Site - Paul Shkreli - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars presents a potent mix of combat systems bolstered by a charming story and gorgeous graphical presentation that captures the essence of the turn-based classics.

Rectify Gaming - Henry - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars is more than just a video game; it’s an enchanting journey that captures the essence of what makes RPGs beloved by gamers of all generations. Sabotage Studio has crafted a masterpiece that effortlessly balances nostalgia with innovation, creating a world that players will want to explore and protect. With its compelling narrative, stunning visuals, engaging gameplay mechanics, and unforgettable music, Sea of Stars is a celestial gem that deserves a place in every gamer’s collection.

Saudi Gamer - Arabic - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars is not a simple nostalgia bait game, but it is a game that learned a lot of what made both the legendary classic and modern RPG titles special and made it's own unique unforgettable experience that is worthy to stand near, but not alongside with the legendary games that inspired it.

Screen Rant - Rob Gordon - 4.5 / 5

Sea of Stars is more than just an excellent turn-based RPG that pays homage to the greats. The gameplay choices it makes turns the game into a must-play for fans of the genre, while the story is suitably charming for RPG aficionados. This is far more than simply a prequel to The Messenger, and is a tremendous achievement in its own right.

Shacknews - Larryn Bell - 9 / 10

In true Sabotage fashion, Sea of Stars faithfully captures the nostalgic appeal of retro turn-based games while improving upon its systems with contemporary innovations. The witty, self-aware dialogue and charming cast of characters are bolstered by thoughtful design choices and a compelling narrative. Sea of Stars is an instant classic that retro RPG fans and newcomers alike will not want to pass up.

Sirus Gaming - Erickson Melchor - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars is greater than just the nostalgia that inspires it. If it’s not through gameplay and minigames, then it’s the story that’s going to win you over. It may have had one awkward plot point involving bread but the message behind it was well-received. After 45+ hours of gameplay, I am thoroughly convinced that Sea of Stars is well deserving of all the praises it has accumulated over the years in development. I wholeheartedly recommend this game to more than just RPG enthusiasts.

SmashPad - Danreb Victorio - 4.5 / 5

Sea of Stars really feels like a special title and you shouldn’t miss it.

The Beta Network - Anthony Culinas - 9 / 10

Featuring a terrific turn-based battle system, eye-popping pixel-art, a colourful cast of characters and engaging exploration mechanics to boot, this prequel to 2018's The Messenger is more than worth the 30-hour time investment.

TheSixthAxis - Nic Bunce - 9 / 10

Sea of Stars has clearly been made by people with a deep and abiding love of JRPGs. That level of passion is hard to mimic, and the result is a heavily playable game with morish visuals, a cracking story and deeply considered level design. However, while it is very good, it isn't quite perfect. Combat needed to be deeper (or at least escapable) and while the dynamism was a great touch, it wasn't enough to carry it all the way through to the end.

Twinfinite - Grace Black - 4.5 / 5

Sea of Stars successfully modernizes and builds on the traditional 2D pixel RPG game and proves how such a genre has the potential to thrive among the saturated market hype for realistic games through beautiful storytelling, engaging gameplay, and brilliantly written characters.

AltChar - Asmir Kovacevic - 85 / 100

Sea of Stars is a pixel-art turn-based RPG that evokes memories of bygone gaming eras while delivering a distinctive experience immersed in a captivating narrative and very engaging gameplay.

Checkpoint Gaming - David McNamara - 8.5 / 10

A polished, cleverly designed, and utterly joyful experience, Sea of Stars takes the best parts of classic RPGs and distils their essence into something at once comfortingly nostalgic and refreshingly modern. Its combat system twists traditional turn-based combat into a satisfyingly tactile blend of strategy and execution, making exploring every inch of its gorgeous world an absolute pleasure. Despite some odd pacing in the final act and the occasional cringey joke, Sea of Stars holds up as a fantastic modern RPG and a must-play for fans of the genre.

GRYOnline.pl - Polish - 8.5 / 10

Some noticeable issues can’t overshadow everything that Sea of Stars has to offer. An epic story and a very engaging combat system are only two of many things that made this game one of the best titles of 2023.

Paste Magazine - Moises Taveras - 8.5 / 10

It’s unfortunate that Sea of Stars doesn’t entirely stick the landing considering everything else about it is riveting to see and be a part of. It wears its influences on its sleeves, but rarely feels burdened by those expectations or particularly shackled to them. In fact, it fights tooth and nail to stand apart and wonderfully accomplishes it. It’s beautiful to look at and a joy to listen to, and I could get lost in its warm and fun fantasy over and over. There are also places that Sea of Stars goes that I want to share just about as much as I want everyone to find for themselves. If you’re at all familiar with the studio’s oeuvre, you know the delightfully weird places Sabotage enjoys taking its games, and how smoothly it translates retro aesthetics and mechanics into the modern era. In short, Sea of Stars is a magical game well worth playing just for the thrilling and heartfelt adventure it delivers.

VGChartz - Evan Norris - 8.5 / 10

Thanks to the studio's amazing attention to detail, and its investment in worldbuilding, turn-based mechanics, and production design, Sea of Stars has emerged as one of the best games of 2023.

Worth Playing - Chris "Atom" DeAngelus - 8.5 / 10

Sea of Stars is a pitch-perfect nostalgic take on a JRPG, with beautiful visuals, a fun combat system, and a top-notch soundtrack. My only major criticism is that the story is a touch weak and disjointed, and the combat system falls off a bit toward the end. Sea of Stars hit its mark hard, and it's a damn impressive first effort from Sabotage Studios. If you've been looking for a simple, fun and lighthearted old-school RPG, look no further than Sea of Stars. It's not quite a new classic, but it doesn't need to be, either.

Video Chums - A.J. Maciejewski - 8.4 / 10

Sea of Stars is an excellent retro-inspired RPG that will make you happy to explore its packed and beautiful world. It may get a little stale at parts for various reasons but what's here is still undeniably special.

New Game Network - Yasmine Hubbard - 82 / 100

Sea of Stars may pinch its influences from numerous 16-bit titles like Chrono Trigger, but the gameplay feels neither stale or old. The gorgeous 2D environments and bizarre cosmic-esque plot will hold players' attention for the whole 35-40-hour runtime.

CGMagazine - Steven Green - 8 / 10

Sea of Stars accomplishes everything it sets out to do in becoming an amazing SNES-era RPG, while only faltering in a couple mechanics and story beats.

Digital Trends - Jess Reyes - 4 / 5

Sabotage Studios blends aspects from Super Mario RPG, Illusion of Gaia, and Chrono Trigger to create Sea of Stars, its largest RPG yet. It incorporates combat quirks like timed hits and dual attacks that force you to pay attention way after you’ve selected a move, and keeps encounters exciting with the diverse enemies throughout the colorful, pixelated landscapes. All that, plus respectable storytelling, make it the best indie RPG that I’ve played this year.

Eurogamer - Kaan Serin - 4 / 5

Sea of Stars' well-considered inspirations are shot through with smart, modern sensibilities, creating a more-than-welcome addition to the contemporary throwback RPG club.

Final Weapon - Kyle Yaworski - 4 / 5

Sea of Stars is a wonderful throwback to classic turn-based RPGs from decades ago. While the main characters and writing are okay at best, there is a level of charm through the combat system, narrative, and world that can't be ignored. Sabotage's latest is an easy recommendation for any fan of classic turn-based titles.

GameCrate - Lucas White - 8 / 10

Sea of Stars hits a lot of notes with ease, not only wearing its inspirations on its sleeve (and hiring them; they got Mitsuda on the score!) but leveraging them to try new things. For the most part, this game is a standout indie RPG with a level of style, polish, and storytelling that makes it stand out in the crowd.

Hardcore Gamer - Chris Shive - 4 / 5

Drawing heavily from classic RPGs of past console generations, Sea of Stars creates an exciting new adventure that's also a worthy tribute to the classics.

IGN - Gabriel Moss - 8 / 10

Sea of Stars is an excellent tribute RPG that channels the best parts of its ‘90s-era forebears. It's not wholly original, but there are enough twists in its story to keep it interesting after the combat loses its luster.

INVEN - Suhyung Jung - Korean - 8 / 10

The game reinterprets classic JRPGs in a modern way. Instead of trying something entirely new, it brings together some of the great systems of classic games that were previously well-received. While combining different systems into one game is undoubtedly impressive, it falls short of delivering something more innovative and enjoyable, which is a bit disappointing.

Metro GameCentral - GameCentral - 8 / 10

A welcome homage to JRPG classic Chrono Trigger and one of the best-looking 2D games of recent years, even if it's not really doing anything new.

Push Square - Stephen Tailby - 8 / 10

Overall, Sea of Stars is immensely enjoyable from start to finish. While it's been inspired by various classic RPGs, it sets itself apart with an engaging story, some brilliant characters, and surprisingly deep lore. On top of that, the combat is great fun thanks to its involving, strategic mechanics, and exploring the gorgeous pixelated world is rewarding. It isn't perfect, but it overcomes any flaws with its charming presentation, a world ripe with things to see and do, and no shortage of personality.

SVG - Gabran Gray - 8 / 10

"Sea of Stars'" story and gameplay complement each other perfectly, resulting in a gameplay experience that will keep you smiling from ear to ear for hours.

Saving Content - Evan Rowe - 4 / 5

Sea of Stars is a delightful love letter to classic 16-bit era JRPGs. It's an easy recommendation as a fun romp with approachable mechanics, and whether you were raised playing the classics like or you're just excited for a new RPG, it is absolutely worth diving into.

The Games Machine - Pietro Iacullo - Italian - 8 / 10

Sea of Stars is a Vergil for all the Dantes that want to explore the Hell and the Heavens of JRPG. Sabotage Studio learned from the genre's master, but took away the boring grinding part giving life to something very catchy to play.

TheGamer - Andrew King - 4 / 5

What I find most remarkable about Sea of Stars is that, despite not caring all that much about its characters, the gameplay was good enough that I was invested throughout. Managing the meters of each battle, and exploring the colorful landscapes and dungeons that connect them, is so entertaining that my quibbles about other aspects couldn't bring the experience down. The story isn't especially compelling, but it perfectly serves the purpose it needs to: getting you from the fun of A to the fun of B without any real hiccups in between. Howard Hawks once said that a movie needs "three good scenes and no bad ones" to be great. That's what Sea of Stars has going for it. Nothing that'll bother you too much, and plenty of good.

VideoGamer - Antony Terence - 8 / 10

Stunning vistas paired with a stirring soundtrack and refined combat shoulder Sea of Stars, one of 2023’s most charming RPGs.

XboxEra - Genghis Husameddin - 8 / 10

Sea of Stars takes formulas and gives them a nice fresh coat of paint. Even though the narrative won’t hold your attention, you’ll find a game that offers stunning visuals and sound design that accompanies a fun battle system with unique mechanics. Easy to pick up and play for everyone, old and new.

PC Gamer - Kerry Brunskill - 79 / 100

Sea of Stars may not truly recapture the magic of '90s RPGs, but it's still a polished, enjoyable blend of old and new.

Capsule Computers - 7.5 / 10

Sea of Stars doesn’t necessarily do anything groundbreaking or new, but it is a solid game that can be a lot of fun

TechRaptor - Tanushri Shah - 7.5 / 10

While it clearly takes inspiration from the greats, make no mistake, Sea of Stars doesn't capitalize on nostalgia and has its own set of traits to talk about.

Digitally Downloaded - Matt Sainsbury - 3.5 / 5

Sea of Stars deserves to be played, and almost everyone who does play it will enjoy it. It’s a JRPG made for JRPG fans by people who truly love the genre. There’s even something admirable about how steadfast it is in being a classical homage. The sad reality is that most pastiches that lack the self-awareness to break free of being pale homages are doomed to fade while the classic works they ape remain eternally relevant, but for now, in 2023, if you’ve got some time to spare you could do far worse than Sea of Stars.

Console Creatures - Bobby Pashalidis - Recommended

Sabotage Studio’s Sea of Stars is an instant classic. It is an engrossing story with beautiful characters bolstered with an exciting battle system that respects its predecessors while establishing its legacy.

GameXplain - Adam Conner - Mind-blown

Video Review - Quote not available

Gaming Age - Dustin Chadwell - A or higher

I’ve really been impressed with Sea of Stars overall. I think it delivers the total package when it comes to retro-infused RPG’s, and it feels pretty unique in a field that’s full of like-minded games.

La Orden del Pixel - David Cedrés - Spanish - Yes

Sea of Stars is a turn-based RPG that proves that the genre doesn't live by big productions alone, offering one of the best and most rewarding experiences of the year.

LadiesGamers.com - Paula Moore - Loved

Sea of Stars constantly finds ways to keep the story and characters interesting and surprise you with creative and fun plot twists. With over thirty hours of enjoyable gameplay, Sea of Stars might be just what you are looking for if you are a fan of RPGs. It’s definitely a Two thumbs up score from me for this gem of a game!

Polygon - Josh Broadwell - Unscored

Sea of Stars aims for, well, the stars, but lands somewhere a bit lower. Its charming world and brilliant combat carry much of the adventure. However, when Sea of Stars wants very much to be a narrative-driven game with a big cast of characters, it’s difficult to overlook the story’s shortcomings.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Katharine Castle - Unscored

A beautifully made retro-inspired RPG that will instantly transport you back to the 16-bit golden years, for better or worse.

The Escapist - Marty Sliva - Unscored

Video Review - Quote not available


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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Sea of Stars - Turn based RPG from the makers of The Messenger, update: OpenCritic reviews posted
2 hours ago, crispy4000 said:

I'm surprised that it's reviewing better than Chained Echoes.  Two high reviewing classic-JRPG games in such a short period of time.

I lost interest in Chained Echos. The writing and layout of the areas, just wasn't doing it for me after 15 hrs or so. Hopefully SoS is waaaay better and more fleshed out coming from a full studio like Sabotage 

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6 hours ago, eventide11 said:

Kinda messed up but I want to be able to play this on a mobile device and switch is the only option I have. Even though it's 'free' on PS5 and Xbox. But I guess supporting these guys is a silver lining 

This is a Switch game for me no doubt

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