The Stargazers

Lupiesoft, with help of MangaGamer, bring us their latest Visual Novel to Steam; The Stargazers. A peculiar story in a strange setting, anime inspired and wacky fan service are just a few of the ingredients this bowl of space adventure has to offer.

The VN is pretty much about three main characters from which you can choose any at the beginning. Whoever you choose, you get their part of the story UNTIL the next “chapter” which allows you to continue on the perspective (or short scenarios) of another character. While this feature seems quite unique for this genre and may or not be a feat in terms of programming but I like to think it’s one of those plus that VNs usually require to not just be “the generic moving sprites and texts adventures”.

These three characters are pilots! But not airplane ones, but full-on anime Mecha pilots in space. The game is said to be heavily inspired by 50’s, 80’s Sci-fi, anime of course, and even Pulp Fiction. The relationship theme stands out as a yuri game as well, seeing as the main characters are all female.

The game does have a few issues however. For starters, the pacing and writing is all over the place. It really felt like you were thrown into the middle of a book, and not the fun kind of future sighting pacing. Character dialogues are overly complex unnecessarily and get mixed up and lose focus of previous topics, making it hard to follow sometimes.

The art style caught my attention the second I saw the art for the game. Its peculiar, anime inspired but has strange techniques. Anatomy and basic proportions are kind of messed up on some characters, especially secondary ones. The fan service in this department can be a bit graphic or explicit unnecessarily as well. I feel like these tones in stories can be done in more subtle ways and be more effective, but in this case scenes are just blandly thrown in there. Scenery is decently illustrated and portrayed as a specific sci-fi genre though.

On the other hand, the UIs design is not very easy on the eyes due to the overall color palette, it lacks some sort of contrast and the toned down colors aren’t very appealing.

The soundtrack has a few tunes that are pretty appropriate and feel pleasant. Nevertheless, there are cases in which some tracks are not balanced equally between each other, making you loose “sight” or the sense of immersion, specially when the soundtrack just stops and you’re stuck reading text silently, then all of a sudden some random sound FX cues pop in.

The Stargazers feels like an interesting concept with very awesome inspirations, but it just needs to be polished, have a revision on the script, pacing, dialogues, and re-structure the art style and colors. If you don’t mind these aspects, I suppose the whole silly relationships between the characters, their goals, personal obstacles and what not, can entertain up to a certain degree.