After 2018’s The Messenger proved the studio’s ability to recreate the retro era in a modern game, Sabotage Studio is turning its attention from the 2D Metroidvania genre to turn-based RPGs. Sea Of Stars–which began as a Kickstarter campaign in 2020–is set in The Messenger’s universe, and it shows that when it comes to retro-style games, Sabotage is a force to be reckoned with.
Reviews so far are universally positive, with many reviewers praising the game’s ability to channel the old-school retro feeling throughout the adventure. Many reviewers have compared it to games like Super Mario RPG, Illusion of Gaia, and Chrono Trigger–which are grand comparisons for a brand-new name in the turn-based RPG world.
On our sister site Metacritic, Sea Of Stars is currently at 93 for the PS5 version, which is an average of six reviews, while it sits at 89 on PC based on 13 reviews. More reviews are coming in on other consoles, including Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X. The game will also launch on Xbox Game Pass day one, and it will be available on the Extra and Premium tiers of PlayStation Plus.
Check out more reviews below:
- Game: Sea Of Stars
- Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC
- Developer: Sabotage Studio
- Release Date: August 29, 2023
- Price: $35
Digital Trends – 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.” — Jess Reyes [Full review]
Prima Games – 10/10
“When Sea of Stars was first revealed, I knew I’d dig it because I’m a sucker for 2D RPGs. Like many of us, I grew up with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy and could not wait to dive in. A game rarely grips me to the point where I dump 50 hours into it within the space of a week, so when it does, you know it’s good. That’s what Sea of Stars did. Seriously, I don’t know what Sabotage Studio put into it to hook me so hard, but I could not put it down.” — Meg Bethany Koepp [Full review]
Dexerto – 10/10
“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.” — Brad Norton [Full review]
Game Informer – 9/10
“Sea of Stars is like a great genre film by a skilled director. It looks and feels familiar; you basically know what to expect and can probably even predict the major beats, but it doesn’t hinder the experience. The intention is so well-executed that I was eager to soak it all in and, in this case, swim in the stars. I dreaded Sea of Stars’ conclusion not because I feared the worst but because I didn’t want to leave the world and stop playing.” — Kyle Hilliard [Full review]
PCGamesN – 9/10
“As a massive Chrono Trigger fan, I began Sea of Stars with cautious pessimism. I remembered other games that claimed 90s JRPGs as direct inspirations and failed to actualize what made them great. I also worried it might rely too heavily on Chrono Trigger as a crutch, doing little else other than feeding the insatiable nostalgia monster that lives inside every gamer who grew up during that era. It doesn’t take long for Sea of Stars to shatter my pessimistic expectations.” — Lowell Bell [Full review]
But Why Tho? – 10/10
“Summer 2023 is the season of the RPG, with mammoth genre entries such as Final Fantasy XVI and Baldur’s Gate 3 already delivering incredibly crafted fantasy adventures to gamers. If those were the main course of this genre feast, Sabotage has prepared the perfect dessert for the fans with the sweet, fun, and retro-inspired adventure they have crafted in Sea of Stars.” — Charles Hartford [Full review]
Siliconera – 10/10
“I thought the Sea of Stars demo was fine. I downloaded it a few days after it was announced during the February 2023 Nintendo Direct. I didn’t finish it. The concept seemed okay, I liked the spritework, and the battle system seemed well-executed. But other things demanded my time, and I reasoned it’d be something I might get to when it’s on some subscription service. What I didn’t expect is for the full version of Sea of Stars to leave me absolutely floored. It’s one of the best games I’ve played all year. The characterizations, stories, environments, opponents, and puzzles can feel so fresh and fun, even when they’re clearly building on or inspired by classic RPGs.” — Jenni Lada [Full review]