Countless millenia ago, two powerful alchemists named Aephorul and Resh’an set out to create the Elixir of Life, and succeeded.

Sea of Stars debuted on Kickstarter in March 2020 as a sequel to The Messenger (2018). In the game, players take control of two heroes named Valere and Zale, who use the power of the sun and moon to fight against an alchemist. Sea of Stars features puzzle-solving and turn-based combat, inspired by Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire games. The game was scored by Eric W. Brown, who previously composed for The Messenger under the alias of “Rainbowdragoneyes”, with ten guest tracks from Yasunori Mitsuda. Mitsuda created music for the original Chrono Trigger and Kingdom Hearts.

Here’s the Sea of Stars website. The game sold over 100,000 copies it’s first day on Steam, and has won high praise for it’s characters, stories, and environments. At times it can seem modern, but stays true to it’s pixelated 16-bit roots, as the trailer and this image show.

The game is by Sabotage Studio, a company founded in Quebec in 2016: “that specializes in games with retro aesthetics and modern game design.” Thierry Boulanger and Phillippe Dionne are the designers.

Crowdfunding is a viable way for game developers to actually get a “non-commercial” project made. They are often retro-flavored games that are more about story and puzzles, or actually sequels to classic games. Shenmue 3 came out 14 years after Shenmue 2, and the team got Sega to license them the game to make a new version. Minecraft began as a Kickstarter. About 40,000 video and board games have been successfully funded on Kickstarter. We will occasionally post about a cool crowdfund, like this graphics tool called Abode.

Game Informer has a fascinating breakdown on gameplay that might help you greatly as you play the game..

Sea of Stars arrived Tuesday, August 29th 2023 on Steam (PC), Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One & Xbox Series X/S. The retro-RPG funded on Kickstarter with $1.7M.


David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.