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A friendship to outlast the stars

Starbot is a short interactive adventure game and is in many ways an homage to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. The game was created by cloudhime in RPG Maker 2003.

The game focuses on a character known as Starbot, a newly created robot that looks like a boy. At first he has no personality and finds the world around him bewildering, but the two scientists who created him are eager to upgrade him, and over the course of the game he develops a charming personality as he learns to speak, read, and interact with others.

While undergoing his upgrades, Starbot is turned 'off', and during these periods he visits a strange purgatory-like world where stars are grown like flowers. He befriends a newborn star, and the two become intimate friends as they explore the world together, learning about its wonders and also its harsh realities.

The game is mostly an interactive story with very minimal game elements, however you are largely allowed to explore the world and its story at your leisure. The dialogue is quirky and charming and the details about the world are interesting, but what sets this game apart from many others is the way the setting is presented. The world of Starbot may seem idyllic and friendly but players who pay attention may notice something darker and more unsettling dancing at the periphery of your vision. By the end you'll get the sense that something bad is going to happen, but you're not entirely sure what.

I personally love when games indulge in this kind of storytelling not only because I feel it is brilliant when done correctly but that it's also the kind of storytelling that highlights what is unique about games as a medium; that the player is in control and that it's up to them to discover the secrets. The unique graphical style of the game helps lend a surreal, dream-like quality to the game as well.

The game is rather short, able to be completed in about thirty minutes even if you're thorough in your exploration, but it's definitely worth experiencing. I found the story had a surprising amount of depth and emotion for such a simple game, the story's conclusion both evocative and touching. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you'll probably like this game.


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aaaaa wow thank you so much for this review!!! i'm extremely flattered by your description of the unsettling storytelling in an otherwise friendly world in starbot... this has been one of my favorite tropes in games for a long time, and i was really excited to explore it in my own way. i used to play a lot of kids' point and click games in the 90's, and they always had weird pockets of? creepiness? otherworldliness? that were very eerie and attractive now in retrospect. the world of a game is a great way to explore it too because you can choose to ignore these "pockets" but being presented with the opportunity to explore them can feel somewhat eerie.

thank you again!
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
Another game on this site that does this is Star Stealing Prince. If you like RPGs and haven't tried it yet, you'll probably like it.

i've seen it around and i've been meaning to play for a while!! i'll have to check it out. thanks for the rec!
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