Sea of Stars – One to Watch for 2023

Sea of Stars is an old school 16-bit RPG from the team that brought us The Messenger, Sabotage Studio. This looks like a homage to some of the best RPGs from a bygone era like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, and it’s high up there on my list of most anticipated games of 2023, and today I’m going to round up everything we know.

The game started out as a kickstarter project back in 2020, and to the surprise of the team, it was completely funded in a matter of 7 hours. Sea of Stars immediately found a following, and then the hype levels turned up to 10 when Sea of Stars was featured during an Indie Direct from Nintendo in December 2021.

Sea of Stars doesn’t have a set release date just yet, just a rough release window of 2023 at the moment, so it’s possible it will get pushed to 2024. However, being optimistic, I am hopeful we see this game in 2023. In the Sea of Stars Discord the team did update fans with a small snipper of text recently saying “Keeping in mind our two main priorities – quality of life for our team and quality of the finished game – we can now confirm that Sea of Stars will be released in 2023.” The post went on to thank fans for their support so far, but gave no further specifics related to the release date.

There’s plenty of supporting information out there related to Sea of Stars. Head on over to Sabotage Studios on YouTube and you’ll see a wealth of videos with trailers, short snippets and behind-the-scenes looks. There are plenty of smaller clips which look at environments and gameplay elements.

This is a departure from the gameplay found in The Messenger. That was a dungeon crawler slash shop management game, where as this is going to be an old school turn based RPG, very similar to early Final Fantasy games. Players control three characters with a range of attacks, skills and combos between them to take out their enemies. Combat is a big focus for Sea of Stars, with many of the gameplay snippet from Sabotage Studios focusing on combat moves and combinations.

In total we’re set to have six playable characters in total with their own unique skills and abilities. Gameplay is going to stay true to old school RPG and it’s turn based, without time limits. This allows to player to take it at their own pace, plus we aren’t going to get random encounters, meaning every battle will be deliberate. Timed hits are going to feature with Sabotage Studios allowing players to sync their actions to the animations in order to deal more damage. The combo system promises to be rich too with ‘live mana’ created from an attack getting incorporated back into your attacks for extra damage. There’s also a lock system which allows players to weaken enemies by dealing certain elemental damage.

Sea of Stars is set in the same world as The Messenger, albeit this one being a prequel. The graphics look gorgeous, which definitely look similar to the Super Nintendo, but they appear to be enhanced. The game includes music from legendary Japanese composer Yasunori Mitsuda. He has credits that include Chrono Trigger, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Kid Icarus Uprising, Xenoblade Chronicles 1, 2 and 3. That’s quite a CV. Sabotage Studios have proved they can pull of a fantastic retro game with The Messenger. Sea of Stars is looking to turn it up a notch with great artwork, amazing music, and hopefully fantastic RPG turn-based gameplay.

Sea of Stars is set for release on PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch and PC.