A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
ASTROLOGASTER is set in Shakespearean 16th century London, and Simon Forman -- who's a real historical figure -- is battling the bubonic plague. He consults the stars, concocts a remedy, and... recovers. Armed with his new knowledge and confidence, Simon sets out to treat others in his community using astrology for diagnosis. What follows is a parade of gossipy seekers asking for advice on everything from vomiting ("chundering") to investment opportunities. Players assist "Doctor" Forman by reading the stars and choosing the best diagnosis available. What this means, however, is up for interpretation. Do you choose the result that will work out best for the person seeking help over time or do you choose the result that will make your patient the happiest? This is complicated by the fact that the local licensed physicians are after Forman for impersonating a doctor. He needs to obtain eight letters of recommendation from his patients, which requires them to be happy with his diagnoses. If he can obtain all the required letters, he will receive a medical license from the University of Cambridge. Players will see 13 patients over a series of 5-7 visits. Each client has a unique story arc, but their stories often overlap. As a result, a diagnosis for one person could impact the relationship with others. In terms of the interface, the story is portrayed in a pop-up book style replete with a witty madrigal chorus.
Is it any good?
With beautiful graphics, a clever chorus, and ribald sense of humor, there's a definite audience for this out-of-the-ordinary sim. Astrologaster is quirky and unique, but not without its low points. Sitting through the madrigal chorus between patients is fun at first but begins to feel tedious as the story continues. In fact, the whole movement of the story is slow, and the extensive use of Elizabethan English may impact engagement for kids. It's not always clear how the choices made impact the outcomes, but some of that may be design. Astrologaster will likely have a high appeal to those who like British humor and absurd plotlines. For those looking for a real-to-life sim, this probably isn't the best choice.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can use the information in Astrologaster to talk about the medical profession over time. How has medicine changed since the 16th century? What would happen to Simon Forman today?
How do you like this app in comparison with other apps you could play? As you balance your time on- and offscreen, would this be an app you'd choose to use? Why or why not?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading
Social Studies: history
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, prediction
- Price: Paid
- Pricing structure: Paid ($4.99)
- Release date: June 1, 2019
- Category: Simulation Games
- Size: 474.50 MB
- Publisher: Nyamyam
- Version: 1.6
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.3 or later
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love simulations and history
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.