A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Themes of friendship, trust, and teamwork run through the story.
Positive Role Models
The two main characters are heroes eager to help friends, come to the aid of strangers, and generally do the right thing. They're perhaps a little eager to jump into fights with monsters, but they only battle aggressive creatures that would do them harm.
One of the main characters is a young woman with light skin, the other is a young man with a slightly darker complexion. Important side characters include a broad range of skin tones, ages, and gender identities.
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Ease of Play
Puzzles are frequent, and combat can get a bit complex, often requiring well-timed button taps, but the level of challenge ramps up gradually. Plus, players can choose between several difficulty levels, one of which is designed to focus on story over strategy.
Violence & Scariness
The player's characters do turn-based battle with fantasy creatures such as a cyclops, aggressive lizards, and killer plants. They use blades, poles, and magic. Enemies flash when struck, sometimes emitting stars and specks that might be interpreted as blood. The graphics are pixelated and characters are tiny, limiting the visual intensity of combat.
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Mild profanity -- like the word "damn" -- appears infrequently in text dialogue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Sea of Stars is a retro-themed fantasy role-playing game for Windows PCs, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series S/X, and Nintendo Switch. It focuses on a pair of heroes who are trained and destined to fight a great evil threatening their world. They're a friendly and optimistic duo, eager to fulfill their duties and help others whenever they can. Themes of friendship, trust, and teamwork run through the story. Combat is frequent and involves blades, poles, and magic used against a variety of imaginative fantasy monsters, such as one-eyed skeletons. However, the game's retro aesthetic -- most characters are pretty small, rendered in pixels rather than polygons -- keeps the visual violence pretty tame. Enemies flash briefly when struck, occasionally emitting stars or specks on impact. Parents should note that the dialogue is generally upbeat and funny, but does contain infrequent mild language.
Is It Any Good?
Game-loving kids interested in the nostalgia of renowned RPGs from the nineties will find what they're looking for here. Sea of Stars brilliantly channels the aesthetic, play mechanics, and overall vibe of classics like Chrono Trigger, while taking advantage of modern gaming amenities to make the experience more accessible for today's players. The simple but compelling story of a pair of young heroes fulfilling their destiny never gets too dark or cerebral, opting instead to focus on friendship and duty. And the combat marries old school turn-based action with more active elements that help keep the player's attention, such as tapping a button at precisely the right time to increase the damage of attacks.
The real star of the show, though, is the presentation. The pixelated environments are works of art, creating unique ambience for every location the player visits, from mines and mountains to gravesites and jungles. Each of these settings has its own traversal techniques -- such as climbing or swimming -- to master or puzzles to solve in order to forge a path forward. All of these activities are performed to the tune of a majestic and memorable score that recalls the classic soundtracks of games from the '90s era. In terms of effectively transporting players to a bygone and beloved time in gaming, few modern RPGs do it as well as Sea of Stars.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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