In the distant future, mankind has taken to deep space travel and mapped out much of our galaxy. Now the Allied Defense Force Signals also known as the ADFS have set out to explore uncharted rims of the Milky Way Galaxy. The story follows the exploits of a trio of girls on the ADFSS Shooting Star, as they get into all kinds of problems.
Stargazers opens as Temperance arrives at the space station where she has been commissioned. Captain Ozuma gives her a guided tour which ends when they stumble into the rest of Temperance’s crew doing lewd, unsanitary things in the cargo hold. After their “introduction” Temperance sets out to carve the other two into quality military material, while others try to slowly help Temperance get used to her new life aboard the station. It starts off slow – introducing the station and its inhabitants, but the game quickly shifts into high gear.
You can play the game as one of three heroines. The uptight and just squadron leader, Temperance Goodchild, who longs for her lover she left on the other side of the galaxy; The diligent, but easy to influence Risty Mello who gets into all kinds of problems because of her girlfriend; And finally, the airheaded and slutty alien space-elf Viiflidi Ylvida Camilladilly Marjoram-ana or Viiflidi for short. The game offers you the ability to choose from whose perspective you want to play at the beginning of each scene. You’ll want to switch it up or play multiple times if you want to grasp the whole picture and learn a bit more about each character in particular.
The giant robots and space elves aside, the main emphasis is on the relationships between the characters. It’s interesting to see the group slowly grow together both emotionally and physically, after their initial clashes. This is not to say that there aren’t more action packed scenes. In one particular instance our trio goes out to a seedy space station under the disguise as gamblers in order to hunt down a renegade, ultimately ending in an action-packed show-down against a fox girl.
The Stargazers is available on both Steam and on Mangagamer’s official website, either as an all-ages or adult version for an affordable 12,99 and 15,95 respectively. While the game is filled with sexual talk it is rather tame. The sex scenes happen in regular intervals and never last longer than a handful of minutes.
Even at a glance it’s evident that this is a unique visual novel. The artstyle is a bit more graphic than that of other happy go lucky visual moe novels out there, but it is nevertheless refreshing. The chromed blocky robots, tight jumpsuits and ridiculously shaped laser guns are just part of the charming pulp fiction style this game has going for it. The music is no slouch either and it contributes to the overall retro sci-fi atmosphere.
The game is a bit lacking with additional content, especially when placed side by side with other visual novels. There is no auto play option, no way to view the conversation log and the game lacks any kind of gallery to let you see everything you unlocked and help you track your progress. There are also a number of smaller bugs which can pop-up from time to time such as missing images. Fortunately, the developers are working on a patch to iron out these issues.
As a visual novel Stargazers is on the shorter side as you can beat it in a single longer sitting. Thankfully the ability to play the same scene as multiple characters does add bit of replay value and there are a few minor choices further adding to the replay value.
If you love the cheesy sci-fi mecha pulp fiction you will love The Stargazers. Its distinct artstyle and focus on yuri offers something unique, and are bound to appeal to a number of players. And if this still doesn’t sound like your cup of tea you can always download the playable all-ages or adult trial and dip your toes in before you take the plunge.