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Inside a Star-filled Sky is an infinite, recursive, tactical shooter by award-winning designer Jason Rohrer (Passage, Between). What if you could enter an object in a level and find a level inside of it? What if you could enter an object in that level and find another level inside of that?
Release Date: May 14, 2011
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Buy Inside a Star Filled Sky

$7.99

Reviews

“A beautiful, violent crumb from infinity's table”
9/10 – IGN

“Eloquently translates the incomprehensible concept of infinity into game form... Alternately maddening and sublime”
4/5 – GamePro

About the Game

Inside a Star-filled Sky is an infinite, recursive, tactical shooter by award-winning designer Jason Rohrer (Passage, Between). What if you could enter an object in a level and find a level inside of it? What if you could enter an object in that level and find another level inside of that?

What if you could change an enemy or a power-up from the inside? What if you could enter and change yourself? What if these levels inside levels inside levels went all the way down---and all the way up?

Inside a Star-filled Sky is a hard, procedurally-generated shmup built around this core concept.

Key features:

  • Unique recursive gameplay
  • Enter things---enemies, power-ups, and even yourself---to alter them for your tactical advantage
  • Procedurally generated levels, along with a massive bullet combo system, offer limitless tactical variety
  • Dozens of ways to approach each challenge---reflex your way through, blast your way through, or think your way through
  • Dynamic soundtrack is procedurally generated based on moment-to-moment gameplay
  • Plant your flag throughout an infinite level space to mark your discoveries, and see flags planted by others via a global flag server

PC System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 900 MHz
    • Memory: 40 MB
    • Hard Disk Space: 10 MB
    • Video Card: Onboard Graphics
    • Sound: Standard Audio

Mac System Requirements

    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor: 900MHz Intel
    • Memory: 40 MB
    • Hard Disk Space: 10 MB
    • Video Card: Onboard Graphics
    • Sound: Standard Audio
Helpful customer reviews
12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
184 products in account
43 reviews
2.2 hrs on record
65/100 Jason Rohrer's "Inside a Star-filled Sky" is an experimental multi-directional shooter with danmaku and tactical elements who has beautiful pixel art style and pleasant melody for soundtrack. But author's vaunted recursion disappeared into the depths of infinite levels...
Posted: December 15th, 2013
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17 of 27 people (63%) found this review helpful
530 products in account
39 reviews
0.8 hrs on record
Inside a Star-Filled Sky is a game developed by the lone indie developer Jason Rohrer. Inside a Star-Filled Sky is exactly the type of game I'd expect to see win some kind of award at the IGF - but winning an award at the IGF doesn't necessarily mean it's a good game.

Insidie a Star-Filled Sky is a novel concept and little more. The game itself is themes around the idea of recursion where you 'enter' power ups and enemies. While this is a nice idea it doesn't really impact the gameplay that much and each item you enter is effectively just the next room. I did appreciate the power up mechanics. You can collect up to 3 powerups and they can be combined in interesting ways to produce interesting effects. This fact alone, however, is not enough to merit a recommendation from me.

As a product, the game is very unpolished and feels like a prototype - for example editing the controls involves manually editing a config file. There's also no sound effects to speak of, just some ambiance music.

There are some nice ideas here but I don't feel the developer took time to flesh them out into a compelling gaming experience and instead delivered us a rough prototype.

Score: 3.5/10
Posted: December 5th, 2013
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
470 products in account
12 reviews
0.3 hrs on record
The developer's website (http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/jason-rohrer/) lists his entire published portfolio. Critics of this game should try some of Jason Rohrer's freeware releases. What British mathematician John Conway did for games as procedural life generators, Jason Rohrer has been doing for games as statements about ethics and the limits of human consciousness. But while Conway's "Game of Life" is a wide-open laboratory, Jason Rohrer uses the medium of pseudorandomness to make syllogistic statements. For example, each step you take in "Passage" brings you a bit closer to the same conclusion: when facing a finite lifespan, the love you make is worth more than the treasure you take. Fairly straightforward conclusion, yet "Passage" is never hamfisted or forced - reasoned argument always trumps hand-waving assertion.

"Inside a Star-filled Sky" forgoes syllogistic logic in favor of inductive reasoning. As you traverse each level, you'll discover that you lack the attack power and/or movement speed to reach the exit. So, you must power up your creature and weaken your enemies. This means diving recursively into a powerup, an enemy, or even yourself. As these recursive levels stack up, you face the identical problem at each local scope: how to weaken the obstacles and strengthen yourself. All with an eye toward unwinding the stack and solving the original problem. And so the game politely asks the player to consider a simple proposition: observed casuality in the universe is not a linear function of time but rather an ex post facto selection of one set of points in a multi-dimensional space of possibilities, with each possibility perched on a stack of turtles all the way down. But the game actually makes this statement more elegantly than I ever could.
Posted: December 22nd, 2013
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
123 products in account
1 review
2.4 hrs on record
I love how this game makes me think creatively when I play it. Excellent example of how the latest computers and graphics are not required for a game to have a surprising amount of depth. Bravo to Rohrer for creatively expanding the medium without perpetuating the industry's ever expanding, harmful, and needless hardware and software upgrade cycles.
Posted: December 28th, 2013
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
239 products in account
22 reviews
0.5 hrs on record
Interesting concept and gameplay but nothing there to make you want to continue playing after an hour.
Posted: December 24th, 2013
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