A roguelite labyrinth lodged in the side of a star. Dodge gorgeous waves of bullets, claim weapons and upgrades, defeat The Warden, and rescue... Rodney?
User reviews:
Very Positive (170 reviews) - 98% of the 170 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 22, 2016

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August 5

Starward Rogue Update 1.5: Awesome And Humble

Hey!  Didn't think we forgot about Starward Rogue, did you?  There's been a ton of stuff going on with it, though we've not had a release since May.

I'm going to break this post into two parts: an "abstract," if you will, that is briefer and up here at the top.  And then an incredibly-long section below with all the details.  So when you see the length of this thing, feel free to stop reading after the abstract.  Here we go!


The TLDR is that this game is being included in the August Humble Monthly, and as a part of that they sponsored some awesome new content that is available for everybody -- if you already have the game, you're getting this content for free, too.

BUT we also have a bunch of other awesome updates that go along with this that are unrelated to Humble, but are just things-that-have-been-in-progress-since-May.  The difference in the feel of the game, to me, is nothing short of incredible.  And I feel like I can take this moment to brag a bit, since I've had nothing to do with the specific content, given I've been busy with In Case of Emergency, Release Raptor for my own work.

The end boss, Terminus, is now incredibly more epic, which is very exciting.  Balance work has been done all over the place, and the ending areas of the game are a lot harder.  There are dozens of new things of various sorts: enemies, items, weapons, etc, etc.

Both the consumable shops and the sacrifice shops have gotten huge updates to be more useful and filled with more goodies.  There's a new mech, bringing the total from 6 to 7.

There are also now teleporters that let you easily backtrack to key points that you've visited in the past on the current floor.  Saves a ton of time and streamlines exploration.  And lots, lots more.

Humble Monthly

What's this new sponsored content?  Glad you asked!

The Humble Mech

Description: Gets a 10% discount at all stores, and 20 credits starting spending money. Armed with the Contrishooter, a secondary weapon that is powered by your own generosity, and a missile launcher that converts enemies into credits on kill.

A bit of a game changing mechanic on this mech, due to it's secondary weapon that uses credits instead of energy.

Note from Chris: This is my own favorite mech now, I think.  It's definitely not overpowered, but it fits my playstyle really well.  I tend to be pretty frugal in the game, and having extra credits here actually encourages me to spend a bit more.

But even more than that, my frugality is rewarded a bit in that I can unleash a ton of hurt on bosses with the Contrishooter.  All of the existing mechs (there are 6 until now) are great and each fit a specific playstyle, but this is the first one that truly supports my own slightly-speedrunny-very-little-shopping playstyle.

"The Humbled": New Boss

This is a new multi phase boss that uses two sets of orbiting minions as its defense.

If you don't mind spoilers, here's a video of the Hard mode version of the Humble-themed boss.  The normal mode version is not so intense.

Bear in mind that this takes extra time in that video because Misery was playing with no upgrades whatsoever to his mech, so the boss feels extra tanky thanks to that. In actual gameplay where you've collected items and leveled up and whatnot it dies at a better rate.

Consumable Shop Overhaul

The consumable shop has always been something that most players wouldn't normally have thought worthy of using a keycard on, so we decided to put some extra love here; the shop has been overhauled, including changes to its structure as well as the addition of a lot of new content.

Firstly, there are two variants of this shop. The normal shop which the player will encounter on most of their runs, which features a few new Humble-themed items. Then, there is also a new special Humble Shop which appears more rarely, but has 7 slots for items -- instead of 3.

Humble-Themed Items

Here is a list of the Humble specific content that has been added as part of the Consumable shop overhaul.

  • Small/Medium/Large Humble Bundles: These items allow the player to spawn a random selection of goodies. The bigger the bundle, the more cool stuff that can appear.
  • Alternate Deality: This is an item that allows you to reroll the current shop selection.
  • Energy Drink: This item will refill the players energy.
  • Repair Putty: This item will heal the player's hull.
  • CreditToEnergy: This allows the player to convert their credits to energy.
  • CreditToMissile: This allows the player to convert their credits to missiles.
  • EnergyToMissile: This allows the player to convert their energy to missiles.
  • Humble Voucher: This is a sacrifice item which gives the player a 10% discount at shops, which can stack with the Humble Mech discount.

Other Updates!

These things don't have anything to do with Humble, but they are a part of the general 1.5 update of the game, so you'll find these brand-new things waiting for you as you launch the game, too. :)

Backtracking Teleporter Pads

A long desired feature. Backtracking teleporters! These allow for much faster movement around the floors in order to making backtracking much easier.  You'll see these in the corner of rooms.  They work rather like the Warp Whistle did in Zelda 1, except faster.

Sacrifice Shop Overhaul

The sacrifice shop has had 13 new items added: Coupon Cutter, A Phasing Grace, Dead Eye Module, Explodifier, Grin And Bear It, Lorentz Factor, Magic Missile Box, Nanite Hull, Overcritical, Photoelectric, Skeleton Keycard, Scourge Spread, and the Blood Avenger. These items were created with help from the community.

Here is the community brainstorming thread.

This really makes a big difference, because on long runs the sacrifice shops could be getting empty on the lower floors.

Misery's Enemy and Room Balance Overhaul

Numerous adjustments have been made to the enemies, especially those late game. Floors 6 and 7 are a lot tougher now. As well as just adjustments, there are also new enemies to fight including Fragment, Diffusion, and many other new variants of existing enemies. Watch out for those Blue Facerippers!

New Weapons

A pack of 9 new main, energy, and missile launchers has been added: Plasma Shotgun, Warhog's Shotgun, Solar Flaregun, Stomper, Burstomatic, Interceptor Crossbow, Big Homing Missile Launcher, Homing Multi Mini Missile Launcher, and the Triple Squared Missile Launcher. Created in collaboration with community member Goldenwolf! Additionally, Spread Shot now added for real – it wasn't seeding in the previous patch.

New Boss and Miniboss stuff

Misery has added a new boss called Sunder, as well as completely overhauling Terminus (the super-final boss). It's now a crazy and epic fight worthy of being called the true final boss. New miniboss Loco has been added courtesy of Ptarth, plus a new Reaper variant, and a few improvements to the existing ones.

Improved Items

A few items have received some attention such as the Cryofreeze, Incineration, and the Sheltering Modules. Improvements for Limiter Removal, Phase Module, and many more.

Mech Selection

Now it's possible at add new mechs to the game without them overwriting the existing mechs. Now you can get a page scroll so that it's possible to add as many mechs as desired. Very useful for modders.


And that's all that we can remember, at least. ;)  The release notes are freaking long, and they don't include anything from the Humble section.

This update is almost entirely brought to you by our awesome volunteers Misery, ptarth, Pepisolo, and Cinth.  They had some help from other community members in some cases, and Blue from our staff provided the art and Keith provided some coding, but they did all the heavy lifting.  I'm super impressed with their work.


Official forum thread on this post.

16 comments Read more

May 6

Update 1.100: The New Balance Hotness

Been a while, hasn't it?  Our last update to the game was just over a month ago.  Well, even the release notes don't remotely do this one justice!

Basically there was previously a problem with the balance progression throughout the game if you were past a certain skill level in particular.  And there were some rooms that would give you situations where you might take unavoidable hits.  And there were some enemies that were out of whack, and some weapons for you.  And most of the consumable items were underwhelming.

Well... wowza, what a ton of changes to tune this one up for you.  The math for the progression of the game has been completely reworked, along with a lot of math in a lot of other places.  96 of the room templates have had tweaks to them, and the rest have had a hard squinting-at.  The final bosses are going to kick you in the teeth now (as they should), rather than you commonly having an OP build that would let you blaze through them quickly.  The latter still CAN happen, which is part of the fun of this genre, but now it's not remotely (vaguely, slightly) as frequent as it was before.

Oh!  Hey, yeah, there's also... seven, I think?... new weapons for you.  Four new familiars, too.  Bunches of new sound effects and some new particle effects.  A new enemy, the Zombot.

Also, I almost forgot -- Misery wrote up a great guide for you: Some tips and tricks for new or advanced players

Good grief!  And yes, of course, the Freaking Volunteers (whom this release is courtesy of) are still working on more.  If you run into any balance issues or have other feedback (good as well as bad!), I'm sure they'd love to hear from you on our forums, the steam forums, our bugtracker... you know where to find us.

Official forum thread on this post.

1 comments Read more


“Starward Rogue is easily the best arcade roguelike since Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.”
4.5/5 – Hardcore Gamer

“I've had a hoot of a time playing this game so far.”
Scott Manley

“The Flame Tank I saw and instantaneously went "Yep, that's my guy!"”

About This Game

  • Roguelite catacombs that evolve and expand with each of your successes.
  • Hundreds of items, enemies and rooms, and dozens of epic boss fights.
  • Fully playable with keyboard+mouse or gamepad.
  • 5 difficulty levels range from "Relatively Easy" to "Nigh Impossible."
  • Play as a "head in a mech" harvested from the neck of everyone's favorite Hydral.
  • Find secrets of The Megalith, a giant structure lodged in a star, as you lose many heads.
  • Figure out what happened to Rodney, an AI redshirt of uncertain motives.
  • Over-the-top mod support. Detailed wiki: create enemies, items, weapons, and rooms.
  • Secrets! Among them "incredibilities" that massively change the way the game plays.
  • Varied mech suits: dipole magnetism, time control, and more.
  • Upgrade during each "run" via EXP/Perks, shops, and items found while exploring.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Storage: 400 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OSX Intel CPU and "Leopard" 10.5 or later.
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Storage: 400 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may work
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz CPU
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Screen resolution at least 720px high, and 1024px wide.
    • Storage: 400 MB available space
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Very Positive (170 reviews)
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154 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
Very fun rogue-like bullet hell shooter.

It took me a bit of time to figure out what was going on since I'm not great at this type of game. But once I started figuring things out it turned out to be a lot of fun. Lots of variety, good graphics. Well worth the modest price.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
63 of 68 people (93%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 29
I've mentioned this before, but I'm glad Arcen Games exists, even if I don't really enjoy most of their games. Every one of their titles tends to venture beyond the normal bounds of game design, mashing such disparate concepts as open worlds, puzzles, and zombies into a single title. Starward Rogue has earned the distinction of their most enjoyable game for me, perhaps because it doesn't go as far afield in design as the rest.

Starward Rogue places you in a head attached to a robot body, stomping around the Megalith, a giant construct sticking out of a star. You get to pick one of six bodies, and they vary wildly, from close-combat flame-spewers to a clever thing that freezes time when you're not moving. According to the tutorial you're here to rescue some AI dude, but that never really comes up during runs. Each run is a top-down descent through five randomly-generated levels, featuring rooms of all shapes and sizes. Armed with your gun, missiles, energy cannon, and whatever upgrades and single-use items you can find, you have to blast your way through tons of enemies, bosses, and minibosses to... win, I suppose. I've beaten it once and you just get a stat screen.

If this all sounds a lot like Binding of Isaac, that's because this is its manic sci-fi cousin. Your enemies are colorful drones and ships that will sling thousands of bullets at you in every configuration imaginable. Much like the Touhou shmup games, bullets can curve, seek, chain, turn at right angles, form walls or fields or mazes, or perform even more dastardly manuevers. Be prepared to do a lot of complex dodging and narrow escapes to survive a run. The health system is luckily quite generous, giving you a pool of health you can easily upgrade, but also a shield or two (much harder to upgrade) that recharges for every room, like a free hit. You also move quite fast and can freely sprint, which is a welcome addition and gives the game a much quicker pace than most.

Aside from the coins and keys you'll pick up, there are three classes of weapons, passive upgrades, and consumables to find. Weapons tend to be few and far between but will completely change your style of play. Some guns fire through walls, some spread like flamethrowers, and some only work in melee range. Consumables can have similarly dramatic effects, like summoning temporary helpers and nuking everything in sight. You'll also level up and earn perks, but until level 10 or so those perks won't be very conspicuous, mostly being health or ammo upgrades. Oh, and there are permanent drone buddies you can find that provide some much-needed support, but can be easily confused with your foes.

And that brings me to my one real gripe with the game, the art style. Arcen tends to favor very bold, brash color schemes for their games, but too much variety in the palette can make important features hard to single out. Everything in Starward Rogue is brightly colored and detailed, but there's no real theme to the enemies, helpers, or even you. In huge battles everything can start to blend together, even moreso with thousands of glowing bullets flying around. The camera and the pace of your robot help keep it distinctive, but I've started skipping the drone familiars because they almost always confuse me and get me killed.

The art style may be hit or miss, but the rest of the presentation is excellent. Arcen games often have somewhat shoddy menus and interfaces, but the ones here are clear and even a bit polished. All the information you need is readily available and easily navigable. There's a little jank to some of the room transitions, and I thought the tutorial was bugged because the text popups are location-specific so you can blink and miss them, but those were the only two polish complaints.

What really keeps me coming back is just how plain ol' fun it is. The raw enjoyment of blasting hundreds of robots as you grow stronger and more unstoppable is in full force here. A pumping soundtrack helps keep you moving at breakneck speed as you look for the next boss to thrash. The difficulty is pretty even-handed as well, with only the final boss giving me any real trouble. With hundreds of enemies to encounter, tons of items to find, six classes to master, and plenty of secrets to uncover, Starward Rogue is a worthy competitor in the arena of roguelike shooters.
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79 of 102 people (77%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
This game is a lot of fun. Buy it to support Arcen who make some great games!!
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45 of 51 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
Key supplied by developer for review.
Starward Rogue
(Read on for the full review!)

I'm going to assume Starward Rogue is the first bullethell roguelite mashup, but if not, I bet it's the first that will be a success! Satisfying gameplay, nostalgic but qualitative art and sound, numerous progression and playstyle options, and highly configurable controls lead me to believe 100% that this will do the same for the rogue genre as Necrodancer, but with bullethell.


+ Addiction: This would be a major hit in the arcade era, but thanks to the PC, I can keep my quarters...and house!
+ Graphics: You can see space through the floors. Nuff said.
+ Audio: Great music, variety of satisfying SFX.
+ Bullets: A total of over 100 enemies with a large variety of bullet patterns and colors.
+ Controls: Fairly extensive customization.
+ Variety: Tons of mechs, enemies, powerups, weapons, modules, and consumables.
+ Gameplay: It's downright fun and satisfying to have bullet hell, action RPG, and rogue elements deftly interwoven.
+ Dynamic: Multiple difficulty options, risk vs. reward upgrades, and mechs can provide engaging differences in gameplay, feel, and challenge. There's even a mech that stops time when you aren't moving; great for many reasons.
+ Romance: It's so much cheaper than real fireworks!

- Defeat: As with any roguelike/roguelite, after getting far, death can take the wind out of your sails. There's something wholly unpleasant about slowly gaining power, overcoming odds, skillfully besting pure chaos--and then getting sent back to what now feels like baby's first dungeon. Solutions:
- Gametypes: I'd love to see an arena or endless mode, preferably with player-triggered waves, the ability to select or unlock items for starting loadout, and the ability to skip to a certain wave.
- Gametypes Pt 2: No boss attack mode?
- I'm bad at bullet hell games.

± Graphics: I don't like the green floor type at all. Preference.


Welcome to my review of Starward Rogue, an unapolagetic bullethell roguelite fusion. As with any rogue, most of this is going to come down to gameplay, so let's just move on immediately!

Upon starting up a new save file for Starward Rogue, you will find yourself in a quick voiced tutorial that covers the basics and then sends you on your way. There are slow, default, and sprint movement speeds. Slow and normal speeds will be used to navigate mazes of bullets and traps carefully, while sprint is good for dodging quick enemies and bullets, as well as backtracking. You have your primary and secondary weaponfire, modules that can alter any number of things, and consumables that can also have a large variety of effects. The tutorial will also get you started on your way to recognizing enemy types and the way their bullet patterns work, as well as how a room might generate and how that will change the dynamics of combat based on their structure. There are traps and obstacles aplenty.

When looking at the stats screen pertaining to your save file, you can see that there is a total of: 124 enemies, 8 minibosses, 20 bosses, 13 condemned enemies, 223 items, and 11 incredibilities. Upon beating (as of the latest update) three 5-floor runs, you will unlock 7-floor runs. This is a downright impressive quantity for any game to feature, and yet the enemy types and bosses all seem balanced, weapons and items all seem to have their pros, cons, and uses, and you have 6 different options for what type of mech you wish to tackle it all with. The level of variety these possibilities produce, combined with the recognizable patterns and attack types of enemies, makes for a fun and challenging but fair experience. If that isn't the case for you, though, there are also 5 difficulty options to suit your needs! I should also mention that there are level-up perks, as well as health, currency, ammo, and exp drops. Even further, if you pick up a different weapon, consumable, or module it will swap their locations instead of overwrite the old with the new. Try something out for a few rooms and don't like it? You can just go back.

After 15 runs, I am at a measly 18% completion, and am still discovering interesting new room and floor layouts that catch me off guard. There are tiles you can't walk on, bombs you can't touch, barriers you can't pass, a variety of barriers that you or your enemies can still shoot past, timed and infinite lazers, turrets with various behaviors, etc. When you throw all of these into a room, of varying size and shape, in various formations, and then mix in a multitude of enemies with various attack patterns--some of which might make dodging impossible when combined, and stir it all up--you're in for a hectic, chaotic, fun-filled time! Thankfully, for scrubs like me, in a lot of situations simply taking cover between assaults is an option.

Even with death's strong attraction to me, I find myself compelled to deftly navigate the pretty, colorful volley of fireworks that are my enemy's bullets and laugh maniacally when they die with a satisfying explosion. Starward Rogue has a great concept and execution, and is just good old plain fun. With the right combination of hull, primary and secondary weapon, module, level-up perks, and upgrades I firmly believe that you will have an adrenaline-filled journey where you make a stupid mistake, die, curse the heavens, and then feel all the more eager to become similarly powerful and vanquish your enemies!

Here are the highlights: the main menu background art, beautiful. The interface, suitable and thematic, if a bit blue and large; good mix of retro and modern stylings. The textures and level design, fairly good, but not super amazing. I hate the green space background, but I once encountered a pink-yellow-orange background that was gorgeous and gave the game an amazing feel for that run. Super distinct, polished, and shiny would be a fault in this case, anyway, because the most important thing to see are the enemy attacks; displayed here in distinct, vivid colors and patterns. Finally, it is worth noting that the bosses have pretty detailed pixel art that I find lovely.

Great music, fits nicely, good when playing but can get old fast if you happen to alt tab for something. There are some nice subtle atmospheric sounds, and various other sounds that generally remind me of some of the better oldschool games around. It won't win any sound design of the year awards, but if you are a fan of rogues, sound is not the first thing on your mind.

Due to the quality gameplay, strong concept, good execution, massive variety, and an appealing mix of challenge and fairness, I recommend purchasing Starward Rogue at:

Full price. All the time, any time.

No drama, Just Reviews.

If you like my reviews, you can easily keep up with them here.
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39 of 43 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
27.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
Disclosure: I was provided a free copy and gave feedback on the game in the alpha/beta phases.

If you like Nuclear Throne and/or Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, this is an excellent game for you. If you don't, this is a great introduction to the rogue-lite genre.

Much like the aforementioned 2 games, this is a top-down rogue-lite with secrets and rooms of enemies. So what makes this one different?

- More interesting rooms. The rooms in Isaac and Throne are mostly afterthoughts -- simple arenas in which to fight enemies. Here, you generally get far more interesting patterns.
- More bullet hell. The other games take inspiration from the SHMUP genre, but they're too afraid to go all the way, preferring enemies that charge at you and simple bullets. Starward Rogue goes full SHMUP, with really cool bullet patterns that make dodging a real challenge. Think the Hush from Rebirth, but without the crazy HP.
- Cool sci-fi feel. This genre was really missing a true sci-fi setting, and this is it.
- Excellent *hi-res* art. Isn't it about time we got good art in rogue-lites? Why do they all want to use low-res art? The art here is beautiful and detailed. Each bullet glows with energy, and the explosions are satisfying.
- Explosions. Awesome explosions everywhere!
- Crazy good music. Seriously, just listen to the trailer.
- Easy to mod. Remember how Rebirth needed forever to give us modding tools? Well Starward Rogue has them out *now*. Make good enough rooms/enemies, and Arcen will even put them in the official game. How cool is that?

What I would like to see:
- A daily run. This has become standard among rogue-lites.
- Some co-op action, even if it's local only.
- Networking co-op would be even better.

All in all, I highly recommend this game.
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29 of 31 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 23
This is a wonderful game. I haven't played too far yet, still trying to beat the first level boss. But, it's an excellent design, chock full of bullet-hell, shoot 'em up and exploration goodness. There appears to be a ton of different weapons and power-ups, and the enemy patterns are very unique and challenging.

I'm a slow, old guy who generally sucks at this kind of game, but I love them so much. This is definitely one I will be playing for a long time. The controls are precise and work very well with either mouse/keyboard or controller.

Oh, and the music is top notch!

I think this could easily be my favorite Arcen game.
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31 of 35 people (89%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Starward Rogue is a roguelite/bullet hell game made by experienced indie studio Arcen Games, previously known for games like AI War or Bionic Dues. Developers obviously favor the sci-fi theme so Starward Rogue is no exception. You'll control a mech that will venture into "The Megalith" to destroy every threat on sight.

To do that important task, you'll be assigned with many weapons. From the start you'll get a basic rifle, energy rifle (with limited energy for every room) and missile launcher. That doesn't mean you'll keep those through your run, as you'll be finding many great weapons and tools (some apply as a permanent passive bonus, others are only for one use).

Before you start, you'll select a mech that you want - if you don't like the basic one, you can pick a mech that focuses on treasure hunting, or a mech that can manipulate time (in a Superhot style), for example. Don't worry, there are even more unique mechs for you to pick, providing more variability for your runs, which is necessary for every roguelike/roguelite game.

Variability of runs is also high because of two important things: There are many room patterns that can surprise even experienced players, and every enemy has a unique way of attacking. Every type of enemy has a different way to turn your run to inevitable end. This fact made me really excited for more runs, seeing the awesome developers' creativity for bullets and attacks. This applies also for bosses and though there aren't many of those, they still offer a great bullet hell experience.

Besides of health (and shield), you'll be also taking care of money that will drop from several objects in the rooms, and shopping - you can spend your money for bot helpers, new weapons, upgrades, heals or experience. Starward Rogue follows classic leveling system, where every level up offers you a special passive upgrade (you pick one from three possible upgrades). Through the levels, you'll be also collecting a health shards that can upgrade your maximum health.

From the presentation point of view, the visual style of the game feels pleasant in terms of the sci-fi theme. That applies also for the soundtrack, which belongs into electronic/dubstep genre and though I don't listen to that music genre, it felt fine there.

To make it a great experience for both newbies and skilled players, Starward Rogue has five difficulty options. Unlocking achievements tends to be really satisfying, as developers made them only for challenges that truly tests your skill... to a certain extent, since you can unlock them even on the easy difficulty (but I guess that might even make 100% achievement hunters happy).

Developers definitely deserve praise for this game, which they even continually update with new content and bugfixes. They also support mod creators, with their active Arcen Games forum community and detailed documentation on wiki.

Starward Rogue is a great case of using currently popular roguelite and twin stick shooter formulas into developers' favoured futuristic theme. With continued support, great room, weapon, item and enemy variety, there aren't feature that would deserve a negative critic. I can recommend this game with a clear conscience. Great game!

Disclaimer: My copy of Starward Rogue was obtained for free - I won the game in a giveaway that might have been sponsored by the developer. This fact hasn't changed my opinion about the game (and the review) in any way.
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24 of 26 people (92%) found this review helpful
49.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
This is a solid, fun twin stick bullet hell shooter.
It also includes flexible difficulty mode, an everything unlocked mode and six save slots to mess around with.
I enjoy it and recommend it.
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23 of 26 people (88%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 26
Amazing Game, Endless hours of gameplay, Huge amounts of diversity and complexity. This game is a must buy. This game has Level ups and perks its just beautiful. The day i see this game get its first negative reveiw is when i go postal.
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24 of 29 people (83%) found this review helpful
41.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
Disclaimer: I was part of the private beta and thus received a free key from the developers.
My playtime exceeds what is listed on Steam for the same reason.

Verdict: Lots of fun and definitely recommended.

For me this game is all the fun of bullet hell without the frustration of being fragile like a glass - while still providing a reasonable to insane challenge - just as you prefer it.

The various mechs all feel very different in terms of playstyle and the variety in terms of enemies, bullet pattern and bosses is just staggering for such a small title - and there so so much more to come, given to what lengths Arcen has gone to allow players to mod the heck out of this game.

I am really looking forward to what players will come up with here in the future.
The prospect of a fully modable Arcen title is just - exciting :).

The soundtrack is one, if not the best one yet published by Pablo Vega.
He definitely has again outdone himself here.

The controls are sharp (I prefer mouse & keyboard - but using a controller is equally feasible) and on the spot as is mandatory for a title like this.

On the fence? Don't think twice - grab it!
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Recently Posted
16.1 hrs
Posted: October 17
At first I was very meh.. about this game, but the more I play it and get into it's intricacies the more I like it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gorgeous Randy Flamethrower VII
2.6 hrs
Posted: October 3
Positive - But only just...

Its not a bad game, its just really easy, very similar to a certain nuclear themed game. I walked through it on normal mode even with a non-combat specialised mech. Some of the power-ups are just way too OP, I had a seeking-scatter-bouncing-flaming missile launcher. Things off screen just died and I had no reason to let go of the trigger, visuals are nice, the Boss fights are cool, just needs to be harder
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-{A★T}- blazingrager33
4.2 hrs
Posted: September 25
Product received for free
I managed to snag Starward Rogue from a game giveaway, and I must say I am impressed. I would definitely have bought it for asking price if I had known how good it was.

The game is a bullet hell twin stick style shooter. I haven't tried making a gamepad work with it though, I'm only commenting on the sort of gameplay you can expect.

The game looks good but not great, could use a bit of polish on the tech side of things, and only has about 4 songs (which are actually quite good imo), but aside from that, it is a fun experience.
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12.9 hrs
Posted: September 21
Product received for free
A Paladin’s Steam Review: Starward Rogue. Shooting Into The Sun.
  • Genre: Top Down Rogue-lite Bullet Hell. Single Player Only.
  • Developed & Published by:Arcen Games
  • Platform:Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
  • Business Model: Single Purchase.
  • Free Press Key Provided by Arcen Games
Read the full & unabridged review on A Paladin Without A Crusade

Initial Overall Thoughts
My initial play sessions with Starward Rogue were a bit rough around the corners. Didn’t help that I participated in the late-BETA period when everything wasn’t quite intact yet. I believe the tutorial came after I left the BETA period (and then returned for the post launch experience) so I was a little lost on all of the items and functions of the game. It’s not that you can’t just drop in and start playing, but I was a little confused as to everything’s purpose. After spending more time with it post-launch and going through the tutorial, I figured out what was going on. It’s not a game that fools around with the player either. It’s entirely possible to die in the first room you enter if you brazenly run around and not avoid shots from enemies. But at the same time, the game strives to be fair so long as you’re paying attention and able to avoid shots. The procedural generation engine has had a lot of tweaks post launch and there are far less brutal rooms that used to exist in the initial launch. The game seems reasonably packed with content with plenty of mechs to choose from, difficulty curves that not only affect health and damage but also the patterns that bosses put out as well. There’s plenty of unique weapons to spice up the gameplay that can be found pretty quickly. All in all, as far as the base game is concerned, I’m impressed.

Gameplay Examination
In Starward Rogue there are seven mechs you can choose from. These mechs let you choose your playstyle starting out going into the main campaign. Ranging from the middle of the road white mech with plenty of health and easy to use weapons to the flame tank that spits out fire in a large cone to a time mech where the enemies only move when you do. Each mech has three weapons: the main weapon that doesn’t use ammo for less damage, a secondary energy weapon that generally does more damage at the cost of energy ammo (that’s recharged everytime you enter a new room) and the missile weapon whose ammo has to be picked up but its useful for clearing obstacles and tougher enemies. There are attachments that usually give your mech a good benefit and then items that are super weapons ranging from literal nukes to teleporters. Mechs have health and shields that can be increased from item pickups or leveling up. There are health shards that can be collected to increase your health, keys that unlock chests and doors to merchents and credits to purchase those items.

And of course, you’re free to use any approach you wish to each level. Maybe straight running for the boss or exploring every nook and cranny. As the game is based on skillshots and avoiding incoming bullets, it rewards exploration and skill very evenly. A lot of this game is careful dodging of bullet patterns which may require running or slowing down to give yourself time and agility to avoid them.

PC Settings and Audio/Video
Once again, the PC version of Starward Rogue is excellent with plenty of options to make your experience as accessible as possible. Always have to give kudos to developers that give the players options to make their playthrough as enjoyable as possible. The game is a colorful barrage of Sci-Fi, bullets and enemies but it’s not nearly within range of being overwhelming. If that doesn’t happen to be the case, there are options to turn down the barrage. The soundtrack is an odd blend of techno and electronic beat mix with some Sci-Fi elements mixed in there. I feel like there are far too few tracks so you end up hearing a lot of the same ones over and over again. They’re good songs, just a little bit more variety might have helped.

Final Thoughts
I think with Starward Rogue, it’s the combination of rogue-lite, dungeon crawling and bullet hell mechanics that make it enjoyable for me. Even if I may not enjoy the genre as a whole, it still combines into an enjoyable experience every run. The mechanics mix together in a way that only Arcen can do so well. However, I did find my enthusiasm tempered by the difficulty (which has more to do with my lack of skill) and the shortcuts Arcen had to take to ship Starward Rogue. The story is threadbare and mostly exists to justify why you’re there and why you’re exploring this dangerous place. The lack of multiplayer is also quite noticable and it’s one of those games I think I would have enjoyed as a co-op experience.

The game was launched in an iffy state with gun drops not working correctly and lots of content simply not spawning due to procedural engine bugs. However, Arcen and the volunteer staff did an admirable job of updating it with free content months after its release and fixing the game up. Such sacrifices I can’t ignore and have to give kudos for because the current state of Starward Rogue is very good now. Do I recommend Starward Rogue? Yes, but with the caveats as previous stated. It’s a love letter to bullet hells and its playerbase, mixed inside a dungeon crawling rogue like. It was clearly designed by players that understood that genre probably far better than I ever will and there’s plenty of substantial content as a result. I personally would have liked more story content to give me a reason to keep coming back to it and others may want more progression mechanics to keep them coming back. Still, I think they did an admirable job with what they had and what’s here is still worth checking out.

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23.4 hrs
Posted: September 20
Like everyone else says, this is a good game and I recommend it. Still, I'll list some of its negative aspects.

- The game crashes: in 20 hours of play it has crashed like 6/7 times. Considering there's an autosave, you usually don't lose much; it happened to me only once that I had to redo the entire floor. Annoying, but not really disruptive.
- Some (very few) items don't have clear descriptions. In particular, the Incredibilities have extremely vague descriptions so that I still have no idea of what they do exactly. Or the Ancient Hull, whose description is halved before picking it up. But you can always search on the internet right?
- Wrong. Because there's no wiki with that kind of information. If you want to know something you should ask on the forum and hope that someone with the knowledge will answer you. But I actually never did because
- The achievements are bugged, and this led me to stop playing before trying the runs with the Increbilities. IMO in this kind of games achievements are extremely important, since they motivate you to continue playing to finish with every mech, perfect all the bosses and stuff like that. I got the single achievements from beating the "final" boss with every single mech, but not the achievement that "sums" them; I beated the "real" final boss with a perfect clear two times but didn't get the achievement. This doesn't affect the game in any way, but (at least for me) reduces the replayability.

I'd like to see those things fixed, but my understanding is that Arcen Games is not doing well at the moment so we'll see. But it's still an enjoyable game, so go play it!
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40.1 hrs
Posted: September 20
Genuinely wasn't sure about this game despite Arcen's other games (almost) universally being amazing and really wanting to see the story of the Last Hydral continue.

I am completely and utterly a convert, this game is joyous, I didn't like Binding of Isaac that much, Bullethell shooters look eh- to me but this game really sucked me in, just enough items and mech choices to make every run feel unique, varied achievements that let you challenge yourself with each run and interesting bosses that at first are deadly but soon patterns can be recognised that makes them merely quite hard, to say nothing of going for perfect clears of them!

Accept my apologies Arcen for not buying it at full price!
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5.6 hrs
Posted: September 11
One of the funnest bullet hell games that really boost the speed and bullets to the max.
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4.0 hrs
Posted: September 8
mech dungeon crawler rogue-like

+ weapon and buff configuration
+ music
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3.1 hrs
Posted: September 4
Excellent all around! The roguelike and shmup elements are tight and full-bodied unto themselves, and they harmonize more neatly than I had dreamed was possible. There's no shortage of content and the developers go above and beyond on community and modding support (modding is accessible from the main menu and you can start runs in developer mode), so I expect this will be a favourite of mine for a long time.
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