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:
Recent:
Very Positive (11 reviews) - 81% of the 11 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (254 reviews) - 98% of the 254 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 22, 2016

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Recent updates View all (14)

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

March 28

Update 1.018: Consumed In A Wormhole Anomaly

New build for you!  Included are two new consumable items: Wormhole Journey and Anomaly Detector.  There is also a loooooong list of consumables that have been tweaked and tuned.  A number of bugs have been fixed relating to homing weapons and familiars, and there are some new sound effects as well.

More to come soon!

Official forum thread on this post.

0 comments Read more

Reviews

“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!"”
SplatterCat

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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Minimum:
    • 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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (11 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (254 reviews)
Recently Posted
Professor Hugedix
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
Frustrating.

Bullets are either too small to see if they hit you or not or so large they obscure other bullets, not helped by the muddy, indistinct visual style of the floors
Voice acting and writing is poorly done. Don't go for comedy if you can't pull it off.
Enemy AI is... not great.

would have played more in the interest of fairness before reviewing, but when I tried changing the resolution to see the miniscule UI more clearly, the options menu didnt scale to the new resolution, meaning I can't change the resolution back to a usuable setting because the option to do that no longer appears on screen.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
--
( 16.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 18
I'd give this game a neutral rating if I could. All in all it is a fun experience but also has some issues. Buy at reduced price, maybe:

Pros, Neutrals and Cons

+ creative and diverse room designs
+ lots of different weapons, items and upgrades
+ reactive and precise controls
+ you get to make some interesting risk-reward decisions
+ well balanced RNG most of the time
+ exploring

~ okay visual aesthetics
~ it's a time shredder

- becomes a chore to play after a while
- generic music
- terrible sound design (weapons feel either puny or enervating, enemy sounds mix into horrendous cacophony)
- uninspired bullet patterns
- lame mini bosses (mostly they just make you run in circles really fast)
- your mech happens to become obscenely over- or underpowered from time to time
- challenges you get to pick up at the start of a level aren't always possible or worth it to complete
- many "meh" items you probably won't use
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sherlock Van Helsing
( 5.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 18
Product received for free
https://youtu.be/3Zuj-REFbTk
Game: Starward Rogue
Genre: Sci-Fi Rogue-like
Developer: Arcen Games, LLC
Publisher: Arcen Games, LLC
Copy supplied by developer

Starward Rogue is a sci-fi rogue-like game developed and published by Arcen Games. I am not the biggest fan of the genre, and the two games that I like the most are The Binding of Isaac and Spelunky. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this game.

GRAPHICS
The top-down perspective works well for the game, and both the mechs and enemies all look pretty good. There is a good variety in alien design, and each boss feels and looks different from the others. However, being a randomly-generated game, each room and floor that you explore don't have that much variety to them and they start getting repetitive after a walkthrough or two.

GAMEPLAY
The game is a mixture of bullet-hell and rogue-like mechanics: you start by choosing which mech to use, and then you can find new weapons (each one with its pros and cons) that will carry over in the next "life" in case you die. Each floor consists of multiple rooms, and you are required to kill every enemy in each one of them in order to advance. There are also shops where you can buy new weapons, and when you level up you can get passive bonuses that will last until you die.
The weapons consists of a rapid-fire machine gun with unlimited bullets, a stronger attack that requires energy, and a limited supply of rockets and such to deal massive damage. Fighting the enemies mostly consists of strafing and avoiding their bullets, and as a fan of bullet-hells, this was very satisfying and fun to play, keeping you on your toes every time you start a new floor and enter new rooms.

CHALLENGE
Each time you enter a new room, your shield will regenerate, giving you the possibility to get hit once without losing health. At first the game is very challenging, but once you get used to the controls and to the strafing, you will lose less and less health the more you play. The bosses can be quite hard to defeat, and the best strategy is to never let go of the LMB.

SOUND
The soundtrack is quite generic, and the sound effects are decent.

REPLAYABILITY
As with most rogue-like games, you will die many times, and you will replay just to advance a little bit further each time. There is also good variety to the mechs that you can choose, and there are many side-bosses and hidden rooms to find on each floor.

Overall, if you like rogue-like games and bullet-hell shooters, give this one a try. It controls well and it has good replayability. Highly recommended on sale.

Story: n/a
Graphics: 7.5
Gameplay: 8
Challenge: 8.5
Sound: 7
Replayability: 9

ENJOYMENT: 7.5
FRUSTRATION: 6

Follow me on Twitter: @nickygra97
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Helpful? Yes No Funny
Pace
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 12
Does what it says on the tin. Twin-stick bullet hell roguelike. Tons of replayability, hundreds of enemies, hundreds of items. I'm enjoying the heck out of it!

Also, Arcen games is a great studio with lots of original ideas - Starward Rogue is no exception.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
enisbayramoglu
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 11
Great atmosphere, great soundtrack, great mechanics. The game is a nice combination of The Binding of Isaac and the bullet hell genre.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Libertygeek
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 4
I suck at bullet-hells but I have fun with them as frustrating as they are. Like all Arcen games this one has some nice outside-the-box design concepts. I only played for about a half-hour at this point but I can see myself coming back and playing some more as the game is very appealing. Personally I picked up the game more as a 'Arcen fan' than anything else but for the money it is worth it even if you are not just a fan of the developer. I am no bullet-hell expert for sure but from my short time with the game so far I would have to say that Starward Rogue is one of the better more interesting ones I have played in a good while. I personally like the look and feel of it better than games like BoI.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
irskep
( 17.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 4
I just love it. 100% worth it at full price, and I say that as a bundle hound.

I'm pretty good with twin stick shooters, and I haven't found one I liked in a while. A lot of people compare this game to Binding of Isaac, but IMO the similarities only amount to "top-down shooter in a randomly constructed dungeon with prefab rooms." For my personal taste, Starward Rogue is a lot more fun.

Feel

Configurable inertia. Weapon sounds range from light to weighty and generally feel right. Nothing feels "unfair"; if I die, it's my own fault.

Graphics

Looks great to me! Bullet visibility is good. It can get confusing when a lot of things are shooting at once, but that's how it should be, right?

Music

Surprisingly, this Arcen game has a good soundtrack. I keep it off now, because (1) I've heard it too many times, and (2) it gets me so pumped up I start making mistakes from being too aggressive.

Design

The room layouts require attention without resorting to gimmicks more than once in a blue moon. The enemy movements are mostly ho-hum, but their bullet patterns require focus to deal with while still feeling well balanced on normal difficulty.

There's tons of content. I just finished beating the game a couple times with the default mech after 13 hours. I expect at least 20 more with the remaining mechs and the extra floor unlocks when I win one more time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The CRAIGGERS!
( 12.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
Fun game and an awesome Developer that dupports their games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rap Jarl
( 7.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
This game is ridiculously good. Extremely cool bullet patterns (a bunch that I haven't even seen before), great enemy design, some unbelievably clever encounters and traps, a ton of fun upgrades with great risk vs reward elements, RNG that is balanced by the base mechanics so that you'll never breeze through if you aren't actually good enough, and excellent music. There are six different characters you can play and each one has vastly different abilities, creating six different ways of approaching the game. I'm having a hard time really telling you why I think this game is so good without spoiling a lot of the surprises, which is another thing I think is great. There are a lot of surprises, and they are surprising.

I don't know what to tell you. There is just something so incredibly satisfying about the idea that I'm delving into this insane bullet hell to save some guy named Rodney. Not my dad Rodney, not my friend Rodney, not my dog Rodney; he's just some guy, and he's at the bottom of the tower, and I'll be damned if I'm not going to dodge ten million bullets to save his ♥♥♥ from whatever he's doing down there. You know? Do you know what I mean? The plot is straight out of God Hand; the game itself is so good, so fundamentally satisfying to play, that it doesn't even need a real story. Some guy named Rodney needs me to play this game? ♥♥♥♥, sounds good to me.

The entire experience is like Binding of Isaac on steroids, on meth, strapped into a mech made out sentient metal, and then shot into the physical manifestation of fun as it goes supernova. I don't know if I can be any more clear and emphatic about how awesome this game is.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Poob!
( 24.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 6
Product received for free
There's a lot to like about this game. It's very good. One of the main things that sets it apart for me is RNG isn't totally running the show. You do get random items and perks, but there are many opportunities to leverage what you have for something different, a lot of the time at a cost. Being able to actually spec into what you want means you can not only have your own play style but actively work towards it during the course of the game. Not to mention the fact that there are 6 different mechs to suit your style to begin with.

The music on this game matches the pacing so well, and it is just pumping. Beasting a room is followed by a rise in the music volume. It feels good.

Movemewnt is crisp and precise (unless you're sprinting), obviously a must for a game that gets pretty bullet heavy at times.

Art style and sound are effective throughout. Weapons you pick up are represented visually on your mech, and have their own unique sound effects. The devs also understand the use of bass for music, explosions, and guns.

Heres a video going further in depth on the game
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3bma2jUf5o

Whole-heartedly recommend this game. I will continue to play it in the future.

Free Rodney!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
Product received for free
https://youtu.be/3Zuj-REFbTk
Game: Starward Rogue
Genre: Sci-Fi Rogue-like
Developer: Arcen Games, LLC
Publisher: Arcen Games, LLC
Copy supplied by developer

Starward Rogue is a sci-fi rogue-like game developed and published by Arcen Games. I am not the biggest fan of the genre, and the two games that I like the most are The Binding of Isaac and Spelunky. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this game.

GRAPHICS
The top-down perspective works well for the game, and both the mechs and enemies all look pretty good. There is a good variety in alien design, and each boss feels and looks different from the others. However, being a randomly-generated game, each room and floor that you explore don't have that much variety to them and they start getting repetitive after a walkthrough or two.

GAMEPLAY
The game is a mixture of bullet-hell and rogue-like mechanics: you start by choosing which mech to use, and then you can find new weapons (each one with its pros and cons) that will carry over in the next "life" in case you die. Each floor consists of multiple rooms, and you are required to kill every enemy in each one of them in order to advance. There are also shops where you can buy new weapons, and when you level up you can get passive bonuses that will last until you die.
The weapons consists of a rapid-fire machine gun with unlimited bullets, a stronger attack that requires energy, and a limited supply of rockets and such to deal massive damage. Fighting the enemies mostly consists of strafing and avoiding their bullets, and as a fan of bullet-hells, this was very satisfying and fun to play, keeping you on your toes every time you start a new floor and enter new rooms.

CHALLENGE
Each time you enter a new room, your shield will regenerate, giving you the possibility to get hit once without losing health. At first the game is very challenging, but once you get used to the controls and to the strafing, you will lose less and less health the more you play. The bosses can be quite hard to defeat, and the best strategy is to never let go of the LMB.

SOUND
The soundtrack is quite generic, and the sound effects are decent.

REPLAYABILITY
As with most rogue-like games, you will die many times, and you will replay just to advance a little bit further each time. There is also good variety to the mechs that you can choose, and there are many side-bosses and hidden rooms to find on each floor.

Overall, if you like rogue-like games and bullet-hell shooters, give this one a try. It controls well and it has good replayability. Highly recommended on sale.

Story: n/a
Graphics: 7.5
Gameplay: 8
Challenge: 8.5
Sound: 7
Replayability: 9

ENJOYMENT: 7.5
FRUSTRATION: 6

Follow me on Twitter: @nickygra97
Subscribe to my channel
Like on Facebook
Join my Steam group
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
I just love it. 100% worth it at full price, and I say that as a bundle hound.

I'm pretty good with twin stick shooters, and I haven't found one I liked in a while. A lot of people compare this game to Binding of Isaac, but IMO the similarities only amount to "top-down shooter in a randomly constructed dungeon with prefab rooms." For my personal taste, Starward Rogue is a lot more fun.

Feel

Configurable inertia. Weapon sounds range from light to weighty and generally feel right. Nothing feels "unfair"; if I die, it's my own fault.

Graphics

Looks great to me! Bullet visibility is good. It can get confusing when a lot of things are shooting at once, but that's how it should be, right?

Music

Surprisingly, this Arcen game has a good soundtrack. I keep it off now, because (1) I've heard it too many times, and (2) it gets me so pumped up I start making mistakes from being too aggressive.

Design

The room layouts require attention without resorting to gimmicks more than once in a blue moon. The enemy movements are mostly ho-hum, but their bullet patterns require focus to deal with while still feeling well balanced on normal difficulty.

There's tons of content. I just finished beating the game a couple times with the default mech after 13 hours. I expect at least 20 more with the remaining mechs and the extra floor unlocks when I win one more time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
I'd give this game a neutral rating if I could. All in all it is a fun experience but also has some issues. Buy at reduced price, maybe:

Pros, Neutrals and Cons

+ creative and diverse room designs
+ lots of different weapons, items and upgrades
+ reactive and precise controls
+ you get to make some interesting risk-reward decisions
+ well balanced RNG most of the time
+ exploring

~ okay visual aesthetics
~ it's a time shredder

- becomes a chore to play after a while
- generic music
- terrible sound design (weapons feel either puny or enervating, enemy sounds mix into horrendous cacophony)
- uninspired bullet patterns
- lame mini bosses (mostly they just make you run in circles really fast)
- your mech happens to become obscenely over- or underpowered from time to time
- challenges you get to pick up at the start of a level aren't always possible or worth it to complete
- many "meh" items you probably won't use
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
Great atmosphere, great soundtrack, great mechanics. The game is a nice combination of The Binding of Isaac and the bullet hell genre.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
52 of 57 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
76 of 96 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
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!!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
40 of 45 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
Key supplied by developer for review.
======================================
Starward Rogue
(Read on for the full review!)
======================================

TL;DR:
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.

======================================

Pros:
+ 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!

Cons:
- 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.

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

======================================

Introduction:
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!

Gameplay:
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!

Graphics:
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.

Audio:
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.

Conclusion:
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.

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35 of 39 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
27.1 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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28 of 29 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
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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28 of 30 people (93%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
5.5 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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