The Messenger Developers Raise Over £136,000 to Make Classic JRPG

By Ethan Gach on at

The makers of the spectacular retro action platformer The Messenger have announced their next game: a gorgeous-looking turn-based role-playing game called Sea of Stars.

Sabotage revealed the upcoming game on Kickstarter yesterday, where it’s already broken its 133,000 CAD (£79,430) funding goal. While not planned to release on consoles and PC until sometime in 2022, what the studio showed off in its announcement trailer already has me wanting to go back and revisit some of the classic 16-bit and 32-bit JRPGs like Chrono Trigger and Suikoden.

The developers promise some interesting battle mechanics, including spell-breaks whereby enemy attacks can be cancelled if enough damage is done and “Eclipse orbs” that are earned throughout a fight and can be spent to massively boost the power of certain attacks and abilities.

Otherwise there are a number of familiar JRPG bullet points like the promise of no random encounters, timed-attack and blocking bonuses similar to the Paper Mario games, and an overworld map to explore and sail around in.

Despite being from a completely different genre, Sea of Stars is supposed to be a prequel to 2018’s The Messenger. Sabotage plans to build the sense of a shared universe with some characters making cameos. Not a lot of games get retro homages right, but The Messenger did an excellent job of remixing some of the best bits of Ninja Gaiden and Metroid.

It’s unclear how much of this will pan out for the final release, as Kickstarter projects are notoriously unpredictable. But if Sea of Stars is anything like Sabotage’s last game, it could be something quite special.

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