In Stars And Time Review – Time After Time

In Stars and Time, a retro style time looping RPG adventure, that may, at very first glance, may not capture everyone’s hearts. Developed by Insertdisc5 and published by Armor Games Inc. the game is presented in monochrome (black, white and grey) with two black bars featuring pixel art stars down each side of the screen, making this game look like it was shot out of a Gameboy cartridge slot many moons ago. Even the soundtrack is old school, not to mention the text dialogue is a little wacky, too. The drawings throughout the game are of stick people that look like they were stolen from a small child’s activity desk. These drawings are blended with comic-style cut scenes. Straight off the bat, I didn’t feel like this game would appeal to me in any way. I am a sucker for retro-style visualization, and I am a big believer that RPGs are meant to have a retro feel to them, like the good old days. It did have a few things going for it, but would it be enough to reel me in and keep me playing?

After the first thirty minutes, I was on the borderline of whether I should keep playing it or if I should stop now and go shoot some people in Fortnite. I sucked it up and kept on playing, and before I knew it, I almost forgot to pick up my daughter from school (I only just made it in the nick of time). I was not expecting this game to pull me in with its storyline, humour and banter between the characters in your group. Even the simple turn-based battle system appeals to me. I am not a massive fan of turn-based RPGs. I have played the bigger ones, like the original Final Fantasy VII. Though I am no expert at these games, I wouldn’t say I’m average. I’m always confused in the battle scenes where I don’t know what attack or potion to use at specific points in time. However, in In Stars and Time, it felt different. It pulled in and didn’t let me go!

You play as the main character Siffrin, yes Siffrin (not to be mistaken by the famous Wizarding World House of Slytherin). The game starts with you sleeping in a grass field, only to be awoken by one of your allies, Mirabelle. She is excited about her idea of having a sleepover party at the Clocktower before the big day tomorrow, in which your group will try to take down the King in the final battle. This is the part of the game where I thought to myself, am I missing something here? 

In Stars And Time
Trying to be rude won’t get you far

In In Stars and Time, you start the game at the end of the group’s journey. Unlike other, if not most, RPGs where you start by getting to know and learning about your allies, you’re thrown into the game having no idea about their backstories or even what the main quest is really about. The whole game consists of a town and one dungeon. The main goal of the game is to stop the evil King, whose curse has already taken over other lands and frozen loved ones and civilians in time. Your group consists of five characters: Siffrin, Mirabelle, Isabeau, Odile and Bonnie. While only four of these characters are playable in battles, Bonnie, who is only a kid, is not. However, Bonnie still adds value to the group. As the group prepares for the final battle with a banquet of food and drinks at the Clocktower, the final part of the journey begins at the dungeon entrance. As you enter the dungeon for the first time, the game gives you a quick insight into how the battle system works. In this case, it’s a very straightforward and simple turn-based system of Rock Paper Scissors. Each member of your group is specialized in one of the three crafts, and the game also shows you, at times, what symbol is more effective against the enemy you are facing. However, as the game progresses, not every enemy shows their weakness, so you must pay close attention to your attacks to work out which is most effective.

After you make short work of these enemies, you come to a hallway where Siffrin will be asked to check for traps. After looking around and finding nothing out of the sort, you move on, only to then watch Siffrin be crushed by a giant boulder and the game informing you that you have died. Well, that didn’t last long, did it? But all is not lost. You find Siffrin sleeping once again in the same field of grass where the game first took place and, once more, being awoken by Mirabelle, who is saying the exact same stuff to you. This is where we first learn about the time loop. Though Siffrin died, he still retains all the knowledge of before, but nobody else does. It’s starting to feel like Groundhog Day all over again, isn’t it?

As you continue the journey and start to loop over and over again, you will come across the same dialogue and objects frequently. Luckily, the game offers a “Tune Out” feature allowing Siffrin to skip conversations that he has previously had and stopping automatically when there is something new to be read. As mentioned before, everyone else in the group has no idea that Siffrin is repeating the same day over and over. But with this, Siffrin gains more knowledge about his allies, the truth about the evil King and why he is trapped in this ever-looping time loop.

In Stars And Time
Can you spot this enemy’s weakness?

Feeling a bit worried about grinding through the dungeon after every death? Don’t be, while it’s quite regular for Siffrin to suffer his fate throughout the game. Sometimes, it’s even unexpected, like eating a pineapple. Why would I choose to eat a random big, juicy, extra good-looking pineapple that I found just sitting there on the ground? Well, the real question is, why not?! How was I meant to know that Siffrin is allergic to pineapples? So with things like this and booby traps, you will find yourself dead and sent back in time again on this never-ending loop. But fear not; when you are sent back on your so-called death loop, you can choose where to start next. Remember how I mentioned the whole game consists of a town and one dungeon? This means you can choose to go back to the town or a specific floor of the dungeon. To make things even better, you can go back to the same floor where you died. Your weapons, equipment and level won’t reset, so that’s good news.

In Stars And Time
It’s moments like this you need a Snickers

The game also offers two different language options: English and Japanese. The ability to adjust the text dialogue speed and an option for Run to always be on rather than holding down the run button, among other normal settings. Unfortunately, for those who are interested, there is no option to change the aspect ratio on this one.

Grinding this one out, I really enjoyed my time with In Stars And Time. In fact, I was completely surprised by the way it pulled me in, and I lost all count of time. I also didn’t expect something with only a couple of locations to have an approximate play time of 25+ hours. However, where there is good, there is always bad, and in this case, I must say the game can be a tad repetitive in later parts. Also, be prepared to read a lot of dialogue. If we go by the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover, then don’t judge a video game by the way it looks. Judge it by its storyline and loveable characters; this is where In Stars and Time truly excels. While it can be light-hearted with humour, the game can also be dark at times, but what great story doesn’t have these moments?

Adrienne Bazir of Insertdisc5 should be very proud of what she has accomplished. 


In Stars And Time is a one-of-a-kind RPG adventure that will have you hooked. Whether it’s the fantastic story, loveable cast of characters, or the unique battle system, there is something here that almost every RPG fan will find appealing. 



  • Fantastic Story

  • Loveable and charismatic characters 

  • Cute Retro Soundtrack

  • Fun Battle System

  • 25+ Hours


  • A bit repetitive in later parts 

  • Visualization won’t appeal to everyone

  • SFX Sound can be a bit rough 

  • Lots of dialogue to read

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