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Sea of Stars, The Messenger devs’ love letter to classic RPGs, sells 100,000 copies on its first day

Shoot for the moon

Sea of Stars seemed primed for success: it’s got a gorgeous art style, is soaked through with nostalgia for the turn-based (J)RPGs of yore - but with a modern sensibility to its clever gameplay - and comes from the devs behind ingenious platformer The Messenger. Those stars have indeed aligned, as Sabotage Studio announced that the throwback hit has already passed 100,000 sales on its first day.

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While Sabotage didn’t parcel out specific numbers for each of the platforms on which Sea of Stars is available - including PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Switch - the announcement on The Hellsite Formerly Known As Twitter did specify that it counted sales, implying that the game’s free release via Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus wasn’t included in that total. However you want to slice it, it’s a big number and marks a notable success for Sabotage.

Sea of Stars was crowdfunded to the tune of CA$1.6m back in 2020, with a demo following ahead of its full release yesterday, August 29th.

Katharine felt that Sea of Stars comes about as close to bottling the legendary likes of Chrono Trigger as any game has in the last decade, feeling that “it does indeed capture those JRPG golden years to an absolute tee” even if it lacks a little of the more eccentric fun of its predecessors.

“It is, in effect, exactly like those 16-bit games many of us played in our youth, albeit with a 2023 tech glow-up, and that is perfectly okay,” she wrote in our review. “For some, this will be their favourite game of the year, and all the more power to you. For me, though, it's just lacking that little extra crunch to make it truly special.”

For my part, I’ve managed to sink a bunch of time into the full game having fallen in love with the demo earlier this year, and found the timing-based attacks, interesting puzzle-style combat and pixel animation to be an absolute joy. I expect to be spending a lot more time in its world in the weeks to come.

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