Rose of Starcross

“Rose of Starcross” by Peyton Burnham.

“[A] turn-based, story-driven RPG […] inspired by the Mario RPG series, the MOTHER series, modern indies, and even games like Punch-Out! […] Explore and learn about the state of Starcross and its characters. […] Fight enemies with timed attacks and mini-games based on the magic you’re using and protect yourself from enemy attacks with multi-direction blocking, jumping, and dodging!”

Even though Peyton Burnham lists the “Super Mario” RPGs, the “Mother” series and other various titles as main influences, the first title that came to my mind was “UNDERTALE” to compare this game with. That’s not only because of the pixel art or the wacky attitude of some of the characters, but also because of the fighting system in “Rose of Starcross”. While the game is still in its demo state, you can already feel that it’s trying out a different approach to the traditional turn-based battles.

While you can for example just attack your enemies, block their strikes or use an item, you can also use magic. But you don’t just lose some mana points and then all of a sudden hit the fiend creatures; instead you have to succeed in a little mini game. Depending on the magic you equipped your character with, you will have to face another mini game. For example, if you choose to use the magical crossbow, then you are able to shoot of three arrows. These arrows are moving from left to right and back to the left again, so that some good timing skills are needed to lower the monsters’ hit points.

Magic can’t only be used in the fights, but also in the game environment itself. While you can activate specific artifacts with shooting your sorcerous crossbow, another spell will allow you to double jump over otherwise too deep waters. That’s why the discovery of new magic spells will also allow you to explore unknown terrains of the mystical terrains. Well then, get prepared for a journey and explore the world of Starcross!