In Astrologaster, you play as an unlicensed doctor known as Simon Forman. Taking place in the Elizabethan Era, you help your patients by seeking guidance from the stars. You have multiple people to meet and countless decisions to make within the game, each having a consequence.
With its pop-up book art style, the graphics in Astrologaster are pretty cool, and very well done. There’s not a lot of scenery, however, as most of the game takes place in Doctor Forman’s office. Thankfully, the character detail makes up for it. Along with the art, the music throughout the game pushes the Elizabethan style on you which a new piece of music for each character who visits.
The visiting characters will explain their problems to you, whether it be a pain in the stomach, uncontrollable dancing, or even questions they have about their future. Your job is to look to the stars to help solve these problems. To do this, you are given different star signs, each resulting in different outcomes.
Some signs may mention death, others may mention birth and the beginning of life. Depending on which signs you choose, the patient will react positively or negatively. This is good to keep in mind when you are given a funny option, as it could leave the patient upset. Utlimately, though, this doesn’t matter too much. Astrologaster has very lighthearted and silly dialogue which does make the game very enjoyable.
As there isn’t much to look at, playing in handheld mode is preferable. The controls are also pretty basic, and therefore easy to comprehend. In order to turn a page, select a choice, pause the game, ect, all you have to do is click/hold down the Joy-Con buttons. Since you dont have to explore or walk around, playing is more difficult than turning pages in a book.
Unfortunately, the gameplay itself offers nothing extraordinary. It’s pretty repetitive, and there’s no real challenge. If you’re looking for a simple visual novel, however, Astrologaster is a good one to get. The humor and aesthetic will automatically put you in a good mood, and your gameplay session may end up being longer than you originally intended.