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J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars

is an interface-based narrative-driven adventure game developed by a two-men independent team. The game was developed thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign. read more


J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars Review

Author: Jaedong

Category: Review

In this indie piece, you play as Rachel Manners and travel across space to explore and locate source of mysterious signal. Suddenly, Julia, a computer being, awakes you from your cryo sleep and tells you some really shocking news. Your crew is missing and there are additional problems to solve.

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Complexity is the keyword if I should rate the game. It runs smooth until you find a problem, but this is exactly why this game is an adventure, right? There are puzzles all over the places and sometimes they get really tricky. In this game you basically investigate, investigate and once again, investigate. With your investigation the whole story is being reconstructed and that is the main engine of the game. So formerly as astrobiologist, Rachel quickly becomes a “detective”.

The whole story is emotional and after some time I started to realize that even if there are just three characters including mine, I developed a relationship with them. J.U.L.I.A. as the computer had positive impact on me, but I really hated the obnoxious voice and appearance of the mobot (drone). This is something really interesting, because even if I disliked mobot I take it as a big plus for this game. It actually forced me to develop that relationship and I found that really surprising. As the story progressed and I found more and more clues among six planets I was exploring, I actually started to feel the story and other characters. You earn information about the crew and events that happened through datapads. There are personal opinions and conversations between the crew members and it is one of the essential aspects of creating a great atmosphere. Big ups for the details as well. If I look into the content, I really cannot find anything that I would dislike.

First look can be deceiving and I feel like this is the case. Graphics is not the strongest part of this game. I would actually rate it as below average of what we are used to nowadays and the same goes for voicing and sounds. This might be a factor why you could actually give up on this game before even trying it out. I still recommend playing for at least one hour, because that is where the magic starts to happen and you dive into the story.

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The planets are diverse and the fun does not stop even after long playing. Some sequences and tasks may be repetitive, but the journey itself and a nice space flavor fill it perfectly. Controls are very intuitive and the game pushes you to explore, especially while solving puzzles. I trained memory and logics a lot while I still looked around not to miss a single piece. A very important thing to say is that the game is point-and-click, so there basically are just rendered animations. Do not expect any gameplay orgies.

The game lenght could definitely be longer. A factor that might apologize this is the budget of this piece and fact that it was basically made by just two people. However, there is a way to make your experience longer. This game has two possible endings based on your choices and believe me when I say that you are going to be curious what happens if you choose the second ending.

This adventure is catchy and  it is something that I have not experienced in a long time. If you are a fan of sci-fi, storytelling adventure games and you like puzzle, then  this game is completely for you.  Even after finishing the game, I kept thinking about it and I liked the experience a lot.

SCORE: 9/10

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