Funded by a successful Kickstarter project, Cosmic Star Heroine has been in development since 2013. Fans will soon be able to pre-order a limited edition physical version from niche publisher Limited Run Games.
Cosmic Star Heroine puts players in the role of galactic government agent Alyssa L’Salle. Soon after the game begins, Alyssa is branded as a spy, forcing her to flee from her employers and team up with fellow outcasts on a quest to discover the truth behind a dark government conspiracy.
Gameplay in Cosmic Star Heroine unfolds much in the style of a 16-bit RPG, and its turn-based battle system features multicharacter combo techniques similar to those found in Square Enix’s landmark Super NES game Chrono Trigger. Zeboyd notes that the game also features anime-style cutscenes that recall the Sega CD and TurboDuo era.
Though Cosmic Star Heroine is built on a foundation of 16-bit nostalgia, Zeboyd has taken steps to eliminate much of the tedium associated with decades-old RPGs. The team explains that the game will require minimal grinding for experience, and assures that its plot unfolds with “brisk pacing that respects your time.”
Prior to its work on Cosmic Star Heroine, Zeboyd Games produced a pair of well-received RPGs for the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Indie Games service. The studio parodied RPG tropes in 2010’s Breath of Death 7 before refining its retro-style approach with the popular follow-up Cthulhu Saves the World.
Zeboyd’s work in the retro RPG realm drew the attention of the creators of gaming webcomic Penny Arcade, who later enlisted the developer to produce the concluding chapters of its episodic console and PC RPG Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness.
Cosmic Star Heroine will be available this summer via the PlayStation Network for $15, and digital purchases grant access to both the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita editions of the game. Physical editions for PS4 and Vita will be available shortly after the game’s launch via distributor Limited Run Games.