Review: Solar Echoes: The Star Legation

Play as Trey Donovan, the only human on the starship Concordant, as he travels through space on an epic adventure.

Solar Echoes: The Star Legation is a sci-fi visual novel recently released by Corefun Studios. Play as Trey Donovan, the only human on the starship Concordant, and travel through space on an epic adventure. Find romance, rally up aliens to join the Interstellar Union, and stop a war from starting in this game that boasts a plethora of decisions that really matter. 

We’ve had the pleasure of looking at the game’s demo already, so check out that review and see how things have changed in the full version! 

There are several RPG elements included in The Star Legation. If you’re only in it for the story, you can choose to skip the battles altogether, which is a nice addition. In the beginning of the game, you’re able to choose your combat skill and various other characteristics that will help shape your character in combat. There are also point-and-click elements that make the game feel more immersive. 

The game also has a really nice OST which adds to the space ambiance. Some of the sound effects are a little loud and vary in quality, but for the most part, there’s an ample amount of them that helps make the game feel alive. 

The Star Legation’s biggest downfall is the engine it was created on. Though it’s impressive to see what the developer was able to do with TyranoBuilder, there is still a lot about the game that feels unpolished and limited. While the option to auto-play text is available, I couldn’t find out how to activate it. If you choose to play through the beginning tutorial, you’ll be able to see a controls screen, but there is no easy way to access that screen again for reference later on in the game. It’s also important to note that playing through the tutorial froze my game, and I wasn’t able to advance through any more text without restarting the game. 

It’s never a good sign when the developer themself warns you in the beginning of the game about the limitations of the engine they’ve used. In this case, they tell players not to exceed 1920×1080 window resolution. 

The game’s UI is rather basic. There is a missed opportunity to do something a little more detailed with a space aesthetic as opposed to bare text on an almost fully transparent textbox. The text itself can be hard to read at times, in both dialogue and the beginning cutscene. 

Overlooking that, the game has so much art that no two scenes feel the same. The characters change clothes; they move on the screen when they exit scenes; there are detailed backgrounds and even several CGs. The developer has taken a lot of care in making the game and its world feel alive. 

The Verdict:

There is a huge amount of content in The Star Legation. With 32 different endings, over 100 choices, and two full romance routes, there is a ton of replayability. If you’re willing to overlook the game’s lack of accessibility settings, you’ll find a space-travel story reminiscent of games like Mass Effect

You can buy the game on Steam and itch.io.

Anna Mirabella

Spooktober 2022 Visual Novel Jam

1 comment

  • Thanks for the nice review, VNGameDen! I’ve found and patched the issue you were having with the tutorial. Regarding the options menu, that is available throughout the game as an invisible icon under the menu button in the lower right corner of the screen. This might have been missed if you had trouble with the tutorial. Regarding the resolution warning at the beginning of the game, I felt it was fair to mention because one of my beta-testers had some graphical skipping issues when running the game with 4k resolution. The auto-text mode is a built in option in Tyranobuilder, but I will be talking with the engine developer to try determine why it is not working properly.

    Regarding the UI, I do agree it is basic. I intended for a minimalist UI approach (such as the single menu button and invisible settings button) because I did not want to distract from the artists’ artwork throughout the game. I’m very glad you enjoyed the game and felt it had a lot to offer. Thank you very much for the honest review!
    Best,
    Andy

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