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Need a free indie adventure that's all sorts of sweet and adorable? Cloudhime's short but oh-so-sweet Starbot fits the bill and then some, starring a little robot who's just woken up, though he isn't yet completed. The engineers who made him still have some tweaking to do, and when they shut him down to finish, our little Starbot finds himself in a strange, dark world that happens to be home to plants that will one day grow into stars if they're fed stardust. It is, Starbot is told, the most important job in the universe, so when he finds one little plant off alone by itself, he makes an unlikely friend when he helps it grow. Together they'll have some very strange adventures indeed in both worlds, but the most important thing they'll discover might be a lot simpler than any big journey. Use the [arrow] keys to explore, the [spacebar] to interact, and [ESC] to open the menu and save at any time. Talk to people multiple times, and don't be afraid to dig through the trash.
If you love stories with humour and heart, Starbot is going to charm you from the very beginning. It's the sort of game where you read the majority of the dialogue with a smile, and the atmosphere marries the surreal and the whimsical science-fiction almost perfectly. While it won't take long to play and the only real difficulty may be figuring out who to talk to next from time to time, Starbot's ability to show rather than tell when it comes to relationships, and all the little details and dialogues you can find, make it a cozy, dreamy experience from beginning to end. Speaking of endings, Starbot's does feel a little abrupt despite the nice scene after the credits, if only because some of the notes and logs you find seem like they could be setting up something that never really happens. Still, if you have a half hour or so to spare and you want something to remind you about the important things, Starbot is a game you should definitely cuddle up with... and then maybe go give a cuddle to someone you love, too.
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