Inside a Star-Filled Sky Image
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  • Summary: Inside a Star-filled Sky is an infinite, recursive, tactical shooter by award-winning designer Jason Rohrer (Passage, Between). What if you could enter an object in a level and find a level inside of it? What if you could enter an object in that level and find another level inside of that?

    What if you could change an enemy or a power-up from the inside? What if you could enter and change yourself? What if these levels inside levels inside levels went all the way down---and all the way up?

    Inside a Star-filled Sky is a hard, procedurally-generated shmup built around this core concept.

    Key features:

    - Unique recursive gameplay
    - Enter things---enemies, power-ups, and even yourself---to alter them for your tactical advantage
    - Procedurally generated levels, along with a massive bullet combo system, offer limitless tactical variety
    - Dozens of ways to approach each challenge---reflex your way through, blast your way through, or think your way through
    - Dynamic soundtrack is procedurally generated based on moment-to-moment gameplay
    - Plant your flag throughout an infinite level space to mark your discoveries, and see flags planted by others via a global flag server
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Jun 26, 2011
    An incredibly unique tactical schmup with a ton of depth and freedom. While it starts out quite simple, in later levels, even going up against one or two enemies can become an adventure, as you change the workings inside them and yourself. Brilliant game. Expand
  2. Dec 9, 2011
    This game is absolutely awful.

    First of all it runs full screen at non-native resolution by default. This is a personal pet peeve of mine
    since this re-sizes all of my windows that are larger than the default resolution (makes them fit the smaller screen) and re-positions my windows, and when I'm running a multi-monitor setup, it can even force some windows to the other monitor. Annoying!

    But to make matters worse, there is no way to change the options in game. Not just resolution options, but ANY options. Can it get worse? Yes! It isn't clear how to change the settings anywhere. Thankfully it wasn't hard to find a post by the developer himself in the Steam forums saying that the options were found (in different directories depending on Windows or Mac) in a Settings folder. Phew!

    But wait, it gets even worse. Every option in the game has it's own .ini file that must be edited.

    Every. Single. Option. In. The. Game.

    That means you've got many different files that all need to be edited just to change some simple options. For example:

    hardToQuitMode.ini (What the smurf does this do?)

    Et cetera. There are 24 files in this directory. Each one has only a single thing. Why can't they all be put into one file? You know, something like settings.ini where you have options like:

    fullscreen = 1
    hardToQuitMode = 0
    mouseSpeed = 1.0
    screenHeight = 1920
    screenWidth = 1200

    Et cetera.

    Not only is it a hassle to find the settings directory and the appropriate ini file, but since none of these options can be changed in game it means loading up the game, testing out your settings, quitting the game, fiddling with some settings, and starting the process over again to see if it worked.

    The game itself has other similar annoyances. You aim with the mouse, but as you move, the mouse does not stay in the same position relative to your position. This is made worse by the fact that the camera follows the mouse position. This means that if you are moving up, the camera will start to pan downward since the mouse is not moving up with your character. This means that after moving a short ways you can't see any enemies above you without having to move the mouse back up to the top of the screen.

    And remember that option for hardToQuitMode.ini? Well it is OFF by default and guess how easy it is to quite? You press Escape and then you have to type "%" to quit. Yes. You have to press Shift-5 to quit the game. While that's not exactly a strenuous or difficult thing to do, it boggles the mind at how unintuitive and awkward it is. Everything about this game from the moment I started it was just screaming at me to hate it, and it succeeded.

    And most of this was before I even got to experience the gameplay.

    What a truly awful experience.