’Doctor’ Simon Forman believes that the solutions to all of Elizabethan London’s problems are written in the stars.
And somehow, he’s managed to convince a whole bunch of other people too. Astrologaster is based on the real ‘Doctor’ Simon Forman’s casebooks, written in the 1590s, and tells the story of the misguided medic’s attempts to divine meaning and answers from his astrological readings.
The first few encounters set the tone: a nobleman seeking investment advice, a trader with, um, toilet troubles and a lady terribly concerned by the (gasp!) Catholicthat has just moved into her street.
Their conversations are all inspired by Forman’s real patient records and play out in suitably absurd fashion. Your role in the story is picking out which stars to read and base a diagnosis on. Do you just tell them what they want to hear, or genuinely try and help them?
It’s all written with a cheeky sense of its own ridiculousness; the voice acting is great and and it all looks lovely too. Just like creator Nyamyam’s previous game Tengami, the game is set within the pages of a pop-up book, so it’s really satisfying to watch the carefully-crafted cardboard scenes expand and contract as you swipe to turn the pages.
Astrologaster's unique subject matter, gag-packed script and branching narrative make it a game to return to again and again. Truly, a game with star quality.