May 29, 2024
Although "Starfield" is drawing much of the hype right now, don't forget "Sea of Stars" from indie studio Sabotage Studio.

“Starfield” doesn’t officially come out for another few days, but those who purchased the Premium or Constellation edition will have an early jump on the epic space-faring role-playing game. It’s an ideal time to jump in because the long three-day weekend offers ample opportunity to take a bite out of the adventure.

But if weeks-long adventures aren’t your thing, there are other titles coming out this week that can keep you occupied. Here’s a roundup of what to play this weekend.

“Starfield” — Bethesda Game Studios’ first new universe in 29 years will have you hooked from the get-go. Players create a character, and through a mining job on a distant moon, they touch an artifact and become the protagonist in a mystery that will take them to more than a 1,000 planets and tackle adventures big and small throughout the cosmos.

“Starfield” is such an enormous game that I’ve played 20 hours and I still haven’t felt like I’ve scratched the surface, but I have become engrossed in the stories that Bethesda tells. For fans of “Fallout” or “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” the format of “Starfield” should feel familiar. The game actually feels like a culmination of all the work the studio has been doing over the past decade.

Play Time: There are so many quests and stories that “Starfield” will keep you occupied for weeks. The main story will take 30 to 40 hours but if you really want to explore the galaxy, the campaign has more than 100 hours of adventure to keep you busy. This is not a game that will take a weekend. Instead, it will be more like a month.

“Sea of Stars” — This retro role-playing game harkens back to the 16-bit era with games such as “Chrono Trigger” and “Legend of Gaia.” The beautiful pixel art echoes the charm of the video games of the 1990s albeit with a few modern tricks.

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The campaign follows Valere and Zale, two Children of the Solstice who aspire to be warriors on their island village. Those ambitions take them far beyond that.

As far as gameplay goes, “Sea of Stars” has turn-based combat and focuses on players finding the weaknesses in their enemy. Players will actually have to time button presses and do other minigame-type actions to get the most of their moves. It’s not all about picking attacks and seeing numbers blast across the screen.

If you’re a fan of retro Japanese-style RPGs, then this game will scratch that itch and bring a heavy dose of nostalgia.

Play Time: The game takes about 30 hours to complete, so it’s an adventure that can conceivably be done over the weekend if you binge it like a Netflix show. Otherwise, it could take you a week or so.

“Samba de Amigo: Party to Go” — Apple continues to bolster its offerings on Apple Arcade, and this one will make fans of music-rhythm games happy. This update on the classic game eschews the maraca peripherals, and instead, it lets players’ fingers do the actions.

They’ll have to tap out the rhythm as these balls fly to the circle. Players will also have to draw semi-circles that are supposed to mimic movements that players would have done in the original game. Overall, it’s a fantastic adaptation to the arcade experience.

My advice: “Party to Go” is best played with an iPhone on a table. Your thumbs will get too much of a workout trying to tap, tap, tap your way to victory.

Play time: You don’t have to invest too much time in this game, and it’s great for bite-size moments of play. “Party to Go” does feature a story mode aside from the rhythm game. A play session lasts about 5 minutes at the most.