on Oct 01 by Shadocchi
In a future where humanity is most certainly doomed to extinction, a robot waits. In the midst of an endless rain, a man searches for scraps to live off and sell. When they meet, the dying flame of humanity’s dreams comes to life but is all too soon extinguished by reality.
Planetarian is set in the ruined future of the world where much of the Earth’s population has been wiped out and continues to be hunted by robots and vengeful humans. In the middle of this, a ‘junker’ makes his way to a new city in hopes of finding something that will be enough to survive on just that much longer. He stumbles across the almost-ruins of a planetarium and it’s host, Reverie Planetarium: a robot that has been dutifully maintaining the building long after everyone in the city died. While there is nothing the building can offer him, he decides to stay with the robot. Then Key happens.
Those familiar with the works of Key (the studio behind Kanon, Air, Clannad and Little Busters) will probably be able to guess the kind of feeling this visual novel has to offer. As the protagonist adjusts to the quirky Reverie, the atmosphere of the planetarium and animated rain ease readers into a world where only these two characters exist. And rightfully so – everyone else has been long dead, a truth that is repeated regularly. But despite any reader’s protests about not wanting to feel certain emotions for fictional non-human characters, they will happen.
Planetarian is a short title of only two or so hours but still offers a varied soundtrack and eye-catching graphics, although the latter is made smaller due to the large interface. Event graphics illustrate important moments with great detail and atmosphere, making the short story come to life for its duration. It’s not hard to settle into the situation, particularly since the setting of the larger world is given a decent amount of attention.
Both the PC and iOS versions of the game are voiced, so you’re able to hear the sound of your own heart breaking to the sound of a small-voiced girl. While the Windows version of the game is static, the iOS version allows you to customise buttons and switch up how you read and view images. If you’re indecisive about which version to pick up, the iOS version includes voice acting for the main character as well as a new ending theme and all features of the original version. At the cost of this, however, is a slightly more error-including translation.
Whichever version you choose, Planetarian ~Dream of Little Planet~ is an excellent starting title for getting into Key’s works, or to have as a portable upgraded edition of a loved title. Just be sure to bring tissues.
Planetarian ~Dream of Little Star~ is available for Windows, iOS and Android. You can buy the iOS version from iTunes and the PC version via Insani’s guide to the official Japanese store. Unfortunately, there is no official translation released for Android.