To put it simply, Nyamyam’s Astrologaster is a medical sim where you use divination to cure your patients.
In the wake of the devastating 1592 London plague, Doctor Simon Forman is an unlicensed medical practitioner who reads the stars to solve his patients’ problems. Forman’s main goal is to get a license from the University of Cambridge, achieved through the letters of recommendation written by his subjects.
Every stage begins with a patient consultation; after being told what the problem is, you choose an astrological reading to present. It’s important to note your decisions have dire consequences. Each reading will give different results, with some delighting the patient and others displeasing them. This can backfire later on, as a positive appointment may turn out false, which frustrates them and won’t help in getting them to recommend you.
Besides Forman’s readings, the story also follows his personal life and how it interweaves with those of his patients. As you progress, you’ll come to learn more about the doctor and see the relationship with his patients grow, with many of his affections charming them. Nyamyam brings these characters to life through its innuendo-based writing and remarkable voice acting that allows them to feel like tangible entities. In seeing these recurring faces, a tremendous sense of familiarity occurs as these people slowly become enchanting, well-rounded figures.
To fit in with its Elizabethan setting, Astrologaster employs storytelling techniques that are authentic to the period. You turn the page like a beautiful pop-up book to continue after each scene, but the characters are also arranged like performers in a stage play. One of my favourite highlights is the game’s soundtrack, which uses a madrigal choir to introduce every character. These segments are filled with humour and adds a lot to the charm.
I personally dislike astrology in its real-life applications, but I had a great time with Astrologaster. It may have been the wit of its dialogue or the consequences of its choice-based gameplay, but there’s a decent product here. Nyamyam doesn’t shy away from the comedic undertones of the writing – there are some genuinely hilarious sex jokes in there – and it’s clear a lot of love has gone into the development of this game.
Tested on PC
Disclosure a copy of Astrologaster was supplied by Nyamyam