Eric Kelly On November 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm

planetarian -the reverie of a little planet 3Originally released back in 2004, planetarian is a Visual Novel that up until now; was a mystery as to whether its fate of ever coming the West in English official was doomed to obscurity, or that it would be discovered and enjoyed by a new audience. Thankfully those questions have been answered, and readers can look forward to an enjoyable little story on Steam with planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~.

The Visual Novel takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, where humanity’s folly has led it to destroying the planet’s surface to a near uninhabitable degree. The quest to expand to space has failed just as devastatingly. Those who live on the planet can try to eke out a living as ‘Junkers’, who collect junk or other in demand materials and then sell it. The protagonist is a person of such a profession. He finds himself at a planetarium, an encounter a robot girl who was a staff member. Something about her seems off though. The robot shows proof of how old it is, and the protagonist goes from being annoyed at it to feeling sorry for its situation. Without spoiling anymore more of this already short story, the visual novel is largely about trying to find a new purpose in life while in a world that has become a very harsh place. It also somewhat reminds me of movies like WALL-E in its similar theme and setting, only much grimmer and more heartbreaking. The writing is solid as is the translation.

While it is a very brief 3-5 hour read, there is voice acting for the protagonist and the robot girl. The protagonist’s name isn’t even mentioned all throughout, but the robot girl’s name isn’t revealed until the novel is nearly over. Despite this, the protagonist and the robot girl both have their own slice of backstory revealed. Although I did wish the ‘Junker’ had a bit more backstory, as well as the world being fleshed out a bit more. The music is decent, but is serves mainly as background music set to fit the often somber tones of the novel. There’s only a handful of tracks as well, reflecting the novel’s length. The default font typeface is in MS Gothic, or at least it should be. It manually needs to be set to that. If this isn’t done, every other typeface used will parse the text to horrible results. This will likely be fixed in the future, but other than that, there didn’t appear to be any typos. While the game does have an auto advance text option, there is no way to increase the advance speed, which can make for some longer than necessary pauses in between lines of dialog or narration. Overall, planetarian is a good read whose only real shortcomings are its brevity and lack of backstory. It has a decent price point at 10 bucks, and I hope its release result in many more visual novels from Key to be translated and distributed on Steam. Sweet and sweet, and even bittersweet, but worth the investment for any serious Visual Novel fan.


A kinetic visual of which the gameplay is merely to click or press keys to advance the story, no branching paths.


The artwork looks very nice despite being from 2004. No animations or video cut-scenes to speak of.


The music is nice, but mainly is just there to set the somber themes of the game,with there only being a handful to accommodate the novel’s short length.


A short but sweet story of finding a small ray of light in an otherwise dead and messed up world.

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