In many ways, Sea of Stars feels like a return to what put role-playing games on the map decades ago, thanks to its gorgeous 16-bit visuals and turn-based combat encounters that really capture one of gaming’s most memorable eras. However, that doesn’t mean it offers no modern conveniences, as it’s actually a very accessible game with plenty of creative design choices that make it feel like it fits right into our current times, too. One of the ways in which it adds modern flair is via its unique difficulty system, which eschews the usual Easy/Medium/Hard selections for something more customizable. Here’s how it works.
Similar to the ring system from Final Fantasy XVI, Sea of Stars allows you to customize the game’s difficulty to your liking via various Relics with individual perks and boons that can be toggled on and off at any time. These can be found in the status menu by scrolling down to “Relics,” and the game will give you two very early on, though it’s important to keep an eye out for others you can pick up.
Those looking for an easier experience are likely to appreciate The Amulet of Storytelling, which you’ll have access to at the beginning of the journey. This Relic doubles your overall HP and heals you automatically after combat, making many of the game’s areas significantly easier. However, you’ll also be able to pick up the Artful Gambit a little ways into your quest, which will reduce your HP by 95% and add additional bonuses for timing blocks and attacks properly, making the game much more difficult.
As you play through Sea of Stars, you’ll also be able to pick up Relics that can be toggled on to change the difficulty in less direct ways by offering things like increased sailing speed or shop discounts. Be sure to thoroughly explore and speak to every merchant to be sure you don’t miss some of these important gameplay modifiers, which you can then toggle on or off whenever you feel like you want a more or less challenging gameplay experience.