J.U.L.I.A. Among the Stars


Record of Agarest War Aksys Banner Advertisement
Review by · February 22, 2015

As a child, I idolized detectives. I liked the stubborn gumshoes, snooping around for clues and putting the pieces together. As I grew older, I found myself leaning towards sci-fi adventures. Captains in space exploring the unknown seemed to leap out of the pages of books and from the screen of the television. These days, I mostly find myself pondering the deeper meanings of things. Am I doing the right thing? Is doing something selfish wrong? How many people of importance are there left for me to meet? These are three distinct stages of my life that were somehow mirrored during my journey through space with J.U.L.I.A. Among the Stars.

The game follows Rachel Manners, an astrobiologist sent to explore the galaxy in hopes of locating the source of a mysterious signal. Upon waking from cryo-sleep, you find that your crew has all perished, and that the answers to their demise, as well as what to do next, lay among the six planets nearby. As a point-and-click style title, you navigate through the game’s beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds in search of clues and information to figure out where to head next. Accompanying you are J.U.L.I.A. and Mobot, the ship AI and the loyal exploring drone. While I was immediately skeptical of the sassy AI J.U.L.I.A. (If it wasn’t me… and there are only two of us… it must’ve been you!), the game pleasantly surprised me with its depth and a twist that ultimately led to a second playthrough.

Despite only having three characters (myself, J.U.L.I.A., and Mobot), the game still conveys a lot of emotion and substance. Most information regarding past events is discovered via personal datapads that contain journal entries. The entries are splendidly written and not only help players put together the story, but also add multiple personalities and substance to a game that, on the surface, should be sparse. In addition to having different speech patterns and attitudes, the datapads present you with a picture of the author, which could range from stern looking soldier to upbeat happy mother. The inclusion of these pictures was a great decision by the developer, as each image conveys specific emotions.

J.U.L.I.A. also excels with its varied puzzles. While no single puzzle breaks the mold, the game continually presents new puzzles that keep you engrossed and moving forward. None of the puzzles are especially formidable, but many require that players be thorough in their search for clues. In this way, J.U.L.I.A. maintains a steady flow that never seems to get stale, but keeps things thoughtful and specific. I only encountered one puzzle that seemed to require any quick thinking, but that one was enough.

However, no game is ever perfect, and J.U.L.I.A. suffers when the atmosphere itself is tarnished. Character speech patterns are sometimes disjointed and don’t match the setting, and many times, events that seem like they should be monumental simply come and go with nothing more than a quick nod. Many times Rachel simply states “I did it!” and moves along. Most of the pacing is dictated by the player, but when the game itself is in charge, things tend to be brief and abrupt. This may be due to the limited budget, but it’s still worth mentioning. Some players will also take offense with the actual length of the game. Even with multiple endings, I only spent roughly 15 hours on J.U.L.I.A. Nonetheless, I personally found this to be the exact length that I wanted. The universe could certainly be expanded upon, and the game could absolutely be longer, but for someone who doesn’t typically play point-and-click adventure titles, I found the length to be an excellent choice.

Where J.U.L.I.A. does excel is in its thoughtful and poignant stance on the actions taken by humans as well as the reactions those actions garner. For anyone that does decide to give it a shot (and I recommend you do!), be sure to pursue both possible endings. The finale left me with numerous musings for the following days. Players will find themselves wondering if their actions truly meant anything, or if being selfish can sometimes be the best approach. Too often, gamers are conditioned to simply make the “right” choice and assume that things will go the way they should. J.U.L.I.A. eschews those ideas and instead delivers a hard dose of reality.

Overall, J.U.L.I.A. Among the Stars is a title I would definitely recommend to anyone. It’s short enough that people who don’t enjoy point-and-click can get through it, but meaty enough that those looking for an interesting and thoughtful game will be sated.


Varied puzzle design, poignant and interesting story.


Sound can be buggy, relatively short game length, achievements are not celebrated as much as they could be.

Bottom Line

Great short point-and-click with a thoughtful plot.

Overall Score 82
For information on our scoring systems, see our scoring systems overview. Learn more about our general policies on our ethics & policies page.
Jeremy Harnage

Jeremy Harnage

Jeremy was part of RPGFan's reviews team from 2014-2015. During his tenure, Jeremy bolstered our review offerings by lending his unique voice and critique of the world of RPGs. Being a critic can be tough work sometimes, but his steadfast work helped maintain the quality of reviews RPGFan is known for.