II love Bitsy games. The software’s itch.io page describes its goal as “to make it easy to make games where you can walk around and talk to people and be somewhere.” Developers who use Bitsy have found incredible ways to evoke these feelings of place. Stars Below is one of my favorites yet.

A Walk Beside The Waves

A quiet, night time walk, set to piano music that invites you to step to the beat. This gives the game a rhythm and incentive not to rush. It’s a linear path that doesn’t promote the same exploration as some other Bitsy games, but that’s not to its detriment. Instead it gives a sense of purpose and focus. Your player character, in all their tiny pixels, knows exactly where they are headed.

stars below

All of Stars Below uses its limited pixels to incredible effect. The beach with grass waving in the wind and water pooling around your feet gives way to a blossoming of stars. This in turn gives way to a rising moon complete with craters and light catching the waves.

Stars Below manages to pack the atmosphere of a reflective wander along the coast at night into a tiny package. One enjoyable from the warmth and light of your own home.

Stars Below is available to play in browser for free on itch.io.

Weekindies is Cliqist’s weekend column focusing on small indie games. You can find all of our Weekindie posts here.

About the Author

Jay Castello

Jay is a freelance games writer specialising in intersectional feminist critique, how to improve games and use them to improve the world, and cute dogs. She loves inhabiting digital spaces in all their forms, and being constantly surprised by just how weird and wonderful games can be.

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