Planetarian -the reverie of a little planet- is a visual novel set in a universe where humanity has all but exterminated ourselves via the combination of biological warfare and deploying killer robots to finish off those that survive. We play as a man that never reveals his name, simply calling himself a Junker which is a profession of scavenging anything of value from the old world. His journey takes place 30 years after that world ending war but is just as dangerous a place as it ever was. Most notably is the never ceasing contaminated rain that rapidly decays anything it comes into contact with including your skin, all the while trying to avoid the still functional robots dubbed as the Warmongers.
It is not a pretty place to be in and despite that our character decides to enter a long abandoned city in search of loot, encountering trouble before even stepping foot inside of the quarantined area. While lurking and scouting around the desolate landscape, he comes across a planetarium that to his surprise has a functional none combatant robot welcoming him in. She introduces herself as Yumemi, who quickly names him her 25th million customer and her first in decades then does everything in her power to try to get him to view planetarium’s show. Her cheerful and innocent attitude is quite a stark contrast from the horrors outside those walls and is where we will be spending most of our time in.
After countless attempts to get the uninterested Junker to view her show, he finally caves only to find that the projector is now broken after many years of gathering dust. For some reason or another, he decides to help her by fixing the machine which will be our main task throughout. Not much action occurs after that intro. It instead shifts its attention to every small occurrence that happens in there and our Junker slowly, but surely going soft. A unique thing about this title that is not seen much is that Yumemi will not suddenly grow to be like a human. She is very much still a robot that does well at mimicking human speech and emotions but still gives it the feeling that you are in reality still alone.
Even then, it is hard not to grow attached to the extremely talkative machine. In the entirety of the game, she is the only character that we will see, our own character himself never being shown. Nicely enough, alongside Yumemi, our character is also voice acted and helps their near comedic dynamic. The Junker is understandably a cynical, short-tempered man while the robot is the exact opposite, making for some pretty funny scenes. Most of the time we will be looking at the environments inside of the planetarium without much variance to them. There are not many backgrounds in total, and it does get a bit tiring looking at the same ones. On a positive note, they did capture the dead world feel in the areas outside of your new found sanctuary.
This title is stuck in the 4:3 ratio with no way to stretch it out. The translation is very well done, I could not spot a single error throughout its 5-hour length. This title does not feature any choices or dialogue options to choose from which does make it a title you are unlikely to replay once its tale is done. After finishing it, you do unlock the feature to view its CG scenes as well as listen to its soundtrack which is always an appreciated bonus. All in all, Planetarian -the reverie of a little planet- is an interestingly grim yet uplifting visual novel that really does get you thinking. If you are a fan of Visual Novels, then this is definitely a game worth adding to your collection.