If there’s anything you can say about Stella Glow, it’s that it oozes personality. Narratively, it starts off as a fairly typical “mysterious boy with no memory” story that quickly becomes a “boy and his best friend must save the world by forming a quartet of Witches so that they can sing their way to victory” epic. Singing is important in this world because the Witches are the only beings who can do it. The songs that they sing end up being J-Pop jams rather than the typical mythical melodies that are commonly associated with Witches, so it’s an interesting change to say the least. That’s the overarching plotline of Stella Glow in a nutshell. While it feels weird to try and explain what Stella Glow is, it doesn’t feel all that strange when you are actually playing it.
Your time in Stella Glow is split between two primary areas, combat and downtime. The combat is rooted in traditional turn-based grid movement mechanics and overall is pretty solid in terms of balance. Although certain battles can feel like they take longer than they should for a handheld title which is supposed to prioritize letting the player accomplish something in bite sized play sessions, there’s nothing too egregious on that front that makes you feel like the game is wasting your time.
Your downtime is spent navigating menus and interacting with the other members of your party. The game rewards you for taking time to talk to your party members in the form of ability unlocks and legitimately interesting backstories so there's always something to be gained at every turn.
Stella Glow wears its musical theme on its sleeve at all times, from the protagonist being named Alto, who wields the mythical power of a “Conductor” that he uses to “Tune” witches so that they can sing. The story can stretch itself outside the realms of normalcy at times, but that’s pretty much par for the course with JRPG’s.
Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of Stella Glow.