A Noob’s [Mini] Review – Astro’s Playroom

Pure joy in a Video Game.

Astro’s Playroom may seem like a strange game to spotlight due to the nature of its release. This is a game that arrived with the PS5 and came pre-installed on all consoles. Because of this, anyone could be forgiven for thinking that it is just a tech demo or tutorial that isn’t worth the time. Thankfully, I would like to let everyone know with great enthusiasm that this couldn’t be further from the truth. While it does do a great job of showing off the features of the DualSense controller, it definitely manages to stand on its own two feet as a full fledged – albeit short – game.

At first glance the game may seem like it is for children due to its cute characters and colourful settings. This is accurate to an extent – it can be enjoyable for all ages – but the true genius of the design is that the parents can have even more fun than the kids. Especially if they have any history at all with PlayStation.

The concept is that this game takes place inside of your console and every time you power it up, this is the magic that is happening within. It is a giant party. We take control of a robot named Astro, making our way through wonderful and bold levels based on different components, such as the ‘SSD Speedway’ and the ‘GPU Jungle’. It is a 3D platformer so your job is to explore, hop, skip, jump, roll, glide and fly your way to your objective, avoiding and/or dealing with obstacles, taking in your environment and collecting everything you can find.

The more that you look around, the more you will get from this game as you notice all of the attention to detail. Every level is full to the brim with references of famous scenes from many different games, providing delight around every corner. Every environment that you enter is built from technology parts in ways that you would not expect. Every area makes use of a unique mechanic, showing off the potential of the haptic feedback in the controller. At the end of each section, you will be rewarded with a nostalgia that – if you are anything like me – could bring a tear to your eye. On top of that, the sound track is fantastic and completes the atmosphere perfectly.

Unfortunately, the only way to play this one is on the PS5. But, if you do have a PS5 then that means that you already own the game and it is absolutely worth the few hours it takes to play through it. It is like the most fun, interactive, joyful museum that you could ever go to, celebrating PlayStation’s past, present and future.

Developer: Team Asobi
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release date: 12th November 2020
Average play time: 4 hours
Available on: PlayStation 5

If you would like to see my live playthrough, here it is!

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