As always, I’ll do my best to be spoiler-free in this Astro’s Playroom Review!
Team ASOBI really delivered on this one! Astro’s Playroom (AP) is a free game delivered preinstalled on every Playstation 5. My expectations weren’t high as a) I thought it wouldn’t be that fun and b) I didn’t expect the DualSense to be that amazing. I was pleasantly wrong on both occasions. This game brilliantly demonstrated the immersive features of the DualSense, and the sheer power the PS5 offers for developers. So let’s dive into what made AP so damned fun and why this was an astronomically wonderful, and unexpected, jump into Next-Gen.
You can skip to the bottom to watch the review video or continue reading.
Astro’s Playroom Review
AP is simply a platformer. You’re tasked with making your way through each winding little world by jumping, climbing, swinging, or flying. There are many ways to traverse the level design, unlock hidden areas, and defeat your enemies. And all of them are addictively fun. While challenging at times, most age ranges can make it through the bulk each map has to offer. What’s most impressive about AP is its complete use of the DualSense features, an immersive experience only available on the PS5.
My overall score for Astro’s Playroom is 10 / 10. It’s no surprise that this game is so well received among the community of PS5 users. From kids to adults alike.
The Story of AP is pretty simple. You’re Astro, the most adorable little robot to exist and you have to work your way through all the technical components of a PS5, gathering coins, puzzle pieces, and artifacts. There really isn’t a story or narrative for that matter. Designed as nothing more than a tech demo, AP’s value comes from its’ tribute to Sony’s decades of console gaming achievements. Playing this game is remarkably fun and interactive, but I simply can’t justify including a score based on a storyline here
Astro is the main and only playable character but there are at least 50 [that I’ve found] Easter Eggs that include some of the most beloved characters and games in PlayStation history. Hidden throughout the sprawling maps you’ll find tributes to personalities, games, and nods to Sony products. It’s in all these clever and playful references that the game really shines.
I give AP Characters a 10 / 10
This game is truly about the unexpected. The most unexpected thrill of the game was the way it leveraged DualSense’s innovations. Adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, motion, and the microphone were used to navigate the ever-changing environments. Shooting the bow felt so incredibly different than it ever has in videogames before. Jumping in the frog suit, climbing in the monkey suit, flying the spaceship. All ways to cross terrain included diverse ways to apply the capabilities of the controller. Blowing into the mic, using motion sensing, gripping triggers with varying levels of pressure. It added a level of excitement that I’ve never had in gaming before. A truly mesmerizing experience that envelopes the player. It ‘feels’ more like being a part of the world you’re in.
The gameplay of AP gets a 10 / 10
4k gaming is beautiful, there’s no denying the visual upgrades available to next-gen games. The added framerates improve the quality of the experience. With this game though, it’s the world design. Each map introduces you to a technical aspect of the PS5. As Astro, you’re transported inside a world developed around each of the cornerstone hardware elements found in the PS5. Places like Memory Meadows, CPU Plaza, SSD Speedway, and GPU Jungle just to name a few. Each introducing new and unique elements of gameplay. The game is completely delightful and the visuals are stunning. It seductively demonstrates the PS5’s ray tracing capabilities as well.
AP Graphics gets a 10 / 10
I couldn’t find any bugs in 6 playthroughs. Granted it’s a small game but it’s still a full game. It’s also one of the most perfectly optimized games I’ve played. It is a true testament to what the next generation of games can be like. I was not expecting this game to hit the mark on every level like this. If this game had a traditional storyline, I would say without a doubt that it is a perfect game. But it doesn’t, so I can’t tout it as perfect. But I can praise it for being flawless.
Performance of AP gets a score of 10 / 10
Though it’s relatively short, at only around 3 hours, the replay value is high. With hidden puzzle pieces and Sony artifacts to collect, you’ll need to play levels multiple times to find them all. It’s a perfect game for non-gamers and kids as well. It’s easy to learn the mechanics and purpose. It’s entertaining at its very core and to those of us who’ve been around since the first PlayStation, it’s especially nostalgic.