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Game review: Astro’s Playroom (PS5)

12 Nov 2020

When the PS4 console launched in 2013, the only exclusives it came with were Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack and Resogun. While some of those games were enjoyable, none of them were offered for free when you bought the console. 

Nintendo offered Wii Sports for its Nintendo Wii system and a lot of people loved having a free game. Well, a free game is now being offered to anyone that buys a PS5 console at launch. This is because Sony is offering a free platforming game called Astro’s Playroom with every PlayStation 5. 

When I played Astro’s Playroom’s demo a few weeks ago, I thought it was a nice introduction to the PS5 console. Not only does the game look very pretty with its bright colours and bubbly looking characters, but it also makes full use of the newly made DualSense controller. 

While the DualShock 4 controller was innovative for its time, Sony has pretty much upped the ante with the DualSense controller. Playing Astro’s Playroom will give you a good idea of all of the functions that you can do with the new controller. 

The controller has new vibrations built-in as well as a microphone that you can use. It also has adaptive triggers that change its feel when you use them. It’s hard to explain in full detail, but it’s something that you will have to experience for yourself to fully appreciate it. 

Much like the DualShock 4, the DualSense has a gyroscope inside that allows you to do motion controls. Motion controls are important in this game as you will need it to position the Astrobot through some tricky obstacles that stand in his way. 

The little Astrobot also has standard platform game skills like a jump button as well as an attack button. He can glide for a few seconds using his jetpack, plus he’s pretty efficient using his fists as he can punch enemies with ease. 

In terms of what you have to do in Astro’s Playroom, the game pays homage to the rich history of the PlayStation brand. In this game, you have to collect a PSOne, PS2, PS3 and PS4 console to display in the PlayStation room. There are other products you can collect too, but I won’t spoil the fun here. 

Each of the previous consoles is hidden in four different levels and the Astrobot has to navigate his way through each stage to find them. It won’t be an easy journey for the character because enemies and other obstacles stand in his way. Luckily he has all the functions for the DualSense controller to help him through his long adventure. 

Astro’s Playroom may look like a game made for kids, but looks can be deceiving. There are some tough challenges that await you as this game is no walk in the park. Thankfully, the game has numerous checkpoints so you don’t have to repeat numerous sections too many times if you die. 

I don’t want to spoil too many details, but the game does end with an epic final boss. If you played on the original PSOne back in the ‘90s, you may even remember the character that you have to face! All I’m going to say is that this boss is large and very deadly. 

Graphically, this game looks great as all the levels are full of bright colours. I remember my Mum playing the game for a short while and she really loved the beach level. It was also cool to see that the Astrobot is even able to swim in this game!

The only real downside to Astro’s Playroom is the fact that the game is quite short. I managed to finish the game in only three hours. However, you can replay the levels more than once in order to collect more coins to earn more PlayStation goodies. 

Anyway, Astro’s Playroom is a fun game that is worth playing when you get your PS5. Not only does it make great use of the DualSense controller, it’s a downright fun platform game in its own right. 

Verdict: 8.0/10