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Astro Bot Hands-on: Fun, Adorable Platformer
July 3, 2024 Andrew Cheng

Astro’s Playroom, which was released back in 2020 alongside the PS5, proved to be a very popular game despite it being…well, a free demo showcasing the console’s capabilities. If you loved Playroom, you’ll be happy to know that Team Asobi will be releasing Astro Bot, a PS5 exclusive based on PlayStation’s newest mascot.

Set to be released on 6 September, I had the opportunity to try out a rather extensive demo of Astro Bot courtesy of PlayStation. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the adorable platformer, and the gameplay mechanics proved to be very, very fun as well.

Overall, I played through five different levels of Astro Bot of varying difficulties. The one Easy level proved to be quite fun despite not being particularly difficult, while the two Normal levels (which include a boss fight) are reasonably challenging without being too punishing. This is thanks to the fact that there are basically unlimited retries.

As for the two Hard levels, they are…tough. The demo’s Hard levels are linear stages that require us to basically perform a perfect run without dying from start to finish. Personally, I really enjoy the challenge that the two Hard levels offer; there’s a great sense of accomplishment once I’ve completed both levels.

That is not to say Astro Bot’s easier levels are not fun, because they are! There are plenty of secret areas to be discovered, and I thoroughly enjoy exploring each level to complete all of the collectibles. Speaking of which, there are a total of 300 bots to be “rescued” in the different levels of the game, and half of them (150) are “VIP” bots that are based on iconic PlayStation characters.

Besides that, Astro Bot also has 50 (!) different planets to be explored. With that in mind, it should be jam-packed with content to keep players entertained for hours on end; even more so for completionists who want to collect every single collectable in the game.

I also really enjoyed the gameplay of Astro Bot. Just like most platformers, Astro can jump (obviously), hover, and attack enemies. But what gives the game a unique twist are the different power-ups that are obtained on different levels. From a friendly dog that allows Astro to dash through objects or a pair of extendable boxing gloves, it’s a fun mechanic that I thoroughly enjoy.

Tight controls are important for a platformer like Astro Bot, and I’m happy to report that the game’s controls feel great. I can time my jumps and hovers appropriately to get from one platform to another while avoiding enemy attacks, and even if I do fall off the stage, it is entirely my fault. Basically, it doesn’t feel like I was being held back by the game’s controls.

Last but not least are the gorgeous graphics of Astro Bot. Offering bright and vibrant graphics with no perceivable imperfection or stuttering, the game ran very smoothly at what seems to be a consistent 60fps at 4K resolution. Rest assured, the game looks and runs great on the PS5.

After spending about an hour playing through the demo of Astro Bot, it looks to be a very strong addition to my list of platformers that I truly enjoy, and I absolutely cannot wait for the game to be released on 6 September 2024. If you’re interested in Astro Bot, it is now available for pre-order from RM249 for the Standard Edition, going up to RM299 for the Digital Deluxe Edition with extra goodies.

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