Astro’s Playroom: Simply Fun

With the launch of a new console generation, everyone thinks about the biggest titles with the triple A treatment. You’ve got your visual stunners, your game of the year fodder, and your epic action games as well as a trove of optimized old classics. No one really thinks about small intimate platform if experiences as the game that will define the generation. Pack in titles are also becoming a rarity on launch. Most systems will have bundle deals closer to the holidays or years down the line they’ll have their system come with whatever latest title is out to entice newcomers. Wii Sports was really the last great pack in title. That was until Astro’s Playroom. This simple game has, for me, set my expectations sky high for this generation. It’s also the best pack in title to date.

The Nintendo Switch tested the waters of HD rumble. Like most things, Nintendo was ahead of its time and barely anyone except Nintendo themselves used this feature. Sony saw that and said “we see you and your Senren Kagura boob physics, that’s cute. We can do it batter.” And so they have. Every surface has a unique and realistic feel with the controller. The motion controls of the controller are also top notch. I imagine Quantic Dream is salivating at the mouth waiting to try them with one of their movies—I mean games. The touch pad also adds a few delightful fun moves. And that’s the best way to describe this game; fun. The kind of fun that leaves you with a smile on your face and giggling with friends. It’s a great game to pass the controller back and forth on and show off your new system to friends.

Astro’s Playroom is basically tech demo for what is to come. Sony could have left it at that, but they made a really fun experience that I found the perfect way to start my first few hours with the system before delving into Demon’s Souls. Everything was beautiful, there were plenty of cameos which bring with them fond Sony memories. There are four levels where you discover artifacts along the way. These artifacts relate to each of the four previous Sony consoles. Laughs were shared at all the PS1 peripherals as well as the eye toy and PSP’s strange attachments. Each level is themed to a component of the system itself from the cooling system to the GPU.

After you beat the four levels, a final boss fight appears where you get to unlock the current system and all its gadgets and gizmos. It was a fun finish that truly welcomed in the new console. The game is also beautiful. Everything from the ribbon grass to the trigger platforms is themed to PlayStation Systems. The tight ropes that are actually controller cables was, in particular, a delight. This small free title has no right being this good. I remember my husband and I turning to each other and saying this was better than YookahLaylee. That’s not saying much, but we were so surprised.

Give it a shot, especially if you have yet to acquire any games for your system or want a quick warm up while installing other things. You won’t regret it. It’s a great way to get hyped for things to come.

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