An utter delight from start to finish, Astro’s Playroom hasn’t just introduced me to my shiny new PlayStation 5. It has reminded me how much joy this series of consoles has provided me with over the years.
There’s an enormous amount of reverence and knowledge packed into this game. A solid platformer, full of fun, that also happens to be completely free! If you’re fortunate enough to get this new console and don’t play this game, frankly you’re not doing it right.
Writing this off as ‘just’ a tech demo for the new DualSense controller, does it a disservice. How these new triggers and haptic feedback can change the feel of the game could be a gamechanger. On more than one occasion I had to pass the DualSense to my wife so she could try it too, in a burst of ‘you need to feel this!’ Pardon my crudeness, but this feels like some real next gen shit.
Something I did notice though, is that it can be quite tiring. I felt like my hands had had a workout, and with a history of RSI I’m slightly weary. The option to turn off this feature may come in very handy down the line.
As my brother likes to say, there are some real deep cuts in Astro’s Playroom. The references are frequent and joyfully reminiscent. If like me you’ve been around long enough to experience all the PlayStations, you’ll be beaming throughout. It even manages to be a history lesson of the series, so I even learnt a thing or two!
In addition to the controller Astro has also introduced me to the PS5’s Activity Cards (a very handy way of jumping around). Most importantly, not many games bring out the collector in me, but not only did Astro do that but the PS5 actively made it easier through helping me find things. No going on my phone to figure things out, it was all there and very helpful.
There’s no excuse not to play this game. And I dare you not to get swept up in its catchy music and nostalgia. I thought I’d play it for twenty minutes, only to quickly move onto one of the ‘full’ games I’ve picked up. That would have been a mistake, as Astro’s Playroom is the perfect way to get on board with this new generation.