A Free Bundle of Fun: Astro’s Playroom (Review)

Astro’s Playroom is a 3D platformer that was released in November 2020 for the PS5 and comes free, pre-installed on the console at purchase and makes use of the PS5 DualSense controller and all of its new functions.

I’m a little late with my review of this one. Astro was the first game that we played when we got our PS5 a few months ago, but I’m only now getting around to writing about it.

Astro’s Playroom isn’t the first Astro game, but it was the first one that we played. We didn’t expect it to be free with the PS5, so that was a pleasant surprise right off the bat.

The game spans four worlds with several different levels in each. Two levels within each are regular platformers and two. You’re given a special suit that allows different actions, for example, a frog suit that has a spring allowing you to bounce to higher parts of the level or over obstacles. This suit for us was fun, not so much the suit itself, but the way that the DualSense controller feels and sounds when you’re using it; it’s just like a real spring would be. The resistance is also the same as an actual spring. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s a fun feature. Other levels put you inside a ball which you have to navigate down a track or -the bit I really enjoyed – on a pinball machine. There also a monkey suit that allows you climb walls – some bits with suit were a tad frustrating but still enjoyable.

Astro’s Playroom isn’t a hard game, although it does have a few challenging elements. Some of the collectibles are difficult to get, but with a little persistence and timing they are achievable.

Another fun thing about this game is that there are little scenes involving other robots that act out characters and bits from other games throughout all of the levels. It was great to find them and figure out which ones they were. They range from games like Ratchet and Clank to The Last of Us to Horizon: Zero Dawn. There are probably hundreds to see, and over the couple of playthroughs we did, we think we found and figured out most of them.

I’ve never been a lover of the 3D platform game. I grew up with side-scrollers and still prefer them, but some like the previously mentioned Ratchet and Clank and this game Astro’s Playroom – that I do enjoy.

It’s not just the gameplay that is excellent, but also the soundtrack. There are several different songs that we found ourselves singing by the end of the game, they were that catchy. One of them is also written on a wall in one of the levels (see the above central image.)

Now on to trophies.

The platinum for this game wasn’t a difficult one, and we managed to get it after just a couple of days of playing. There aren’t many challenging trophies, but there are some that you wouldn’t necessarily get if you weren’t looking for them, for example, gaining a large number of robot followers in the home world.

For a free game that we didn’t expect, we really enjoyed Astro’s Playroom. With the other two games that we got with our PS5 – one of them being Werewolf (you can find my scathing review here) – it was by far the best of the bunch and probably one that, despite having completed and gained the platinum for, we would go back and replay at some point. I’d say if you’ve got a PS5 and haven’t yet played this game, you need to go and do it as soon as possible.

I’m giving Astro’s Playroom a fantastic ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and two big thumbs up.

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