Astros Playroom developed by Sony Japan is an incredible showcase of the power and potential for the playstation 5 system and its unique dual-sense controller. It also functions as a sequel to the PS4 VR demo game Astro Bot Rescue Mission.
Astros Playroom is a fast and fun 3D platformer that follows the adventures of Astro Bot all while showcases the different features of the PS5 Duel-sense controller. Astro has a basic attack while pushing the square button, a more powerful spin attack by holding down and charging the square button, and like a normal platformer jumps with the X button. Astro also has a rocket/float jump by pressing the x button again during a jump. The controls are basic and functional, with the real draw being the different types of mechanics introduced through the Dual-sense controller.
Every movement and obstacle is felt through the haptic feedback of the controller. From whirling wind to icy platforms every single action creates immense feedback through the controller. There is one various game/controller mechanic that gets introduced in each stage. All of them are unique and very fun to play. One involves wearing a monkey suit and climbing using the motion controls in conjunction with the right and left triggers, another involves leaning with the motion controls and spring boarding a frog suit across various hazards. The third mechanic involves hoping into a spaceship suit and traversing various obstacles with rockets, and lastly a rolling ball suit that turns the game into a super monkey ball marble madness esque platform puzzler. The rolling ball mechanic is controlled through the touch pad. The most intuitive of the suits are the monkey suit and the rolling ball suit! The monkey suit took a little while to get use to but after that all of the suits were very fun to play and added a ton of features to showcase the Dual-sense controller.
The game has a hub world in which you can enter any of the following areas: GPU Jungle, Cooling Springs, SSD Speedway, Memory Meadow, a speedrun area, and the Playstation Labo. All four of the main areas of the game are unique and very fun to play. The level designs are perfect with tons of secret areas with additional items to collect. Those additional items are puzzle pieces and artifacts from playstations past. The game isn’t very long and it took about 3 hours to complete all of the areas and about 4.5 hours to collect everything and unlock all of the trophies. For a free pack in game this is totally acceptable and regardless of length the game is a tremendous experience! The speedrun area unlocks 8 different quick play levels to speedrun and each one uses a different area or mechanic from the main game. The playstation labo is by far the coolest area in the game. Here all of your unlockables are displayed and it is very rewarding to watch the room fill in with the history of the playstation system. All of the puzzle pieces collected turn into wall murals that showcase the history of playstation, and all of the artifacts you collect fill in the areas in which console they are tied to. There is also a Gatcha Claw Machine in the labo which will grant you more unlocks at the cost of 100 coins a spin. By playing through the game I was able to get everything out of the machine so it doesn’t involve any grinding. There is also a secret game area that is unlocked once the four main areas in the game are beaten, and this area includes the games final boss fight!
The music and sound effects in Astros Playroom are very good. The graphics are also tremendous with lots of vibrant colors and detail to look at. For a free pack in game Astros Playroom is very polished and should be the first game anyone plays on the PS5. I am going to give Astros Playroom a 9/10. The only thing that really prevents this from getting a 10 is the short length, but you cannot beat this experience for a free game! I can see myself playing through it a couple times, and using it to showcase the system to friends.