Astro’s Playroom is pre-loaded onto every PlayStation 5 Console regardless of which edition you purchased. When I finally set up my PlayStation 5 Digital Edition I thought of what game I should play first, with the options being Sackboy’s Big Adventure, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, or Spider-Man: Remastered. I eventually went with Astro’s Playroom because of the Quick Look video that Giant Bomb made of it prior to the PlayStation 5’s release. Now that the PS5 has launched here in the states, I figured I’d review this game. So, here we go!

Astro’s Playroom is a sequel to the PlayStation VR game Astro Bot Rescue Mission. I had no idea of this until my Player’s Club co-host Emmett Watkins Jr educated me. The game is ultimately more of a long demo as to “why you should use the Dualsense” than anything else but I enjoyed the game regardless. It made great use of the Dualsense in virtually every factor. From the motion controls to the swipe mechanics using the touchscreen, and the haptic feedback. It even makes use of the microphone that is built into the Dualsense controller.

In the first area, there’s a moment where you are skating on ice and the feedback to the controller felt like it should when skating on ice. There’s a section of gameplay where you are given a bow and arrow and that specific section sold me on haptic trigger feedback. With previous generations of games that featured a bow, you would have no distinction feeling when quickly hitting a trigger to bring up the aim or holding said trigger. This time around, things felt much different in a way I am unsure how to explain.

Astro’s Playroom is broken up into four areas to explore: Cool Springs, GPU Jungle, Memory Meadow, and SSD Speedway. Each locale has a particular use of the Dualsense controller. One has you use the L2 + R2 buttons as a gorilla climbing around and moving the controller in a swinging manner you would see in Prince of Persia or Uncharted. Another has the Astro bot ready to get launched into the sky via a slingshot. One that I was not a big fan of had you turn into a ball and traverse the level exclusively through the touchpad controls. I personally wasn’t very much a fan of this particular concept but I am sure that there are people out there who waited for something like this.

The core gameplay is more akin to a traditional platformer in that you defeat enemies, collect coins, and traverse your way through the level. That said, all levels are replayable so if say you beat the game but didn’t get all the collectibles, you are in luck, my friend.

Astro's Playroom Botapon

With Astro’s Playroom being a PlayStation game, there are tons of homages to past PlayStation hardware products. Every level has the other Astro Bots scattered throughout the levels dressed up as certain iconic PlayStation characters such as Solid Snake, Ratchet, Sir Galahad, and more. Team Asobi did a wonderful job of taking things from the past of PlayStation and making it feel natural and not forced. The final boss of Astro’s Playroom is a throwback to 1994 with the PlayStation 1 tech demo. The ending of the four environments have you acquiring a previous generation PlayStation. Other collectibles include handhelds, accessories, and upgraded versions of each system.

Astro’s Playroom, to me, feels akin to Wii Sports as both a game that was packaged with the system it was for and a game that is insanely addicting to play as well. If you have yet to play Astro’s Playroom, I insist you play this game, it is a must-play and deserves all the praise and love.

Check here for the last episode of Player’s Club we did where I inquired about haptic feedback and what it all means.

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