Astro Bot hands-on report (2024)

Astro is back with his biggest adventure yet, and I had an opportunity to play about 40 minutes in an early preview. Team Asobi’s colorful platformer is brimming with stages featuring empowering new abilities, inventive obstacles, and exciting PlayStation character cameos.

The demo packed five fun stages to explore including full levels, smaller hardcore challenges, and a wet ‘n’ wild boss fight. While only some stages were available to play in this preview, the galactic maps hint at the scale of the final game — Astro’s new adventure hosts dozens of diverse stages and tons of cameo bots to rescue.

Let’s dive in.

Dependable platforming controls

If you played through Astro’s Playroom, you already know that controlling the little bot is a tight, responsive experience. Astro still has his trusty jump, attack, charged spin attack, and versatile laser-hover ability. If Team Asobi has made major updates to the core platforming mechanics, they’re too subtle for me to notice. But if it ain’t broke…!

A galaxy of various difficulty levels

Astro Bot’s overworld (“overuniverse?”) consists of multiple galactic maps. Once within the specific galaxy shown in the demo, myriad colorful planets dot the galaxy, each with their own levels. Helpfully, hovering over each level reveals its difficulty level (Easy, Normal, Hard).

Sky Garden

One of the galaxy’s “easy” levels, Sky Garden is a vision of idyllic paradise with pink robo-flamingos wading in inviting blue ponds. Cherry blossom trees dot the landscape, with their petals floating atop the water. Astro explores across multiple connected floating islands in this stage.

Inflated Astro

In Sky Garden, Astro can collect a new item that pumps him full of air, swelling him to rotund proportions. Not only does this help you reach new hidden heights, it’s also adorable.

Swimming robot

Astro must have received a software update since Astro’s Playroom because he can now explore underwater for hidden bots and treasures. The controls are simple, with Circle button to descend and X button to ascend.

Astro Bot hands-on report (1)
Astro Bot hands-on report (2)
Astro Bot hands-on report (3)

Hidden secrets

Speaking of swimming, plunging into a pond revealed an underwater area protected by the effects of water by a bubble dome. Defeating the enemies within reveals a hidden hole. Inside, a bot-themed after Rivet from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is held hostage by a group of enemies. Defeating these goons and draining the pool frees Rivet for a quick rescue. Subtle secrets like this underwater nook suggest players will be consistently rewarded for exploration.

Construction Derby

Astro heads to a miles-high construction site for this normal-difficulty level (could the name be a reference to the early original PlayStation game Destruction Derby?). Cranes, i-beams, scaffolding, and other equipment reach above the clouds, making for precarious platforming. A sumo-bot guards a helipad halfway through the level, forcing Astro to target his vulnerable backside.

Dog jetpack

Like Sky Garden’s inflation ability, Construction Derby hosts a unique and cute gameplay mechanic. A new robot dog friend clings to Astro’s back, granting a jet-powered boost serving both as an effective attack and lateral mid-air boost. The powerful dash also allows Astro to blast through specific walls to progress.

Unlocking Hard stages

One planet within the galaxy, Swinging Sentries, was marked as Hard difficulty. The deceptively simple, bite-sized course features multiple platforms with enemies swinging spiky ball-and-chain weapons. Don’t let the cute visuals and relatively short stage length fool you, Astro’s Hard difficulty will challenge seasoned platforming fans. Thankfully, quick respawns after each failure makes it easy to keep playing.

Finishing this stage triggered a new comet to streak across the galaxy map, which exploded and took the form of another Hard level. In Slowdown Showdown, Astro throws an hourglass item to slow down enemies, platforms, and environmental hazards that move impossibly fast.

As a fun nod, both the Hard stages were themed after the PlayStation sacred symbols, Circle for Swinging Sentries, and X for Slowdown Showdown.

Playful stage design

Levels are bursting with fun details and trinkets that exist just to be played with. Bouncy inflatable balls roll down a waterslide with you in Sky Garden, and Construction Derby is littered with gooey paint buckets, shiny bolts, and colorful spray paint cans. Knocking these trinkets around is fun for the sake of it, and the detailed physics add to the joy

PlayStation character cameos

Rescuing bots is one of Astro’s prime directives. Like past titles, these helpless friends are hidden around levels, hanging from ledges, hidden in bushes, or otherwise stranded. A game menu indicates how many bots are hidden throughout the stage, and PlayStation symbols mark special cameo bots. This subtle, fun wink lets players get excited to see what familiar reference may be discovered around the corner. I won’t spoil the cameos here, but just know that there are many, many more than Astro’s Playroom.

Astro Bot hands-on report (4)

Rescued bots take a ride in your onscreen DualSense controller. Using the controller’s motion sensing to make these buddy bots tumble and bounce around is a pure delight.

DualSense controller immersion

Astro’s Playroom served as players’ introduction to the PS5 console when it launched as a pre-installed title on consoles back in 2020. Team Asobi continues to wow with its expressive implementation of the DualSense controller’s haptics and adaptive triggers.

The haptic effects convey terrain texture as Astro pitter patters across swishing grass, gritty paths, or splashes into a pond. One fun moment in Construction Derby involves a puzzle where Astro runs across a path made of circuitry, feeling for a secret switch via responsive haptics.

Robot octopus boss battle

The big boss of the galaxy featured in the demo is a massive octopus named Wako Tako. The aquatic stage begins with Astro landing on a shipwreck, getting a new item for the upcoming fight. These extend-o frog boxing gloves allow Astro to punch from afar, swing from grapple points, and grab onto posts to perform a slingshot-style maneuver. Without giving away the boss fight’s twist and turns, these gloves come in handy when destroying Wako Tako’s snorkeling mask. Rest assured, Team Asobi’s penchant for bombastic boss battles is thriving in Astro Bot.

Mythical new companions

The preview ends with a sneak peek at new friends themed after Santa Monica Studio’s latest God of War games. Astro discovers a capsized canoe floating in the water. Knocking the boat upright reveals adorable bot versions of Kratos and Atreus, and the crew takes flight together on the Dual Speeder.

I’ve been lucky to play a good deal of game demos in my career, but rarely have I loudly groaned in disappointment when the good times came to a close. Team Asobi is cooking up an expansive and delightful game bursting with the lifeblood that defines great platformers: variety. Get ready to explore Astro’s universe when Astro Bot launches on PS5 September 6.

Astro Bot hands-on report (2024)


How to get bots to follow you on Astro's Playroom? ›

All you need to do is travel to CPU Plaza and punch the Astro Bots to get their attention. Eventually, they'll begin following you around. Get 20 Astro Bots to follow you in order to unlock this Trophy.

How long does it take to Platinum Astro's playroom? ›

Astro's Playroom will take you approximately three hours to beat, although you'll probably need to double that playtime if you're planning to unlock the Platinum Trophy (See Also: All Trophies and How to Unlock the Platinum) as well.

How do you pick up trophies in PlayStation Labo? ›

Inside Playstation Labo you'll have to play the Gatcha Machine until you receive a Astro Bot Model with a trophy. Once you unlock one from the Gatcha Machine find the table with the trophies on them and grab it by pressing square.

Does Astro's Playroom have trophies? ›

Full list of all 51 Astro's Playroom trophies - 31 bronze, 14 silver, 5 gold and 1 platinum. The base game contains 43 trophies, and there are 2 DLC packs containing 8 trophies.

Is Astro Bot Rescue Mission free? ›

Sony's “Play at Home” initiative continues with a huge stack of excellent games, including Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Subnautica, that are free to own for a limited time. No PlayStation Plus membership is required, meaning you can keep these games forever.

What happens when you finish Astro's playroom? ›

You just beat Astro's Playroom! Now the main credits will fly in just like the end of the original Rescue Mission. In every credit listing, a pair of letters will be gold: Punch them to get three Coins each! Even the various enemies that jump in will give you Coins, so have fun!

Which game has the easiest Platinum trophy? ›

Players can easily blaze through this game and do everything necessary to get the Platinum in just under 15 hours.
  • 4 Bugsnax.
  • 3 Marvel's Spider-Man 2.
  • 2 The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series.
  • 1 Spiritfarer.

What is the point of coins in Astro's playroom? ›

When 100 Coins have been collected, they can be spent on the Gatcha Game located in the Collection Room of the Astro Ship. However, we are not quite sure what to do with the coins you collect after purchasing all the available items.

Is Astro's playroom a masterpiece? ›

Highlights. Astro's Playroom is the best PS5 game, fully utilizing the console's features. The DualSense controller shines in Astro's Playroom, showcasing its potential. Team Asobi's creativity and focus on gameplay make Astro's Playroom a masterpiece.

Why is my sneakitty trophy not unlocking? ›

If it doesn't unlock after leaving Clementine's apartment for the second time, there's a chance it will pop after restarting from the most recent checkpoint and sneaking out of the apartment complex once more. If all else fails, it's possible to replay the chapter via the main menu.

How to reveal the former logo in PlayStation Labo? ›

For this you will need to unlock the SIE Logo bot from the Gathcha Machine then go to the SIE logo which from the entrance of Playstation Labo head straight and jump over the rail and immediately look to the right and it's on the wall. Then charge attack but holding square and releasing to reveal the former logo.

Is it safe to delete Astros playroom? ›

To remove it, simply hover over the game's icon, push the Options button, and select Delete. Don't worry, as it'll be automatically added to your Game Library, and thus you'll be able to re-download it whenever you want to.

How long does it take to 100% Astro's playroom? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Astro's Playroom is about 3 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 5 Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Is Astro's playroom for kids? ›

Content rating. Rated PEGI 7 for non-realistic violence in a child-friendly setting or context, and pictures or sounds likely to be scary to young children.

How do you get the secret Gacha in Astro's playroom? ›

Once you have a good-sized stockpile, you'll want to enter PlayStation Labo via the PS1 you find in the central hub (behind you whenever you return there). In the very back is a door that leads to a gacha machine; it costs 100 coins per pull.

Can Astro's playroom be deleted? ›

How Do You Delete Astro's Playroom? You can delete Astro's Playroom from your PS5 at any time. To remove it, simply hover over the game's icon, push the Options button, and select Delete. Don't worry, as it'll be automatically added to your Game Library, and thus you'll be able to re-download it whenever you want to.

How do you get the last guy trophy in Astro's playroom? ›

Walked around with at least 20 Bots following you in CPU Plaza. This Trophy is earned in the CPU Plaza, and is easier if you've completed a few level areas as it increases the number of Bots in the plaza.

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