PlayStation 5; Sony Japan Studios Asobi Team/Sony
This free-with-the-console game is a ridiculously cute tribute to 25 years of PlayStation history, games and hardware
Because I grew up playing video games in the late 90s and early 00s, the rhythms of the 3D platformer are as instinctive to me as breathing. Put me in front of Fortnite and I’m all thumbs – how can these kids think about building and shooting things at the same time!? – but I can run, jump, collect things and bash baddies with superhuman speed and efficiency. So it’s all the more delightful when a game like this actually surprises me with fun new twists on the controls and phenomenal art, music and style. I’ve had its signature tune playing in my head nonstop for the past week, like that unfortunate month around Christmas 1997 when all my thoughts were soundtracked by the Frosty Village theme from Diddy Kong Racing.
Astro’s Playroom imagines that your brand new PlayStation 5 has little chibi robots living inside it. The game comes with the console, and it’s designed as a showcase for its new capabilities and for the DualSense controller, which has fancy rumble feedback and adaptive triggers in addition to the touchpad and mini speaker of the PlayStation 4’s controller. It is also a ridiculously cute tribute to 25 years of PlayStation history, games and hardware, packing in references to literally hundreds of fond PlayStation memories. It will bring out your every buried recollection of PlayStation games and gadgets; at one point I found myself laughing nostalgically at a perfectly rendered recreation of a PS2 camera add-on. That’s how charming it is.
Selected by softengoxford