Houston, We’re having a party.
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4 (reviewed)
Developer: Inertia Game Studios
Publisher: Inertia Game Studios
Release date: Out now (Nintendo Switch version coming soon)
tl;dr: It’s Overcooked but you’re in space and instead of food, it’s a spaceship
Price: $15.99/£11.49 (consoles)
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
It would seem couch co-op is making a grand return with games such as Team 17’s sensational Overcooked, Catastronauts borrows from that blueprint whilst adding its own unique flair! So no longer are you running about a kitchen, no, it’s time to defend the world from some evil aliens.
The story mode kicks off with you as a rookie space cadet gradually learning the basics from extinguishing fires, to shooting down enemy ships, and all this is through a short tutorial. At your graduation ceremony, your captain is kidnapped by a bunch of aliens that are out for revenge after escaping from space prison – no, really. So, it’s up to you and your wacky crew to rescue the cap’n and protect your civilisation along with the denizens of Earth from the evil alien overlords! The characters in Catastronauts talk similarly to characters in Banjo Kazooie which is mildly heartwarming to hear, solidifying the fact that we’re never gonna get over Banjo Kazooie.
The ultimate goal of the game is to maintain your ship by repairing damages and putting out fires caused by enemy fire whilst sending a barrage of firepower back at them, ultimately blasting them off like Team Rocket! After you defeat an enemy, you are ranked on your performance which is generally based on how fast you knock out the enemy but each level provides a different challenge so you can’t just sit there firing away at your enemy. It’s a balance of being offensive and maintaining your ship, as the enemy could knock out your weapon systems or even worse your revival pods, and without those, you ain’t coming back if you’re downed.
You can play this game solo using two characters which can be swapped between with a simple click of a button but the game doesn’t feel right on single player… I find some levels are too frustrating to play by yourself and you end up getting destroyed before you’ve even begun.
The game starts off as fairly generous, only asking you to do little tasks with minimal repairing here and a little bit extinguishing there, followed by a bit of pew-pew! Which is manageable but then the game starts throwing solar flares at you, forcing you got to shut your characters in a little room to protect them from the oncoming waves of pure power. This is something that, if you’re not prepared for on single-player, is a challenge and whilst it’s a challenge on co-op it is far less stressful.
Luckily, the control scheme is simple, meaning the whole family can get in on the action including your Great Grandmother who thinks every game is that damn blasted Call of Doody. Even the little ones who haven’t played too many games can pick up this game with ease provided they play co-op to start off with.
Unfortunately, the game can be quite short; it has thirty levels overall, which may sound like a lot but they can be cleared in a few minutes… The plus side to this is if you want to get three stars on every level, you find yourself playing a stage for thirty odd minutes only to find you haven’t achieved that three star rank again.
Overall, Catastronauts can be compared to Overcooked but the game has its own unique charm and flair that allows it to stand out on its own. Hopefully it will get a sequel with a larger campaign or maybe a few DLC levels added later for a cost or maybe as a free update. Catastronauts is definitely worth your attention if you enjoy party games to play with your friends or maybe at family gatherings! Oh, the soundtrack is perfect as well and fits the game wonderfully!
- Wacky and colourful art direction.
- Fun couch co-op antics.
- Fun for the whole family.
- Single player isn’t fun…
- Single player isn’t balanced.
- Short campaign.
Catastronauts is rated E10+ for Everyone 10+ by the ESRB and PEGI 7. It’s casual party game that’s fun for all the family.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review code provided by PR for the purposes of this review.