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Review

Astronaut: The Best Review

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In the occult management adventure Astronaut: The Best, stepping into the role of space academy director is not for the faint of heart,. It is clear from the moment you step into this game that this is a world where competence takes a backseat and eccentricity reigns supreme. The unsettling uniqueness had me equally hooked and frustrated, as I took on the challenge of training an ever-eclectic bunch of wannabe astronauts.

Managing the space academy was extremely exciting, unique and at times exasperating. The soundtrack and art style are very unique and create a retro-futuristic atmosphere for intergalactic adventure. Players step foot into the position of director of a royal space Academy, with your main job being to train astronauts for space. Seems simple, right? Unfortunately your training of the astronaut’s is under the supervision of a council consisting of 5 eccentric characters, each with particular affinities for how the academy should be run. Every stat that you train the astronaut’s in will please one of the characters on the council and contribute to the overall challenge that you are completing at that time. Are you keeping up with me still?

Training each astronaut felt fun as you slowly unveiled their personalities with every session

The core gameplay loop revolves around recruiting a motley crew of procedurally generated astronauts, each with their own hidden quirks. These quirks, ranging from absurd to outright hilarious, significantly impact the outcome of missions and challenges. Whether you’re dealing with part-time pirates or members of the royal family with a penchant for mischief, every recruit adds a layer of unpredictability with the aim of keeping the gameplay engaging. I spent a lot of time analysing the bizarre characters that wound up at my academy’s doorstep.

Between training, groveling, lying, and even witchcraft, your role within the academy as you play the game becomes increasingly complex as you delve deeper into the story. I felt with every turn that I took in training the astronaut’s I would make fantastic progress, however, once they were put to challenges, it often left me feeling defeated. The gameplay at times relies on chance and the generation of the wacky wheel of fortune seems at best broken. At times I felt like the game developers were messing with me, despite levelling a skill high in an astronaut they could fail a task. The frustration was out of this world.

The will of the 5 will have you at the edge of your seat

The mechanics within Astronaut: The Best are a fusion of choice-driven storytelling and strategic decision-making that lend themselves well to the overall style of the game. The management and training of the recruits feel seamless and satisfactory within an increasingly chaotic world. This combined with the witchcraft mechanics add a layer of whimsy and strategy allowing players to feel more in control of the fates of their crew. I was pleased by the simplicity of the control, there is a lot of basic point and click in the game and it is also controller compatible. As you navigate your astronauts through the various episodic missions of the game you are consistently kept on your toes between ravenous tabloids, magical upper management and the enigmatic metaverse-spanning mystery that lurks beneath the surface. Did I mention the overarching TV show as well? Succeed and ultimate glory awaits you!

Final Thoughts

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Astronaut: The Best is an interstellar journey of chaotic charm with its unconventional management that beckons players to embrace the absurd. No one said that the creation of Heroes was easy and this is certainly not an exception. Prepare to train astronauts with affinities for flying, murder, and illicit substance addictions – this one is definitely not for kids. I was at times shocked by some of the references throughout, however this added to the overall edgy kind of story telling this game shines in. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I dare say that players will get the occasional giggle from the ludicrous humour this game has – if the fates look favourably upon you – as you journey to send a rocket full of misfit astronauts into space.

Reviewed on PC // Review code supplied by publisher

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Astronaut: The Best Review
Reach for the stars
Through this occult management simulator l was challenged like never before, navigating magic, zany challenges and the offbeat humour that aims to thrill and vex it’s players. Call me a masochist, but I had fun.
The Good
Innovative concept that introduces a fresh and unconventional concept that seamlessly blends management, roguelite gameplay, and narrative-driven choices.
The procedurally generated recruits, episodic storylines, and branching narratives contribute to a high level of replayability.
Offbeat humor and whimsical scenarios add a lighthearted and entertaining element to the gameplay.
Satisfying balance between managing resources, training astronauts, and making critical decisions.
Narrative Twists: The metaverse-spanning mystery and unexpected narrative twists keep players engaged and curious about the overarching story.
The Bad
The game's unique mechanics and unconventional gameplay may be a steep learning curve for some players.
Players might find that the game's visual and audio design lack variety.
7.5
SOLID
  • Universal Happymaker
  • Universal Happymaker
  • PC
  • August 15, 2023

Astronaut: The Best Review
Reach for the stars
Through this occult management simulator l was challenged like never before, navigating magic, zany challenges and the offbeat humour that aims to thrill and vex it’s players. Call me a masochist, but I had fun.
The Good
Innovative concept that introduces a fresh and unconventional concept that seamlessly blends management, roguelite gameplay, and narrative-driven choices.
The procedurally generated recruits, episodic storylines, and branching narratives contribute to a high level of replayability.
Offbeat humor and whimsical scenarios add a lighthearted and entertaining element to the gameplay.
Satisfying balance between managing resources, training astronauts, and making critical decisions.
Narrative Twists: The metaverse-spanning mystery and unexpected narrative twists keep players engaged and curious about the overarching story.
The Bad
The game’s unique mechanics and unconventional gameplay may be a steep learning curve for some players.
Players might find that the game’s visual and audio design lack variety.
7.5
SOLID
Written By Rhiannen Austin

An effervescent gamer who has an affinity for games involving wheels, she thrives in the high-speed excitement of racing experiences or realms where magic is required. Her passion for gaming and advocacy for women in the industry makes her a dynamic force, inspiring others in any realm she may find herself.

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