Astronite Review thumbnail

Astronite Review

A Metroidvania as basic as black and white

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing an Xbox Series X on 🚀

Astronite is also available for Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch

Astronite is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

Sometimes, simple games are all you need but does Astronite offer enough? Get your pea-shooter ready and let's find out.

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Astronite screenshot 1
The first rule of Fight Festival is... that you need an invitation

Hey, that was my blaster

Astronite has you play as a little astronaut who gets their gear stolen shortly into their journey on a mysterious planet. Right away, this reminded me of Death stealing Alucard's stuff at the beginning of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. However, Alucard simply gets weaker without his equipment while here, you're stripped of your ability to air-dash, fly with your jetpack, and even shoot so all you can do at this point is run and jump and you know what that means; it's time to reclaim your gear and serve some justice. v1d30chumz 35-172-230-154

Get in the groove

After carefully navigating my way through the enemy-infested planet and reclaiming my pistol, I had a lot more fun with Astronite as being able to shoot is simply essential. With that in mind, this is far from an easy game as you have very limited health, there is no levelling-up, and upgrades are very rare to come across. Throw in relentless enemies and plenty of hazards and you're left with one challenging Metroidvania. This is especially true when it comes to the boss fights which are completely doable with some practice and the fact that they pose such unique challenges is fantastic; definitely the highlight of the entire campaign. 😄

Astronite screenshot 2
Things are getting slippery for this little astronaut

A little short-sighted

One aspect of Astronite that I absolutely don't understand as it makes the gameplay much more frustrating than it needs to be is that your blaster's shots disappear after travelling a short distance while enemy shots travel until they hit a wall. Needless to say, that's just not fair, especially when you shoot an enemy just out of range then run away from their shot only to get snagged on it because the ceiling is too low to jump out of the way. It may be a simple game at its core but there's no denying just how frustrating it can be. 😠

Shop or you'll drop

To make matters slightly easier, you can purchase upgrades with accumulated currency that you receive from defeated enemies. Now, it must be said that being able to afford anything takes forever since it's all expensive stuff and on top of that, there's a Souls-like system where you drop your money wherever you perish so it's very easy to lose everything. On the plus side, buying an extra health point and extending your shot range will make a substantial difference. There are also niceties such as displaying enemy info, etc. 😊

Watch out below

Finally, a huge complaint that I have about Astronite is just how difficult it is to spot hazards as everything is rendered in black and white. Because of this, you may not notice a spike or assume that an unmoving enemy is just part of the scenery. Whenever you take damage from such camouflaged dangers, it will put a sour look on your face. In the end, I just wish that these sorts of issues were smoothed out and that Astronite offered more unique gameplay because as it is, it's a tough game to wholeheartedly recommend.

Astronite screenshot 3
I think Al Pacino will have to play this fellow in the film adaptation

Your enjoyment of Astronite will almost entirely rely on your patience for retreading the same paths again and again while taking unfair damage from hazards that blend in with the scenery and enemies that shoot much further than you can. Good grief!

  • + Simple 2D gameplay with intuitive shooting, running, and jumping
  • + The boss fights are fantastic
  • + Upgrades are rewarding to unlock
  • - Having limited range while your enemies' range is unlimited just feels unfair
  • - It's often hard to spot hazards
  • - Very simple and doesn't do anything unique
6.9 out of 10
Gameplay video for Astronite thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Astronite
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