Astro Tripper review – Smash your controller into your TV type fun

Astro Tripper is a 2D space shooter on a 3D plain. It’s a real throw back to the arcade days. I could see this game sucking quarters out of my pocket because it’s so hard. No joke, I failed the tutorial 5 times. It’s really tough.

The thing that made this game difficult for me is the whole 3D plain deal. You simply move from side to side, looking for things to shoot. These things occasionally shoot back at you. When they shoot you obviously want to avoid the fire. This is where it gets hard. While you have to adhere to the limitations the game sets for you, your enemies do not. So you have enemy fire coming at you in a way that should just not be able to hit you, but it does!

Meanwhile your weapon fire observes all the logical rules. This can be frustrating as you move along and don’t completely realize that the area in front of you is actually not on the same plain as you are. I think that might be confusing to you dudes out there in Readerland but you will understand when you play. 

It’s also difficult to tell when you can fall off the world and when you cannot. Sometimes a simple line on the screen is an impenetrable wall and other times it is a dire warning that death awaits. I imagine that once you get used to all of the ways this game tries to make you cry you might be able to begin moving through it.

After suffering through learning the ropes I came to a boss fight. Some giant robotic bug looking thing that sort of reminds me of the boss fight at the end of Littlebigplanet or pretty much any boss fight prior to 1990. Some big dude with glowy orbs on his body that are, ever so obviously, his weak points. I imagine my nether regions appeared this way to the female eye in middle school. As I took far too many jelly shoes to the nuts during those years.

Big Bad Bionic Bug. He goes boom.

Big Bad Bug. He goes boom.

Anyways, I’m fighting this boss and making progress. Destroying his glowy parts and avoiding him as he chased me around. All of a sudden I hear what I can only recall as an air raid siren begin blaring. Then I am insta-dead. Game over.

I had no idea why but I was dead. It really didn’t seem like I had taken an incredibly long time to kill the boss. Apparently though this game did not agree. So yeah, that was the tutorial.

Other aspects of the game also make it difficult. For instance, you can only shoot your weapons from side to side. Enemies however can shoot at you with homing missile space ammo from any direction. There is also a button press required in order to make your ship change it’s direction of travel or to change the direction you shoot in.

Enemies love to spawn right on top of you. Or immediately in your path with zero warning, thereby killing you. It just feels like the game is cheating all the damn time. Like I said this game is tough.

At $5.00 though you get trophy support and I believe, 14 levels of kick-your-ass pew pewing. If you dig these type of shooters pick it up. The price alone is good enough reason to get it. I think Sony should be pumping out as many $5.00 games as they can. Every now and then you will get a Noby Noby Boy that blows your mind. Astro Tripper isn’t going to blow your mind but it is worth the money.

So in closing, get the game. I just can’t promise that Astro Tripper won’t make you cause physical harm to your expensive entertainment equipment.


Mort’s Take:

I agree pretty much with what Dicky has to say, except I think I am enjoying the challenge a bit more than he is.   Like any good 2D shooter, there is a certain type of flow you need to get into.   Astro Tripper throws you for a loop with its 2D but kinda 3D plains, and by having a more complex control system.   But once you get it all down you can pull off some amazing stuff.

But yes, there will be many cheap deaths until you memorize the patterns of the levels, and the controls do feel a little clunky at first.   But after a short while you will grow to enjoy the frantic pace of the game.   It doesn’t compete with SSHD or any other twin stick shooter, for that matter, but for $5 it is plenty of game and plenty of fun.   But it may end up costing you $55 after you smash your controller.   $1055 if you smash said controller into your HDTV.


Mighty’s Take:

With a name like Astro Tripper, you would expect the game to have block-rockin’ beats. It doesn’t. But for $5, it’s a clean take on retro-favorite Defender. Like said game, you must utilize the map to make short work of your enemies–I found myself looking there more than I should have.

And unlike Dicky J, I had no issues with the 3D perspective often shifting, but my issues lie with the generic look of the game. Cheesy robotic enemies on pastel mechanical backgrounds do little for my imagination. I would have much rather had windmills where there are pistons and wheat  fields where there are metal tiles. But with controls as spot on as this, I can put a bag over its head.

One thought on “Astro Tripper review – Smash your controller into your TV type fun

  1. I’ve since put more time into this game. I am going to say that the tutorial level is the hardest level. It’s simple looks are kind of deceiving. The rest of the game played alot more smoothly for me.

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