Catastronauts is a frantic, couch co-op party game from Inertia Game studios; a small indie developer based in Ely, Cambridgeshire.
Working alone or with friends, the game tasks 1-4 players to take the role of a ‘Catastronaut’ as they Captain a ship and try to stave off unrelenting disaster.
Think ‘Star Trek’ mixed with ‘Overcooked’ and if that sentence gets you excited, then read on.
Release Date: 28th September 2018
Genre: 1-4 player, family, party, casual fun
Developer – Inertia Game Studios
Our story opens with ‘Space Fleet’ under attack from the lizard-like ‘Quazards’, commanded by ‘Zastral’, their supreme overlord.
After soundly getting their butt kicked and their Commander kidnapped, the Catastronauts are tasked with fighting back and tracking down and rescuing their leader.
It’s a well trodden trope and the story isn’t going to win any literature awards, but let’s be honest… You didn’t come to Catastronauts to experience a sprawling space opera, you came here to blow your mate out of an airlock, didn’t you?
After the brief introduction, the players are invited to do a short tutorial. This will then familiarise you with the simple but core mechanics of ‘Run’, ‘Use’ & Pickup/Drop’. These actions will be imperative as you try to repair, extinguish fires, arm torpedoes and fire back at the enemy invaders.
What I really liked about Catastronauts, is the way that these simple actions are used in increasingly clever ways. New mechanics are gradually introduced to the player that require increasing levels of teamwork. Such as a teleporter that requires you to teleport the repair kit to another part of the ship or charging a missile and getting it into a loading bay before it explodes. It can be a little overwhelming when you first encounter one of these new systems, but the game does a good job of forewarning you and the game has a superb learning curve in effect. Making each subsequent run of the level just that little bit better.
Catastronauts has 6 hub worlds that each contain 5 levels, giving the player 30 levels total to tackle. Your ultimate goal on each stage is to deplete the enemies shields before they deplete yours. These shields are handily displayed at the top of the screen, along with the total time it is currently taking you on each stage. This ‘time’ is important, as it is directly linked to the grade you achieve at the end of the level. I found when playing that your remaining shield health had no effect on grade and rather it all depended on how fast you take that Quazard down. A very handy tip for players looking to trophy/achievement hunt.
Graphics & Sound
I really enjoyed the graphics on Catastronauts. Inertia Game Studios have done a great job in delivering bright, punchy graphics whilst also holding a rock steady framerate, even under load. It’s hard not to draw comparisons to Overcooked as they share a very similar aesthetic. This isn’t a bad thing, I personally thought it looked great.
Character models are also super cute and well animated. I loved how they are loosely based on ‘Star Trek’ characters such as Gordie la Forge and Seven of Nine.
Audio is excellent as well. The soundtrack and title music are super catchy and you will find yourself humming it after you have finished playing. Level sound effects are also superb. Claxons, Alarms and lasers fire with real punch to ramp up tension and convey that feeling of being in a space battle.
I really enjoyed my time with ‘Catastronauts’. Gameplay is tight and responsive. Graphics are bright and punchy. Audio is sharp and the game has a great learning curve. It is also a great shout for those achievement/trophies hunters out there that want to bolster their scores with a fairly straightforward completion.
It was a little on the short side at only 30 stages, however, it does make up for it with oodles of charm. If you are a fan of local, couch co-op or enjoy a good party game when you have friends round, then I would have no hesitation of recommending Catastronauts.