After joining Xbox’s Preview Program back in December 2016, Astroneer finally blasts onto the store with the release of its ‘Patch 1.0’ update, marking its full release on both Xbox One and Steam.

Developed and published by System Era Softworks, Astroneer is a sandbox adventure game that has you chilling out and managing your mini space outpost.

Is it a game that’s out of this world? Or does it come crashing down to Earth? Welcome to my Astroneer Review in which I will attempt to answer that question for you!

How Does Astroneer Play

Playing Astroneer honestly felt like I was somewhere else. I found the game to be quite tranquil and relaxing. Even managing your items and air doesn’t feel stressful.

It hits that balance of not completely turning your brain off, but not having to think about it too much, either.

The controls are easy to pick up and learn, and will have you exploring, creating and terraforming with ease in minutes.

Astroneer consistently caught me in the loop of ‘just one more thing’ and then continuing to play! There always seemed to be something to do, as long as you had the imagination for it.

The gameplay feels addictive and exploring is a wonderful experience. Finding new minerals and figuring out what they can do to further your base is so satisfying.

You can find plants, among other things, that will require you to scan them, which will give you ‘bytes’. Bytes allow you to unlock new blueprints for bigger, better things for your base like more storage and even spaceships which you can use to then visit other planets and start the cycle of exploration again.

Think Minecraft meets No Mans Sky, but without the annoying robot police!

Presentation And Graphics

Astroneer Review Presentation image

Oh boy, Astroneer is SO pretty. The worlds are procedurally generated, and the art style is simple but has so much charm.

It’s also super sparkly. Which I like a lot. The game is Xbox One X enhanced and 4K Ultra HD, which makes it look even more breathtaking.

The stars in the sky, the planets revolving around each other and the flora, literally everything looks crisp and stunning.

This is complemented by sounds and music of this game. The music is pleasant, and sounds almost serene.

On top of the music, harvesting minerals make popping sounds as you collect more, moving things around your backpack is accompanied by little clicks, and even just pressing buttons.

Everything has such a satisfying sound that adds to the tranquillity of Astroneer.

There’s only one problem that I’ve noticed/experienced which unfortunately can bring the game down a bit: the framerate.

In my experience, the framerate can dip a fair bit and it’s noticeable. My running will suddenly become slow and the camera won’t be as responsive.

It can be overlooked (potentially patched), but it does hinder the experience somewhat at the moment. Especially with a game as gorgeous as Astroneer.

Main Features

Astroneer Review Features image

As mentioned before, Astroneer is like a cross between Minecraft and No Mans Sky. There’s no story other than the one you make for yourself.

You’re put on a world, and from there you just explore to your heart’s content.

Just do what you want. Go crazy! Make things, look around, you can even completely ruin the scenery and just terraform everything in sight!

The world is your oyster.

A lot of the time, you will come across materials to harvest that will help you make more things so that you can explore and create more, and so on. The extent of the gameplay is the extent of your imagination.

This can turn some people off, but Astroneer is a gem that should be given a chance.

Should You Play Astroneer?

Astroneer Review - Rare rating image
Our 3rd highest award. In traditional scoring, this game would score around 8/10. See more on our unique review system here.

Astroneer is a sandbox adventure game that has you exploring planets and managing your outpost.

The game is beautiful, especially running on an Xbox One X, and is a good game to play to relax and unwind. Everything seems designed to be tranquil, and the gameplay loop is really satisfying.

The only downside is the framerate issues that I experienced. They happen frequently but they can be overlooked. Otherwise, this is a wonderful game to play.

Gamers who would suit this game

If you enjoy imaginative games like the previously mentioned Minecraft and No Mans Sky then this is the game for you. Like Minecraft, you can change the landscape, though it’s not block based. Like No Mans Sky, is has beautiful visuals. Both lack a proper story, so you make your own!

If you don’t like games that have no real objective, like Minecraft, then this is not for you. This game relies heavily on you basically giving yourself objectives and things to do, and that’s not for everyone.

Round Up

The GoodThe BadThe Bugs
Beautiful visualsCan get boringFramerate issues
Relaxing to play
Nice Soundtrack

What do you think?

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About this review

Game Reviewed: Astroneer digital edition
Review Format: Xbox One, PC
PEGI Rating: 3

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