Man the battle stations, Catastronauts is almost ready for release! Greviews went down to EGX Rezzed last weekend to check out a huge variety of upcoming games and the very first one we got to play was Catastronauts. This is a game for local, co-op party entertainment and it definitely delivers on that front.
Up to four players can form a crew and blast off into space to try and defeat enemy ships whilst simultaneously, and quite frantically, keep their ship from falling apart during the fight. We had a chance to speak with some of the development team and they explained that they had a vision for a local co-op game that could bring the fun back into the living room with a clever mixture of simple mechanics and overwhelming odds. You see none of the actions that you have to take in the game are particularly complex; putting out a fire with a fire extinguisher, repairing a crack in the hull, charging a fuel cell or firing a laser cannon are all quite straight forward procedures you handle with a tap of the action button. But when you have to do all of these things all at once while a Solar Flare threatens to incinerate the entire crew or the enemy teleports a nuclear bomb aboard the ship, things start to get a little hectic!
Following the theme of keeping things simple, Catastronauts doesn’t provide you with AI partners if you decide to play with less than four human players. Instead, the game will scale the difficulty of the levels to match how many people are trying to hold the ship together and fight off the enemy. There also isn’t any form of matchmaking as the team wanted to keep this as a true, sofa session party game. What this means for you is that if you’re lucky enough to have three human friends who are happy enough to come over to your house you can enjoy the full Catastronauts experience. But if you can’t manage that you can still get involved with a slightly watered down version of the action.
Team work, communication and a level head are what’s required of a true, space fleet hero but if you falter in your duties and burn yourself to death or something than fear not! Your crew can always clone another you from the cloning machine built into the ship and get (a version of) you back in the fight. Gameplay is pretty frantic and feels very similar to games like Overcooked which coincidentally was an office favourite of the dev team. JJ and I had a great time playing alongside one of the exhibitors through five different levels, each more complex than the last. I actually feel like this game will really excel on the Switch where the game can be brought to the party pretty easily.
If this sounds like your sort of space crisis management adventure then check out the trailer here: