Sometimes, in your weekly app crawl on the play store, you come across a game so wonderfully weird that your faith in humanity (or at least beautiful, refreshing mobile games) is restored. This month, that game is Astra, which can be described as a gladiator’s adventures in space.
The mission in Astra is to guide a small Roman man on his adventures across solar systems as he launches himself into orbit headfirst (Helmet first, rather). No one really knows why he must traverse time and space but one would like to imagine that this new age Hercules set out on his celestial journey in order to repent for mistakes of the past. Simple one touch control means you only need to tap for jumps and hold to escape gravity and float to another planet. There are two modes, normal and hard, and each level has three goals to complete.
The game features design which has apparently been inspired by Greco-Roman art, especially the kind found on pottery, and this makes the game especially striking. The enemies include what look like space wolves walking about on human legs as well as moths and boars, all of which can be killed by jumping on them, a la Mario. The characters and planets follow a dark, subdued palette and this coupled with the war like soundtrack lends the game an atmospheric feel.
The soundtrack somehow manages to speak of war and outer space while still maintaining the theme of ancient epics set in Rome. The levels are just the right amount of challenging and should keep you engrossed for a while. There are around 15 levels in two different maps. There are no ads whatsoever in the game and it is absolutely free. Download this game to fulfil your fantasy of being a space-hopping gladiator. If, however, that hasn’t been your fantasy for a long time, get Astra simply because it is a good game.
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Anusha "Trillian" Sinha
Anusha Sinha was a harmless little Clefairy before she read Crime and Punishment. Now she thinks she is some sort of extraterrestrial ninja. She is an expert in the arts of mosquito-racquet wielding, being a silent grammar Nazi and karate. She spends her time contemplating the greatness of Miniatur Wunderland and the transient nature of human life, in equal measure.