Astronite is a striking “1-bit” exploration platformer, now up for preorder

Many years ago, video game platforms used to distinguish themselves with their unique technological capabilities — a ZX Spectrum game was always immediately recognisable when compared to a Commodore 64 game, for example. Today, we have the inverse; graphics technology is so good that game developers can make their creations look pretty much however they want — and the more distinctive the better. That’s at least part of the thinking behind Astronite, a “1-bit” platformer.

Technically Astronite isn’t quite true 1-bit in its visuals because it has more than just 0 intensity black and 255 intensity white in some scenes — you’ll notice some dark grey in some of the screenshots — but we won’t hold that against it. The other nice thing about modern graphics technology is that when taking on a specific style — such as monochromatic 1-bit — you can feel free to break those “rules” for the sake of visual impact or distinctiveness. What are the odds we’ll see an extremely impactful splash of a single colour during at least one important event in Astronite?

Astronite

Astronite is a side-scrolling exploration-centric platformer in which you take on the role of the eponymous hero, a spacesuit-clad little figure who is tasked with defending their home planet from the mysterious Entity and its invading army. The Entity was originally discovered living in the core of the planet Neplea, and apparently it didn’t take all that kindly to being poked, prodded and researched, creating its own army to take control of the planet for itself. There’s a lesson for all you scientists out there.

The game features a large map with lots of power-ups to find in order to help you traverse the various zones and obstacles ahead of you. In traditional exploration platformer style, there are bosses along the way to defeat, too, and eventually you’ll need to conquer the entire map in order to wrest control of the planet back from the Entity and its army of weird creatures.

Astronite is a mobile little hero who can shoot, jump, dash and fly — with the appropriate power-ups, of course — and you’ll need to make good use of all of these skills to get around. Naturally, there are plenty of puzzles to solve around the place, with various rewards on offer for successfully completing them. For the truly brave, “Eco Doors” offer special challenges to particularly intrepid explorers, and currency gathered from fallen enemies allows you to purchase various helpful upgrades from a shop to make your adventure run that little bit more smoothly.

Astronite

The game is being released on consoles as a collaboration between developer Dume Games Studio, PC version publisher Jandusoft and our pals at Funstock, who have been getting into publishing of late. It will be getting a physical release for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The game should be hitting all platforms, including PC, digitally in October of 2022, and the physical editions should be available around the same time, allowing you to add this fine-looking game to your collection shelves.

Astronite looks very promising. Its heavily stylised graphics are reminiscent of old high-resolution home computers such as the early models in Apple’s Macintosh series, but the modern elements, fine detail and slick movement make it clear that this is a 21st century game. Its atmospheric soundtrack, composed by Spanish outfit zeeWave Sound, complements the action nicely with a distinctly lonely feel, while the synthesised sound effects play up the retro feel of the game.

Astronite

If you’d like to secure a copy for yourself, head on over to Funstock and preorder a physical version for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 — and prepare for a grand adventure come October!

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Pete Davison
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