So, a space-themed platformer in a world inundated with platformers isn’t too hard to come by these days, but Cosmonauta is definitely a lot of fun – and brings a challenge. For a futuristic caper with a simple set of stages that can be completed in a couple of hours, it does bring satisfying gameplay and shouldn’t be sniffed at.
Cosmonauta was developed by QUByte Interactive, indie developers from Brazil. They’re known for publishing critically-acclaimed shoot ‘em up VASARA collection in 2019. From their back-catalogue alone they tend to stick to one kind of genre, with the likes of Flatland and Dogurai, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have fun playing this platformer nonetheless.
You take control of a Mega Man doppelganger with no known name. The aim is to complete 40 (initially, before it increases to 65) levels whilst avoiding lasers, energy beams, spikes and falling to your death. The overall aim is to get back to your home world whilst facing unknown adversaries along the way after losing control of your ship, though the plot is hardly explained to you as you go through the game.
It’s easy enough to navigate through the game and complete each level without needing any real assistance. The simplistic way to play the game will get you through the first few stages with ease, but it soon becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on. Not enough to render it becoming frustrating, though.
The controls are easy to figure out immediately and there’s no real need for a tutorial. There are also multiple checkpoints for each level that aren’t made apparent unless you fall or die but give you a helping hand.
There are also no power-ups or “upgrades” to your character happen at all throughout the game, so it does become monotonous very quickly, in fact there are no rewards at all throughout the game to keep you motivated. But each level is unique enough to make you think on your toes about the next steps you take. It’s this that makes Cosmonauta a fun game that you can turn to on a break, doesn’t require a lot of time invested and makes a great addition to have on your Switch.
Cosmonauta isn’t a game striving to be anything different to what you’re used to. For 89p (or 99¢ if you’re based in the US) you may not be expecting the world to begin with, but you do get a lot of content for your money and it’s clear to see in the unique design of each level and the amount of skill involved in each level. While each designed level appears unique, the overall art style does feel lacklustre in comparison to other platformers in this style.
The 90s space vibe is probably the best feature of the game – the sound effects scream nostalgia. It’s a shame that there are only 3 tracks on a loop throughout the entirety of the game, but it doesn’t distract you too much from the overall premise. With sprinkles of DEEP SPACE and Mega Man, without the run and gun aspects, you can see where it gets its inspirations from, but doesn’t manage to pull it off entirely in this game. If you can ignore these drawbacks though, rest assured you’ll enjoy going through this game and all it has to offer.
In summary, Cosmonauta is a middle-ground game – a double-edged sword if you will. It has both good aspects and bad aspects. Its level designs, repetitive music and the lack of additional features, any type of character progression or checkpoint highlighters does make the game feel grating at times, especially if you’ve had to restart a level multiple times. However, with its space charms, fun levels throughout and an incredibly cheap price tag to boot, it’s definitely not a game to be missed. It’s a great game you can dive into on the go and still have as much enjoyment as the last time you picked it up. Sure, it has its flaws, but you can’t go wrong with this traditional platformer.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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Gameplay - 6.5/10
Graphics - 3/10
Sound - 5/10
Replay Value - 5.5/10
A fun platformer that anyone with an open mind can enjoy and doesn’t cost the Earth to try out. But it lacks in plot development, visuals and becomes repetitive as time goes on.
- Great fun & lots of content
- Low price point
- An enjoyable challenge
- Repetitive music & visuals
- Uninspired plot
- No reward system