Reviews

Astral Traveler Review [PC] – A Thrilling Futuristic Runner

Anti-gravity platform racing is down with the kids.

In the collective world of racing titles amongst the indie game community, the anti-gravity racer provides some of the most thrilling experiences around. Astral Traveler – the sophomore release to Dragon Slumber’s debut title, Arelite Core – combines a hectic and precise racer with intuitive platforming and arcade-like shooting.

Breakneck Speeds

In control of a highly tuned, fast-paced race craft, you begin your racing journey by entering the first of five Nebula areas, each containing a distinct list of racing sectors to complete. As you speed through tube-like courses at breakneck speeds, different obstacles and pulsar spheres lie scattered across the track.

Astral Traveler Review
Blue Pulsar Spheres are scattered throughout courses providing fuel and sudden bursts of speed.

As you race throughout the different Nebulas the courses grow significantly more challenging. Enemy aircraft float ahead of your location firing away, taking damage from your constantly depleting fuel gauge. Speeding forward using your thrusters, smashing into walls and objects or taking damage from enemy ships will all take chunks of your racing craft’s fuel away. Once your fuel is completely depleted, your craft will combust – therefore ending your current run.

Adding onto to your remaining fuel gauge is possible and Astral Traveler is sure to provide the player with plenty of opportunities to do so. When launching through the levels, the anti-gravity mechanics allows you to leap and twist your craft around the tube-like course discovering blue pulsar spheres which can be blasted in fuel points using your laser cannon. Also, destroying the various waves of enemies results in fuel points which can give the player more incentive to fire away at those pesky opponent ships.

Astral Traveler Review
The rotating level designs put your quick thinking to the test.

Enemies, The Least Of Your Problems

Aside from providing fuel/health for your racer, the blue spheres found sporadically throughout the levels may also be used for quick bursts of speed. Using the Phase technique, you’re able to gain a sudden energy boost by quickly pressing the appropriate input right before contact with the pulsar sphere. Some enemies have protective shielding and require this ability to reflect projectiles back in their direction.

Enemies are only half of the equation when it comes to derailing your current run. Many dead-ends, lava pools, rock walls and other unfortunate ways to meet your end appear excessively throughout the campaign. This gives a true platforming feel, guiding the player to continuously leap from one ledge to the next, constantly rotating around the course. The fleeting soundtrack, hectic gameplay and overwhelming odds create a futuristic racer full of heart-racing moments and tremendously relieving finishes.

Astral Traveler Review
Level themes take you through an assortment of varying Nebulas across space.

Making your way through the game becomes increasingly more difficult as the levels begin to increase in length. On top of this, more advanced obstacles and manoeuvres begin to make an appearance, giving a slight difficulty curve to your Astral experience. Kindly enough, many of the longer levels feature checkpoints about midway through the course, graciously negating any particularly frustrating areas commonly found throughout the game.

Astral Traveler combines skilled racing reflexes with the action of a third-person shooter and outlined with the timing of a challenging platformer. With tons of courses to choose from, high-octane speeds, attention-demanding action, along with an addictive light-speed experience, the game delivers.

You can start your journey through the depths of space and find Astral Traveler available now on Steam for PC.

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