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Astro Bears

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Astro Bears Game Poster Image
Bears in space need friends to reach their full potential.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

There's not much of a story in Astro Bears. It's simply bears running around trying to outmaneuver each other and avoid obstacles.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There's a variety of bears to choose from, but none of them have any story or personality. Instead, the only differences are in their appearances and in their handling.

Ease of Play

Basic controls are fairly easy to pick up and play. Most of the difficulty comes in the unusual camera angle and the small play field, which makes for generally short matchups.

Violence & Scariness

The bears don't really fight each other, but simply avoid the trails left behind by opponents and themselves.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Astro Bears is a kid-friendly downloadable arcade style game for the Nintendo Switch. Players control bears in spacesuits as they run around small planets, occasionally collecting small rockets, while avoiding collisions with the trails of colorful ribbons left behind as they walk around a small orb. The game supports two player co-op and up to four player competitive matches via local split-screen play. The game is simple to pick up and play, and suitable for kids of all ages, without any inappropriate content.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

ASTRO BEARS takes a group of adventurous bears and launches them into the cosmos to explore new planetoids and to stake their claims. Scrambling over the surface of these spheres with colorful ribbons trailing behind, these bears will run, jump, and even fly to cover as much area as possible while avoiding backtracking into their own ribbon or colliding into a fellow bear's trail. Players can take on the challenge solo, join with a friend in co-op play, or compete with up to three other bears in competitive play, all in local split-screen multiplayer matches. It's wild. It's crazy. It's bears in space.

Is it any good?

The "Space Race" is on and it's never been cuter … or more literal. Astro Bears is an extremely basic all-ages arcade game with a heavy multiplayer slant. They say that in space, no one can hear you scream, which is good because the game takes its simplistic formulaic gameplay and stretches it until you do. The game's reminiscent of the classic TRON light cycle races, with players running around the screen, leaving behind brightly colored trails that can't be touched. The 3D twists here are that the matches take place on spherical arenas and the players, adorable bears in spacesuits, can jump or even fly for a short time over obstacles. It makes for a different feel than your basic platformer, but it also leads matches to descend into claustrophobic chaos thanks to awkward camera angles and crowded arenas. Players can adjust the size of the planets they compete on, but even the largest size quickly get packed with obstacles.

Solo play gets stale fast, with players chasing tiny rocket ships, or "Jetfish," around while trying to avoid double backing on their own trails. Co-op play isn't any better, as trying to work together while navigating the sphere never seems to come together. On the other hand, while the frantic gameplay and constantly shrinking real estate might be major irritations in solo and co-op play, they strangely make the competitive multiplayer that much more fun. Because rounds rarely last more than a minute or two, especially in full four player matches, it makes for a great bite-sized party game. It's here, when trying to outdo your friends and getting into the competitive spirit, that Astro Bears truly shines and makes it's hard to say no to "just one more match."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about kid-friendly games. What are some ways that kid-friendly party games like Astro Bears can bring families together? What are some good examples of kid-friendly games?

  • How can games help to teach kids to be good sports in competition? What is the importance of been both a good winner and a good loser?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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