Astronaut: The Best is an occult management adventure about running a proper space academy using hard work, lies, and witchcraft, all while trying not to be the next director to meet their demise. Let’s take a first look at this new game from Universal Happymaker.
In Astronaut: The Best, you become the director of the space program of Flaustria. Your job is to train the astronauts to not only succeed in space flight, but also charm the nation into becoming true heroes. You have to do this while also balancing the whims of the High Priests which all differ, and they control your funding to afford to train as well as de-stress your charges.
Your astronauts have numerous skills that can be developed through training, from physical fitness to their charming abilities to flying a spaceship. You’ll assign them different tasks, growing that skill but also increasing their stress. You’ll also learn about hidden traits your trainees have, which can range from being a serial killer to a part-time pirate to a parent. These skills and traits will impact how successful they will be in a given mission as well as randomly generate situations that you will have to mitigate to protect the astronaut, but more importantly, protect yourself from losing your position…and your life.
There are so many different choices to make that will impact your gameplay and lead to different paths, giving the game a ton of replayability. While there is some RNG with wheel spins to determine certain outcomes, you overall have control of almost everything. Even the likelihood you’ll pass or fail is based on how you train your astronauts, so management is a huge factor for your gameplay.
The occult side of the game comes from the ability to cast spells with magical objects you can buy. These items have different effects, like reducing your trainees’ stress. They a super handy when you have a tight deadline to get your people ready to perform, be it for a TV show or a trip to space. There is also a chance that you can have a negative outcome, so you’ll have to be smart with your choices. There is also a mystery hidden behind your witchcraft that you can uncover and perhaps utilize to your benefit.
Overall, Astronaut: The Best is an easy-to-learn management game with many layers of impactful decision-making that can keep you playing for hours and hours. The stylized art and quirky humor add to the charm to make this a really fun game for management-game lovers and those new to the genre.
Astronaut: The Best is available for PC and Steam Deck.
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