Aside from the Party mode, the other two are easily played with any combination of joy-cons and pro controllers. The games standard is to get a set amount of kills via battle, either using your stock gun shots, specialty weapons that can be picked up around the map, and even by running your opponent over. That’s right, if you play with a certain set of rules, you can only get points once the pilot is killed rather than by just destroying the ship. If the pilot can scramble around the map long enough without getting killed, your ship will respawn granting you an additional chance at battle. All three game modes have a nice selection of optional settings, from how points are scored, to whether or not you are using teams, and even starting weapons. These shake things up and add some variety to an otherwise repetitive game. I personally liked adding a random starting weapon, turning on super boost, as well as leaving on sudden death, which sees a giant laser sweep the screen if players are left alive for too long. The various options allow you to make Astro Duel Deluxe a lot more personal of an experience, fine tailored to your liking.
What is not disappointing is the aesthetics present. Both the sounds and visuals are very gratifying, hitting all the right retro notes while still feeling fresh. The music is cool and fitting to the gameplay, as are the noises from each of the respective weapons. While clean graphically, there is still enough bit-styled goodness to keep it feeling classic, right down to the pixelated blood and guts that float across the screen after getting squashed by a ship. The teams did a great job with Astro Duel Deluxe. The gameplay is fun and the style hits all the right notes, but the scope and appeal is limited. Lone wolves won’t find much to do outside of the occasional solo death-match, and online multiplayer could have been the easy solution. Who knows if we will ever see the true potential of the title come to light, but in the meantime Astro Duel Deluxe is a solid title if you host game night often or are a die-hard fan of retro titles.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
FINAL SCORE: 7/10
+Fun Retro Appeal
-Limited Scope and Appeal
-No Online Multiplayer