Otaku World



Platform Reviewed Sega Saturn
Genre Arcade Platform Action Adventure Game
Number of Players 1 - 2
Multiplayer Value Minimum
Length Short to Moderate
Difficulty Moderate
Skills Required Hand-Eye Coordination
Interface Devices Sega Saturn Joypad
Interface Design Good
Programming Superlative
Game Design and Playability Fun, but could have had more actions added.
Type Of Fun Jump, Run, And Destroy
Replay Value Low to Moderate
Overall Value Sincere to High
Quality Very High
The Best Unbelievable graphics, wonderful sound, new amazement on every level.
The Worst Too short, too limited in possible actions.
How much I would pay for this 40 Bucks


Astal is a Side-View Scrolling Arcade Action Platform Game. Play involves walking, leaping, hitting, using magic, using a trained bird, and blowing enemies down. The graphics are absolutely the finest you will see in the 2D platform genre, with every screen being a masterpiece. The action zooms in and out, and special effects, unique to each level, abound. The sound is magical and well done. Although not close to the caliber of a Mario or Sonic game in terms of gameplay technique, this simple but exquisite Japanese Anime style platformer may be just too beautiful to miss.


The Goddess Antowas creates the world of Quartilla from a vast magical gem. From two more gems, She creates two humanoids, and gives them life and dominion over her world. Eventually trouble ensues, Antowas's world is stolen, and her humans embroiled in the affair. In a snit, the Goddess cleans house, evicts the usurper, and punishes one of the humans, Astal, for getting too rowdy in his defense of her world. Now Astal, free at last, must find his only lover, the other jewel-human Leda, clean the clock of the remaining minion of the Usurper, and learn how to mellow out along the way so that he is not punished by Antowas again. Perhaps that magical bird he has rescued might teach him kindness…


Exquisitely beautiful, lovely, wonderful fare. It is too short, there could be more things added to the main character's list of abilities and techniques, and the two player concept takes some getting used to, but Astal is one hell of a ride while it lasts. A rare, but slightly flawed gem.

Astall can hit and smash, leap and run, call his bird friend for help, shake the world, lift mountains and enormous trees and throw them, and blow hurricane winds to obliterate his foes. Every level has at leas one, if not more, unique special effects that absolutely amaze. This is one beautiful work of art. The graphics appear as if painted in finest watercolor and ink, and the creatures and surroundings are unique and imaginative.

I wish the game were much longer, and that Astall could do even more behaviors. These are my only complaints. Personally, I treasure my copy. Even if you do not buy it at full price, definitely snatch it at budget price.

Reviewed by Jennifer Diane Reitz, Dec. 25 1995

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Jennifer Diane Reitz is a Game Designer and Computer Artist, and one of the founders of Happy Puppy. She is the creator of numerous games and software products, including Boppin' , Shark Chums, Elsewhere, and many others. She has worked for such companies as Activision, Sculptured Software, Epyx, SRI, and Electronic Arts, and founded Accursed Toys. She has been active in the computer gaming industry since its earliest days. She considers games to be works of artistic merit and achievement, and views computer entertainment as the most important media of our era.