The side scrolling action is slow and deliberate, but there are some innovative attacks that spice things up. You can smash the ground, toss enemies, throw things down from the air, and use a devastating breath attack. Best of all, you have a bird companion that can perform special attacks, gather items, and occasionally save your life. It's possible for a second player to take control of the bird, which is a nice touch. Astal provides a few continues, but unfortunately there's no password feature. It takes a while to master the controls, but it's worth the effort. Astal is an attractive, underrated side-scroller.