Planet Alpha is a platformer whereby the story and your adventure unfolds particularly quickly. Starting from your first weary footsteps from a crash landing, to the frantic fleeing from the planet’s hostile robotic invaders, there’s much to learn as the story transgresses.
Predominantly, this is a game that attempts to challenge gamers with a series of environment based puzzles. These include tasks such as moving large sized rocks as a stepping stone to a higher platform to ducking and weaving underneath landing spaceships as robotic invaders disembark to shoot you. Sadly, there’s nothing fresh to challenge you that you wouldn’t have seen before in platformers. After recently playing Unravel 2, the obstacles are extremely weak in comparison and just the general style of gameplay feels less challenging.
However, it does exceed in its story telling, which is helped by the game’s superb soundtrack. The music intensifies as enemies are hunting you on screen then a breathtaking moment kicks in with a calm and soothing tone of music indicating a period of safety and scenery to take in.
Despite a lot of the game being one man against everything else on the mysterious planet, there are some conflicts between enemies, for example when you go into into the depths of the planet, aggressive flying insects will be after you, whilst at the same time you’ll need to use your wit and intelligence to lure the robotic hostiles in the insects to clear a path forward.
There are some comparisons drawn to Limbo with its atmospheric world and puzzles to solve, but difficulties differ, with Planet Alpha feeling like the easier option to complete. Although one unique ability your survivor has is the ability to control night day, which you’ll soon learn is a large proportion of the game. The world is affected by the solar cycle, and you can manipulate the time of day to use it to your advantage.
The overall speed of the gameplay also feels more frantic to the likes of Limbo or Unravel, as most of the time you’re on the run and being attacked. There may be bullets flying past you as you enter a strange plant formed of all sticks – as the weak stick-like structure shatters around you from gunfire whizzing past you. At times I thought I was going to get shot and captured, transitioning to a new section but luckily I made it free.
Planet Alpha is a fun to play platforming adventure set at a fast pace and on a fascinating world to explore. Once you’ve learned that you can control time of day, the puzzle mechanics become more unique and interesting. It’s just let down by the lack of unique gameplay compared to previous atmospheric platformers released.
- A beautiful planet to explore
- A story told in its soundtrack
- Smooth gameplay
- Puzzles are a little too easy
- Nothing new and innovative in terms of obstacles to solve