Lovely Planet is a first person shooter game, where you progress through levels trying to shoot, dodge and beat the time limit to advance. Developed by QUICKTEQUILA and published by tinyBuild, Lovely Planet brings us back to the old school style of run and gun gameplay of older first-person shooter games.
Lovely Planet: Xbox One [Reviewed], PC, Mac
Release Date: 8 January 2016(Xbox One), 31 July 2014(PC/Mac)
Price: $9.99 [Disclosure Game Copy provided by Developer/Publisher]
While Lovely Planet may not have any story to back it up, there is a nice assortment of levels and variety as you progress throughout the game itself. As you progress through the levels you’ll be encountering new objectives which you have to complete to actually pass the level. The list of these continue to grow and depending on the level can be bothersome as you’ll need to complete them in order to achieve all of the possible stars. These objectives won’t be announced to you as you begin, however most are straight forward and you can preview the level with the camera before you start. The objectives throughout each level range from shooting enemies, dodging enemy shots, not falling off the map, avoiding hazards, shooting flying apples and much more. All of which, as they appear on a level, have to be completed in one run. If you happen to miss one of the objectives, the level will then restart back to the beginning, again and again, until you happen to complete a perfect run.
While you may have to try a lot of times to perfect a level, you don’t have to complete all of them to progress through the game, only about 80% of the levels must be passed to progress to the next set.
As mentioned, there are three stars per level, a green, a blue and a yellow. Green is the star for completing the level in under the par time. Blue is the star for completing the level with all enemies defeated. Finally, yellow is the star for attaining 100% accuracy for your shots on the level, which of course makes your precision key to finishing the level.
Along with the level stars, each set of levels has secret stars as well. These secrets can be just areas of the map of a level that you wouldn’t explore or have some objective that you have to do in order to make the area appear. Each set has a different amount of secrets.
While playing the game the controls felt very awkward at first but I soon realized that it’s a necessary evil (left trigger – jump, right trigger – shoot and left bumper – lock-on) as you’ll be required to use both the analog sticks to traverse the level as fast as possible to complete the requirements. Overall the controls tend to ease you in as the levels progress, being easy to pick up but hard to master.
As I previously mentioned, the game has no story to it and it does feel as though there could be more, as the main part of the game’s appeal is the gameplay unless you wish to finish all of the levels with a perfect rating, which will definitely take some time. Just going through the levels and not doing that could leave it short lived.
I had slight difficulty controlling while performing certain jumps, as a few of the maneuvers that the game requires you to do involve turning around while jumping, which forces you to lose track of where your footing may be as you cannot see your feet while in first person. This led to one of the most frustrating levels where you have to turn around while jumping multiple times in one level. Another critical part to Lovely Planet would be that you really have to pick and choose which times you’re fighting enemies, which to lock-on to and which not to, as depending on the momentum of you or the object you’re shooting itself, could lead to you shooting at a different place than what was intended.
Overall as far as platformers go, it’s pretty good. Lovely Planet gives a nice quirky feel and a challenge to aspire to complete. Unfortunately, after a while, it does wear on you with the music taunting you as you progress to the later levels. Split second reactions would definitely be needed and for some people that can be pretty daunting.
Lovely Planet is a nice game however and at a decent price you can enjoy the pace of the beginning, and depending on skill and determination prove yourself against the rest of the game. This is all assuming you enjoy the genre of game and don’t mind the lack of things such as an in game leaderboard and just want to challenge yourself instead of the world.