- Summary: Planet Alpha, a beautiful alien world filled with mystery and danger. Injured, stranded and alone, you must harness the power of night and day as you struggle to survive while being pursued by relentless enemies.
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Planet Alpha - Unlock the Mysteries PS4 Trailer | E3 2018
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Sep 4, 2018There’s no bullshit in Planet Alpha, to put it plainly. It knows exactly what it wants to do, and it does it. There’s no filler, no cheap puzzle solutions, no game-breaking glitches, no gratuitous lean towards overused narrative crutches. It’s just a platformer, but one that emanates a graceful radiance of character and color.
Sep 6, 2018Overall, the game was impressive – the graphics, the visuals, the music, the sound effects, and the gameplay were out of this world. Planet Alpha is great for those who want a fun challenge, not because it is hard to land on platforms but because it requires your mind to think beyond that. I highly recommend all gamers to give Planet Alpha a try, and I highly doubt anyone will regret the experience.
Sep 12, 2018The main distinctive feature is the creative use of the color palette. It absolutely looks the part even though the middle section of the game leaves something to be desired. Great controls and a large selection of puzzles will guarantee you'll have a great time with Planet Alpha though.
Sep 4, 2018Planet Alpha is an enjoyable sci-fi indie, one that is undeniably stunning and engaging thanks to a unique day-night dynamic and interesting puzzles. Its major downfall is the glaring predictability of the story, but most players will be over the moon with what this game has to offer.
Sep 4, 2018You’ll begin your journey as an unnamed spaceman that I will refer to as Jim, who early into the game is set loose to explore a strange world.You’ll begin your journey as an unnamed spaceman that I will refer to as Jim, who early into the game is set loose to explore a strange world. How did he get here? What/Where is here? Did he leave the coffee pot on? Most of these are questions that, to be quite honest, you’ll have to draw your own conclusions for. The game does not hold your hand, mechanically or in reference to the narrative, requiring you to fill in the blanks. A brief tutorial will give you some minor hints as to the fact that Jim can control time – not in the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time kind of way, but more like just changing the time from day to night and vice versa. I know, this sounds like a lame power, right? Well, Jim uses this ability to essentially control or manipulate the otherworldly flora and fauna to his advantage. Can’t find a way forward? You’ll probably need to change the time of day, forcing freakishly large mushrooms to form a pathway, or psychedelic flowers to bloom giving Jim super speed for a short period of time, allowing him to gain momentum for a long jump. This ability is really easy to use and is explained quite early into the game, but is used so infrequently during the first half of the game that I actually forgot it was even a thing and that it was limited to pressure pads.
The first half of the game is primarily focused on stealth and platforming with some light puzzle solving, while the second half makes use of the time alteration. You’ll spend the early hours evading robots that are also visiting the planet, but seem to be dead set on destroying each and every last living creature. There are also plenty of animals and in some cases plants that think Jim looks like a tasty snack, so be weary of those as well. The enemy forces are quite varied, requiring you to often think outside of the box to either evade, distract, or destroy the well-designed bad guys who come equipped with a better than most AI presence. There is a single weak link in this area, and that is the gigantic hornet who looks like he ate the meth, meth lab, cook, and RV in one swoop. While meth-hornet normally sleeps all day, as meth addicts tend to do, they will often ignore their own instincts (or game mechanics), requiring you to either run head first into death just to respawn, or sit there patiently changing the time from day to night, hoping they break free of whatever trance they are in. In addition to this, their sting can’t seem to decide if it wants to be lethal or not, often allowing you to be stung three or more times and still make a clean getaway, whereas others a single prick is the end. I know, I know, “the suspension of disbelief” and “it’s just a game;” I am all for imagination time, but if you’re going to make the game’s rules, I need you to stick by them.
The sneaking and platforming mechanics work extremely well, with the jumps often feeling overly forgiving when compared to similar games. The controls are precise yet accessible and the puzzles are intuitive, using simple common sense or physics in most cases, with the only point of frustration stemming from a few segments later into the game that require you to use momentum to make some extremely long jumps, requiring extremely careful planning before you can even see them coming. I found myself dying repeatedly in these areas, requiring me to take notes or even memorize the pattern to progress. Death is merely an afterthought in the world of Planet Alpha, with frequent checkpoints being the norm. The checkpoints come so often (it feels like you receive one every time your feet hit the ground) I found myself jumping off into the nothingness below in an effort to find secrets tucked away within the beautiful levels.
The stealth gameplay functions beautifully, with most of the enemies providing visual or audible tells that they are searching for you, patrolling the grounds as a normal guard would. High grass is plentiful, allowing Jim regular points to hide in. Functionally, sneaking is well executed, but a nagging glitch I encountered saw this tall grass randomly jerking and twisting about as I moved between cover, not flowing as it normally would (or does during most of the game) and breaking what would otherwise be a very immersive experience.
Planet Alpha, Team17’s 100th release since inception, is an amazing visual treat, offering outstanding gameplay that is just shy of perfection due to its underwhelming conclusion. When I started playing the game, my initial thoughts were that this is just a prettier version of Limbo. After taking in the entire picture, this is the game that Playdead should be taking note of when making their next release. Meanwhile, I will sit back in anticipation for what Planet Alpha ApS brings us next.… Expand
Sep 6, 2018Here at Stoffel Presents we absolutely adore indie games. Not only because we like to support independent developers, but some of the bestHere at Stoffel Presents we absolutely adore indie games. Not only because we like to support independent developers, but some of the best indie games out there challenge what it is to be a game. Quite often with Indie games, amazing graphics are ignored in favour of new and innovative game mechanics. Other times Indie games are closer to works of art in the stunning depth and beauty. This is where Planet Alpha comes in.
According to the game’s website, Planet Alpha is an adventure that takes place in a living alien world where you have the ability to control the day and night.
It combines fast platforming, puzzles and stealth elements with a unique art-style to create an unforgettable experience.
This synopsis of Planet Alpha deeply understates the unique art style and really overstates the game mechanics.
Planet Alpha starts off in a dimly light yet atmospherically set cave with no instruction or introduction. As you go from left to right throughout the cave system you finally open up on the planet’s surface. Instantly your breath is taken away. The colours, the depth, the contrast. The feeling that you have just stepped out into an actual living, breathing world. Actually no it’s more than that. It feels like you have just entered a fully functioning ecosystem. You are not here to interact with it you are here to experience it. This is games as art and there is no denying it.
This, I’m sorry to say, is where Planet Alpha falls flat. Gameplay is essentially run from left to right through a beautiful alien world. The deep puzzles are generally moving a rock so you can jump up a ledge.
The stealth elements are basically ducking in long grass as you sneak past a robot etc.
Fast platforming? run from left to right and jump off a cliff or up a ledge as you continue running.
There was so much potential here but unfortunately, it seems all of the developers time and effort went on creating a stunning alien world and gameplay was put in as an afterthought.
Planet Alpha is breathtaking. I can’t heap enough superlatives into this review to convey just how stunningly beautiful and organic the world is. What initially feels like a fully functioning, independent, ecosystem quickly becomes a strange and hypnotic rolling backdrop.
The gameplay or lack thereof, in Planet Alpha, is shockingly bad. It really hurts the games immense potential. To the point that I don’t even think I would class Planet Alpha as a game. It looks, feels and plays more like a tech demo.
It is a shining example of what a small independent studio is capable of. The sheer beauty of the landscape should be a clear and definite warning to AAA studios that indie games are ready to move from 8-bit pixel art and really challenge the top studio’s dominance even more. If only more thought and effort had been put into gameplay.
As it is, Planet Alpha rekindles the argument of can games be art? Like any good work of art, Planet Alpha is open to the individual’s own interpretation. It stirs something within you. The alien world really moves you. There is no doubt this is a work of art, But I am not sure if it is really a game.
Overall Score – 5/10… Expand