Lovely Planet: Review

we speed-run through the deceptively cheerful looking shooter platormer hybrid.
Lovely Planet is what you get when you combine the frantic movement and shooting of an arena first-person shooter with the quirky, cartoony visuals of PSP classic LocoRoco, and then throw in the trial-and-error time trial format of the Trials franchise. Yup, it’s unlike anything else you’ve ever played.

Looking at screenshots, it’s easy to dismiss Lovely Planet as a pretentious, artsy game and I’ll be honest I did the same. I mean, seriously; a game world comprised of only primary colours, where the enemies are red cubes, whom you shoot with what appears to be a gun made out of balloons? Who would take this game seriously? Not many, but if you do intend to play it and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do please take it seriously, because the colourful visuals and whimsical soundtrack hide beneath them a game that is actually hard as nails.

Lovely Planet is essentially a first-person platforming shooter, comprised of several short levels that’ll take around 30 seconds each to complete. Your aim, as in any platformer, is to get from point A to point B, but thanks to some clever level design, doing so is both challenging, fun, and rewarding.

Aside from running and jumping around the level to progress, you’ll encounter red-coloured cuboid enemies that will shoot at you. These enemies don’t move, but they surround themselves with other grey cuboids, whom you mustn’t shoot.

The clever placement of these enemies coupled with the task of getting through a level as fast as possible makes them a considerable challenge to overcome.
“The colourful visuals and whimsical soundtrack hide beneath them a game that
is actually hard as nails.”
Every failure in Lovely Planet sends you back to the start of the level, whether it’s being shot by an enemy, missing a jump, or failing to shoot red water balloons that get tossed in the air in certain levels before they hit the ground. Throw in some spikes, some bouncy pads that propel you into the air, and the ability to finish most levels in multiple ways, and you have a game that will keep you hooked despite the many failures you will most definitely face.

Controls can make or break a game this reliant on quick and constant movement, and Lovely Planet comes through in flying colours.

Controls are crisp and precise, and even though there is no crosshair or reticule to tell you where you’re aim, shooting feels great, helped no doubt by the fact that there’s no concept of ammo. You can go pew pew all you want without worrying about running out.

Lovely Planet is available on Steam for PC, and while it won’t appeal to everyone, it does several simple things exceedingly well, and the end result is a game that deserves to be played. Oh, and did I mention that it’s an Indian game? Lovely Planet is developed by young indie developer Vidhvat Madan under the name QUICKTEQUI LA, and it’s quite possibly the best game from an Indian developer I’ve ever played .

RATING: 7 /10

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