Planet of Lana Review – Chasing Potential

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Because the launch of Limbo in 2010, cinematic puzzle platformers have relied on capturing gamers’ consideration and creativeness with lovely artwork instructions and compelling, usually enigmatic storytelling. As usually transient experiences, the moment-to-moment puzzles should hit onerous with intelligent, memorable obstacles and never meander by rehashing acquainted mechanics too usually. Planet of Lana nearly hits this candy spot by boasting a stunning presentation, however trekking via this unusual world doesn’t all the time encourage the identical awe.  

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Planet of Lana wastes little time throwing gamers into the fireplace. Because the younger Lana, your small village, together with somebody near you, has been kidnapped by alien machines. It’s as much as you to seek out and free everybody, and also you’re joined by an lovable (and pettable) cat-like companion named Mui. Watching tender and somber moments between the pair is a deal with as a result of every part seems to be so fantastic. From painterly grassy plains to postcard-worthy beachside vistas, a number of snapshots are worthy of being framed as artwork items. The majestic soundtrack sits excessive on my record of the yr’s greatest, with the primary theme, specifically, changing into a welcomed earworm that additionally has intriguing narrative significance.

The sport delivers an adequately entertaining story, and it’s robust to not smile at Lana and Mui’s cute, although restricted, interactions. The extra thrilling world-building occurs alongside the sides, primarily via collectible, easy-to-miss fragments of an illuminating wall carving. Is that this Earth or one other planet? What are the machines, and the place did they arrive from? Planet of Lana leaves some solutions imprecise, however the intrigue helped propel me ahead even when I’m nonetheless drawing my very own conclusions. 

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Lana’s deliberate, momentum-based motion feels positive however sometimes causes complications, akin to watching her slip over an edge after touchdown a giant leap. Downside-solving entails the generally tedious activity of transferring objects into their right positions and doing issues within the correct order in order that each characters can bypass obstacles. Mui’s superior agility means you’ll be commanding them to drop climbing ropes for Lana, activate distant switches, or lure away enemies. I simply want Mui didn’t halt after performing actions so I wouldn’t must name them to my facet continuously. Ultimately, Mui and Lana can hijack animals’ minds or hack machines, respectively, to make them function platforms or weights for pressure-sensitive switches. These are cool skills I want the sport utilized extra usually. 

These traversal puzzles have some intelligent concepts, however they don’t evolve a lot or hit that subsequent gear. You push objects, climb ropes, and crouch in tall grass to keep away from patrolling machines for the majority of the journey, albeit in reasonably extra elaborate methods. Some much less recurring workouts break up this routine, akin to manipulating the water degree in lakes, however nothing I tackled really wowed me, and I generally groaned when puzzles returned to the established order. I solved a number of obstacles on the primary glace, and others will be disappointingly easy even deep into the sport. Puzzle-solving could also be middling, however Planet of Lana has a sprinkling of adrenaline-pumping moments. I obtained a kick out of a quick-time-event-driven race throughout the desert as your mount sprints via an armada of colossal marching machines.

Whereas I might have appreciated gameplay to have extra chunk and selection, Planet of Lana remains to be an pleasurable and exquisite romp. The artwork course and predominant jingle are doubtless the one issues that can keep on with me in the long term, however Lana and Mui’s journey is a reliable rescue mission that doesn’t all the time soar as excessive because the machines pursuing them.

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