Planet of Lana is a breathtaking cinematic platformer that deserves to be mentioned among the finest games in its genre. Developed by Wishfully and published by Thunderful, this game takes players on a captivating journey filled with joy, despair, hope, and adventure. With its stunning visuals and immersive audio, Planet of Lana is an experience that shouldn’t be missed, and as a console exclusive for Xbox it should make PlayStation and Switch owners just a little bit jealous.
The game revolves around Lana, a young girl navigating a vibrant and beautiful planet in search of her kidnapped sister. The planet has fallen into disharmony due to the invasion of a faceless army of robotic aliens. However, the focus of the game is not on war, but on the preservation of the planet’s balance between humans, nature, and animals.
Lana is accompanied by Mui, a small alien cat/monkey-like creature who plays a significant role in her life and success. The duo’s partnership is brilliantly executed, with players controlling Lana while dictating Mui’s movements with simple hand gestures. The collaboration between Lana and Mui is essential for solving puzzles and overcoming obstacles throughout the game.
In terms of gameplay mechanics, Planet of Lana is reminiscent of side-scrolling puzzle platformers like Another World, Limbo, and Inside. Lana’s movements, such as running, crouching, jumping, and climbing, are generally smooth and responsive. However, there are occasional moments where Lana’s slightly slow pace can lead to frustrating deaths, especially in situations that require faster (changes in) movement.
The visuals in Planet of Lana are nothing short of breathtaking. The hand-painted environments, depth of field, and sweeping camera angles create a visually stunning adventure. The game constantly drops visual treats for players, and the attention to detail is remarkable. The art style is reminiscent of Breath of the Wild but done in a two dimension manner, adding to the game’s charm.
The audio in Planet of Lana is a standout aspect of the game. The orchestral soundtrack immerses players in the adventure, building up significant fanfares that complement Lana’s journey. Environmental sounds and Lana’s conversations add to the overall atmosphere of the game. The combination of visuals and audio creates a truly immersive experience that makes this one easy to get lost in for its duration.
While Planet of Lana excels in many areas, there are a few minor drawbacks. The game’s five-hour running time feels sufficient, but players who desire a longer experience may find themselves wanting more. Additionally, the gameplay mechanics, while well-executed, do not introduce many new ideas or mechanics to the genre. If you’ve played similar games in the past, then the puzzles and mechanics may feel overly familiar at times.
Despite these minor shortcomings, Planet of Lana is a game that deserves praise, plays, and passion. Its captivating narrative, stunning visuals, and remarkable soundtrack make it a highly immersive adventure. Wishfully and Thunderful have crafted a beautiful cinematic experience that leaves a lasting impression. If you’re a fan of puzzle-platformers and appreciate a well-told tale, Planet of Lana is a must-play game.