Lovely Planet might look like a cute game with its visuals, but it’s actually a devilish fast-paced FPS where you must kill all enemies with quick reflexes and high accuracy.
Release date: 1 Aug, 2014
I didn’t expect Lovely Planet to be a difficult game at first. Looking at the screenshots on the store page, it looks like a fun game with cute graphics where you have to shoot something to win. I was right to some extent, but it was different from what I had in mind. More on the review.
The game looks unique with its use of light colors and cute-looking shapes. Although enemies are made of shapes, they still look cute from their expressions. The game looks lovely as a result, staying true to its title.
Cutscenes are played when you start the first level in each area. There isn’t much to show, especially since there are no words nor connections to each scene. The game also has a few words in each level, whether it’s located in the game or level’s title, to add more detail to the story. However, since some words are in Japanese, people with no understanding of the language won’t have an idea of what it means.
This is an FPS game with some platformer elements where you have to shoot all enemies in the level and head to the goal. New enemies with unique mechanics will be introduced after each area, which usually consists of ~20 levels. It doesn’t take long to understand how the enemies work except for the ones in the last area.
Although the game was designed with a certain route in mind, it’s up to you on how to finish each level. You can try shooting enemies in a different order, move to a different location before shooting the enemies, or head to a completely different route from the intended one. Some paths prove to be faster than the normal one, creating new shortcuts for speedrunners. Trying several routes and choose which one is best for you is also one of the game’s charms.
Some levels tend to be unforgiving though. There are levels where you have to jump backward while shooting, shoot enemies that are far away, or shoot multiple enemies in a short time. This requires either insane reflex speed, muscle memory, luck, or all of them. You need to redo the levels a lot of times to solve these levels, hurting your wrist in the process, especially if you need to turn 180 degrees most of the time. Luckily, the game allows you to change your mouse sensitivity although you need to relearn how to aim properly in return.
Stars are also introduced for those who seek more challenge or achievement completion. You can receive up to 3 stars after finishing a level although the game never explained how these works: the blue star is obtained upon level completion, the green star is obtained upon finishing the level below a certain time, and the yellow star is obtained upon finishing the level with 100% accuracy. You can try to collect all stars in one run or retrieve them separately. In my opinion, the green star is the hardest one to get, especially since some levels have a strict time limit, forcing you to redo the levels over and over.
Length and Difficulty
The game’s length varies on your skill. As for me, I managed to finish all levels and uncover all secrets in 22h, with most of the time spent clearing the last area due to its difficulty spike. Each level can be cleared in less than 30 seconds although you might have to redo the levels a lot to do so.
You need to remember enemies’ location and shoot them accurately, often with only a single shot per enemy to obtain a certain star – you’ll rely on your muscle memory to finish most of them. However, some levels, especially the last area, require you to shoot targets from afar or multiple targets at once in a short time. This completely ruins the experience of the game since you end up having to rely on luck to finish them.
I wasn’t particularly happy once I finished the game. Don’t get me wrong, I got addicted to the game at some point, wanting to solve levels after levels upon completion. In fact, I was a bit thrilled for a moment when I finished the last level. However, the last area completely ruins the experience with its insane difficulty spike, and I felt relieved since I didn’t have to solve more of those annoying levels again.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Lovely Planet might look like a cute game with its visuals, but it’s actually a devilish fast-paced FPS game where you must kill all enemies with quick reflexes and high accuracy. It’s a game for those who want some challenge and not for casual players who are looking for some fun. It’s still fun regardless, and despite the eye and hand strain that I got for redoing the levels a lot of times, it’s still worth your time. Just make sure to change your mouse sensitivity in-game if you don’t want to break your wrist in the process.