General game information
Game name: Lovely Planet Arcade
Release date: 22 Jul, 2016
Price: US$ 5.99
Genre: First person arcade shooter with racing elements
Lovely Planet Arcade is as brutal as it is beautiful. It is also deceptively complex, and it requires total concentration from its prospective players. In return, it offers some of the most tightly designed FPS action that I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying.
The original Lovely Planet was also quite brutal but it was less focused, and it offered more freedom of movement in exchange for that lack of focus. Lovely Planet Arcade is still similar to its predecessor in many ways, with its cutesy art style ranking highly among them, but in a way it’s more like Doom, whereas Lovely Planet was quite similar to Quake.
In this new QUICKTEQUILA release, players can’t aim in the Y-axis and the levels are all quite labyrinthine, instead of the prequel game’s floating islands. Yet, this linearity adds to the experience, as the game becomes laser focused on its mission of speedy death delivery.
Lovely Planet Arcade‘s levels all play out in the same way. The player spawns in a room and, shotgun in hand, must eliminate all enemies and reach a purple portal that signals the exit. In order to do so, gamers must learn how to prioritize some enemy types over others, stay their hand when confronted with friendly targets, and avoid assorted dangers that litter the path to victory.
But victory won’t come easy for those who dawdle, as the game’s main draw is that it times every level, rating players with stars which depend on their completion time. Thus, it quickly dawns on players that they need to focus on taking out specific targets first, and run through the levels multiple times, as if the game was a racing videogame instead of an FPS.
Technologically, Lovely Planet Arcade is as marvelous as its gameplay. The art style works wonders to prevent players from getting frustrated when they are near to a perfect 3-star run and they make a mistake that costs them the prized perfect rating, and the soundtrack adds atmosphere to the game’s brutally cute world.
Taking cues from Doom and Wolfenstein, Lovely Planet Arcade manages to be its own thing in a genre that usually spawns mindless copycats of the latest top seller. I highly recommend it to shooter fans who want a new experience, and to PC gaming fans in general, as its mix of genres can be of interest to puzzle and racing game fans.