I know: you saw that screenshot, read the name Lovely Planet [official site], and rolled your eyes at ole Alice posting another one of her little wander ’em ups. The joke’s on you, clever clogs. Those colourful cloud islands? You go there to dash and leap around and murder things with your stargun. It’s a first-person shooter, see, about honing short runs to top leaderboards, dodging one-hit-kill enemies, optimising routes, and trying not to miss.
Lovely Planet came out last July, but now it has a demo out through Steam.
You could simply charge through Lovely Planet’s short levels, I suppose, but where’s the fun in that? I repeated demo levels a few times, knowing I could shave a second off, land a shot I missed, or simply hold a tighter line around the corner. It’s about honing FPS fundamentals. Leaderboards don’t seem to actually track scores in the demo, or didn’t work for me, but I imagine it’d be a right lark with a few pals who were also trying to improve.
It’s a go-run-shoot-die-restart sort of a deal, where your first run sucks as you figure out the level (and perhaps identify what an enemy even does). A short while later, you know to dash forward, shoot tall wedge person, blast the block, hang a tight left, blast the homing projectile out the air and then the little house that fired it, dash through the AoE killzone that’s charging up, shoot the bomb before it hits the ground, shot the block, jump over the other block’s shot, blast it, then take a shortcut leaping off the ledge, shoot the last enemy in mid-air, and soar into the final flag. Things like that (though that’s my memory mixing levels together). And then levels get complicated.
And huzzah, its weapons aren’t hitscan! You can dodge shots as they fly towards you (or shoot some out the air), and must as one single hit sends you back to the start.
As you can see for yourself if you download the demo. If you take a shine to it, developers Quick Tequila have put Lovely Planet on sale at the moment too, marking it down 30% to £2.44/3,07€ on Steam. The game’s on GOG too, but not on sale there right now.