Planet Alpha
Developer Planet Alpha ApS
Publisher Team17 Digital Ltd
Official site planetalpha-game.com
release date September 2018
Genre Platformer

In recent years, there has been a renaissance of classic platform games. But behind the abundance of games in this genre, only a few projects can stand out with something special. Planet Alpha belongs to the category of games that do not bring anything new, but due to their original visual style and overall atmosphere, they deserve attention.

Planet Alpha

The game begins with the fact that we find ourselves in the role of a nameless astronaut on a strange planet. For a couple of minutes, we wander through the changing scenery, watching short credits. Then the main story of Planet Alpha already begins, if we can talk about it. The game does not have any tricky narrative and dialogues, everything is served through in-game events and the study of the world.

Planet Alpha

Our character is running through mesmerizing views of an alien planet with lush vegetation and large animals in the background. All this looks amazing and bewitching, plunging us into the atmosphere of a strange alien world. And although there will be different episodes in the game, Planet Alpha manages to evoke this feeling of admiration quite often, demonstrating sometimes completely amazing landscapes.

Planet Alpha

The gameplay is quite simple at first. We just run, overcoming chasms and climbing ledges. Somewhere you need to climb the walls a little, somewhere you need to move a stone to jump higher. Sometimes we cause collapses by balancing on falling platforms and making more precise, calculated jumps.

Planet Alpha

There are manipulations with the surrounding space due to the change of time. In special places, the hero gets the opportunity to rewind the passage of time or speed it up in order to lower or raise some structures. At first everything is obvious, but then it works a little more tricky, requiring combinations with other actions.

Planet Alpha

The first half hour is like a beautiful meditative adventure. But then unknown invader robots appear, ready to quickly slam the protagonist. In the face of danger, we have only one means of survival — stealth. To do this, we hide in thick grass, wait for the moment and run through dangerous stages, trying not to get into the eyes of iron blocks.

Planet Alpha

Sometimes a threat cannot be avoided, and then cunning is required. For example, to lure the enemy, climb some tree and jump over it. Local residents can become unwitting allies. They forced the robot to open fire on the eggs in the cave — the local monster will flatten the enemy. They lured the enemy to the dinosaur — and the pursuer will receive a powerful blow with his tail.

Planet Alpha

Bosses appear in the second half of the adventure. These are large iron colossus with tentacles, from which you need to run away and somehow use the environment to neutralize the threat. For example, lure a tentacle into a trap and disable it with a stone. Elsewhere, we use time manipulation to move the flying structures in the air, knocking down a large enemy with them.

Planet AlphaPlanet Alpha

The game combines different elements, but does not slide into complex intricate puzzles. If the path is closed, then the solution is quite obvious. And often the ability to manage time at special altars helps. This not only moves walls and mechanisms, but also allows you to grow grass to hide from robots or reveal large mushrooms that you can jump over to another platform.

Planet Alpha

Periodically, there are special places where you can call a portal to another dimension. Here the hero finds himself in the world of flying structures in conditions of partial weightlessness. Such stages are built strictly around jumping on platforms that are constantly moving and changing position. Accurately calculating all actions in a changeable environment can be difficult and repetitions cannot be avoided. Therefore, these steps may seem long and tedious. After all, the main adventure is not very burdensome.

Planet Alpha

The game is constantly changing. Glades with dense vegetation give way to deep caves. There are ancient ruins filled with large machinery. We will also wander among the clouds, jumping on flying islands among air whales and other living creatures.

Planet AlphaPlanet Alpha

At the same time, the picture always pleases with an abundance of bright colors, and all these airy islands and fluorescent night forests are very reminiscent of the landscapes of Pandora from the notorious movie Avatar.

Planet AlphaPlanet Alpha

A bright colorful picture sometimes creates difficulties, since the character’s figure is lost in this riot of colors. It is annoying when some foreground objects run into the camera, blocking the view, but this rarely happens.

Planet Alpha

The game has a certain stylization with deliberately chopped polygonal shapes of rocks and stones. And it goes surprisingly well with dense vegetation, volumetric lighting and rich visual effects.

Planet Alpha is based on Unreal Engine 4, which without proper optimization can be very demanding. And this is the case when not everything is good with optimization. Therefore, we decided to conduct a small comparative testing of a group of video cards. A small walk was repeated at the first location between the two control points. Our standard configuration for video card tests is used. Epic graphics quality.

Planet Alpha

High frame rates at 1920×1080 will be provided by the GeForce GTX 1060. The Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 590 are weaker, but the final performance is also high. The minimum option in this mode is the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. As for the required amount of video memory, 1.5 GB is enough for the game.

Separately, we compare the top video cards. And to reveal the limits of their capabilities, we will immediately test in 4K resolution.

Planet Alpha

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti shows less than 50 fps, and the Radeon RX Vega 64 results are below acceptable levels. But the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is beyond competition, and the gap from the old NVIDIA video adapter is very impressive.

It is worth noting that for a clearer picture, you can safely lower the quality of anti-aliasing. Here, this parameter is somehow tied to the motion blur effect, so with medium and high anti-aliasing, the “soap” is clearly smaller. It has little effect on performance, but a few percent can be won.

Planet Alpha is a beautiful game that sometimes gives out just amazing alien landscapes. The visual component is perfectly complemented by musical accompaniment, creating an atmosphere of immersion in an alien world. But in terms of gameplay, Planet Alpha is perceived as a typical platform game with a few extra mechanics. There are few situations that challenge the player, and this is a definite plus. Planet Alpha delivers a certain aesthetic pleasure and allows you to relax, although a number of situations can be confusing, which breaks the general mood. There are platformers with more complex mechanics and a deeper study of the world (Little Nightmares). However, Planet Alpha still deserves attention and will give you a couple of pleasant evenings.

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