I’m a real sucker for retro-inspired art in games. You often see indie games drawing from the classic 8-bit, 16-bit and even the odd early 32-bit era for their graphics. While technically of the 8-bit era, you don’t really see many games playing homage to the Game Boy’s monochrome and iconic display. Developer Sunna Entertainment and publisher Firestoke offer up Planet Cube: Edge in all of its Game Boy-inspired glory.
“Planet Cube is being invaded! Prepare to run, gun, jump and dash your way through an underwater science complex, collecting fire-power to turn the tables on a mysterious aggressor. This is high-speed adventuring set in a hand-crafted pixel art world, filled with precision platforming and thrills.”
Right off the bat, Planet Cube: Edge does not outright copy that world-recognised Game Boy game look. Though you can clearly tell that it is massively inspired by it. Kind of like a Game Boy game for the HD generation. Also right off the bat, this game is hella hard. As the blurb described, Planet Cube: Edge is a precision platformer. Loads of spikes, pitfalls, enemies, pixel-perfect jumps and the like. This is a game where you will die… a lot. Thankfully, it’s not shy with the checkpoints and death becomes a mild inconvenience over a major issue. Think along the lines of Super Meat Boy or for older gamers, Rick Dangerous. Trial and error is the key to making progress.
The opening of this game was really frustrating and death was occurring every few seconds. Things got a bit easier when I managed to push further into the game and got my hands on a gun, to deal with all the pesky enemies. ‘Easier’ but never ‘easy’. Even when armed with a photon rifle, Planet Cube: Edge’s difficulty is still punishing. As you progress, you gain more skills like a double jump and a dash. But, as you do gain more skills, the game gets even harder.
There’s a good chunk of unlockables to find via collectables on the levels. Usually tucked away in some random place that’ll have you testing your platforming skills. This adds some repeatability for completionists. Your character, Edge feels fine to control. A bit too ‘light’ when jumping and this did throw me off for a while. But I soon got to grips with the slightly floating jumping. The skills that you do gain make controlling Edge that bit more enjoyable.
There are only eight levels here, but in their defence, they are pretty damn big. I did find some of the levels too big and they did begin to feel like a bit of a grind to get through. Plus, there are only so many times that you can jump over spikes before it begins to feel a bit tedious. As you make your way through the game, things do change up… but perhaps just not enough and things do feel a little too ‘samey’.
Available now on PC and all the consoles for the sum of (around) £13. I have to be honest and say that I am not a fan of these precision platformers, really difficult and die every few seconds type of games. I turn 47 this year and I no longer have the reflexes and dexterity that I had in my younger years. Still, I can appreciate when a game does what it does well, even if I don’t like the genre itself. Planet Cube: Edge is good. If you are a fan of this type of tricky-dicky platformers, you’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of this one and I suggest that you give it a go. The graphics are awesome too.
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