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Planet of Lana is a cinematic puzzle adventure game that tells the story of a young girl named Lana and her furry companion Mui, who embark on a rescue mission through a colorful world full of cold machines and unfamiliar creatures. The game is framed by an epic sci-fi saga that stretches across centuries and galaxies. In many ways, it is reminiscent of Danish Studio Playdead’s titles – Limbo and Inside.

Planet of Lana was released on 23rd May 2023 exclusively for Xbox and PC.

The Power of Companionship

The plot of Planet of Lana is about a planet that used to be a place of undisturbed balance between humans, nature, and animals, but has now become invaded by a faceless army. Lana and Mui are on a mission to rescue Lana’s sister, who was captured by the invaders. Along the way, they discover the secrets of the planet’s past and its connection to a larger cosmic conflict.

The highlight of it all is the bond between Lana and Mui. Mui, a small and fluffy creature that resembles a cross between a cat and a rabbit. Mui is loyal, curious, and playful, and has a strong bond with Lana. Mui can make different sounds and gestures to communicate with Lana and other animals. Mui also has some special abilities, such as being able to sense vibrations and energy fields and being able to change color depending on its mood and environment. Mui is an essential part of the gameplay and the story, as it helps Lana solve puzzles, avoid dangers, and discover the secrets of the planet.

Overall, the two make quite a team. Although a bit short-lived, the tale of this duo is quite an emotional and captivating endeavor filled with memorable characters. There are no actual voiceovers or even subtitles, which helps it a lot in establishing an atmosphere unlike any other.

Threat From The Beyond

Planet of Lana puts a great emphasis on its Puzzles. The player has to use stealth, wit, and reflexes to solve these puzzles and avoid dangers. As a payoff, you will get to explore stunning environments. The game also has a strong emphasis on the bond between Lana and Mui, who help each other overcome obstacles and communicate through gestures and sounds.

The puzzle mechanics of Planet of Lana involve using Lana and Mui’s abilities to interact with the environment and the creatures they encounter. Lana can climb, jump, swing, push, pull, and throw objects, as well as use tools like a slingshot and a flashlight. Mui can crawl into small spaces, distract enemies, activate switches, and communicate with animals. The player has to switch between controlling Lana and Mui to solve puzzles that require coordination and timing.

But things do not stop there.  Almost every puzzle features mechanical and extraterrestrial forces that have invaded Lana’s home planet of Novo. They include flying drones, spider-like robots, giant walkers, and more. They are hostile and ruthless and will capture or kill anyone who gets in their way. The death animations are as brutal as the ones featured in Playdead’s titles.

The enemies are not only a threat to Lana and Mui, but also to the natural balance of the planet. They destroy the environment, capture wildlife, and use them for their own purposes. Lana and Mui have to use their wits and skills to avoid or overcome them, as they are often outnumbered and outmatched. Given the overall lack of difficulty and constrained puzzles, one could be easily thankful for the short length of the overall campaign. 

An Immersive Experience

The visuals of Planet of Lana are stunning and vibrant, with hand-painted backgrounds and animations that create a rich and immersive world. The game uses a mix of 2D and 3D graphics, with dynamic lighting and shadows that enhance the mood and atmosphere. The game also has a variety of settings, from lush forests and deserts to snowy mountains and futuristic cities. The game’s art style is inspired by classic animated films and comic books.

As a visual stunner, there’s nothing more that I can ask for with this game. It delivers and lives up to promises in almost every aspect aside from a few minor hiccups. And considering its short yet sweet campaign it will definitely leave you wanting more of it by the time the credits roll.

Real Talk

Planet of Lana is a captivating and emotional journey that will appeal to fans of puzzle platformers, sci-fi adventures, and charming animal companions. It is a game that celebrates the beauty of nature and the power of friendship in a world that is threatened by war and destruction. Be warned, though, its short-lived campaign is filled with quite a few brainy puzzles that may leave you scratching your head for good. Overall, it is a must-play, especially if you are a fan of Playdead classics like Limbo and Inside.

FINAL RATING: 80/100

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