Planet Alpha is a beautiful platformer that takes place on a mysterious alien planet. The demo we played at PAX East didn’t present a story or any clues as to what we were in for, but the experience was one that pulled us in wanting to see more.
At its core, the game lets you play as the protagonist who awakens on a strange world and needs to venture forth to stay alive. We were told the game’s story is still under wraps, but based on our playthrough, it’s quite apparent that exploration and staying alive are the basis of the game. There are platforming elements that require you to time your jumps, navigate up and down vines, and crouch beneath tight spaces, but what makes Planet Alpha special is the ability to control the planet’s day and night cycles.
At any point during your progress, you can press a button and the planet will spin causing night to turn into day affecting various changes to your environment. Alien flowers will bloom during the day allowing you to use them for cover, and at night, mushrooms will sprout on cliffs providing some footing on your climbs. There were parts in our demo where giant land masses would shift when we played with the time and even creatures would come and go depending on the time of day. Stealth was also an important part our playthrough as we had no weapons to defend ourselves with so avoiding alien insects was the best approach.
Not only can you control your platforming environments, but our demo also featured some puzzles and enemies that could only be defeated at certain times of the day. We were also told that boss battles would involve using the planet against them–an experience we cannot wait to see in action.
Despite its brevity, our time with Planet Alpha really prepared us for future developments with the game and left us with some questions. Where is the protagonist heading to? What secrets does the planet hold? And why can you all of a sudden control the planet? We can’t wait to learn more. Expect Planet Alpha this year on Steam and consoles.