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Planet of Lana review – Puzzle platforming bliss

Planet of Lana Review 1
Image: Wishfully/Thunderful Publishing

How far would you go to save those you love? When it comes to Lana, it appears nothing is off the table. When an army of robots appears and sweeps up the people she cares about, she doesn’t break down and give up. Instead she embarks on an adventure to free them from their captors. And so begins Planet of Lana.

A cinematic puzzle platformer, the first thing you’re likely to notice about Planet of Lana is that it looks absolutely gorgeous. Every frame is a work of art; its environments and characters wonderfully animated and brought to life with vivid colours. This is a game that your eyes will simply devour, and your ears aren’t left out either. Along with the stunning visuals, there’s a beautiful soundtrack that perfectly matches the action to keep you invested in what’s happening on-screen.

There’s scant voice acting in Planet of Lana, though. Lana does communicate vocally at times, but it’s in a language that you won’t understand. It’s the actions here that speak the loudest then, and it’s impressive just how much the game manages to convey. In any case, there’s not really many people to talk to on your travels, what with most of them being picked up by large flying robot and taken away. Though you do gain one trusty friend that remains by your side for the most part.

Planet of Lana review 3
Image: Wishfully/Thunderful Publishing

Gameplay-wise, Planet of Lana starts out like most puzzle platformers. Your typically move from left to right, negotiating obstacles and making use of objects in the environments to allow you to progress. You might need to move a crate so that you can use it to reach a higher platform, for example. There’s some stealth to be done, too, with you occasionally coming up against a robotic adversary that you need to outwit to pass by safely.

Things get a little more tricky and involved when you rescue a small cat-like creature called Mui, who then becomes your trusted ally. With Mui by your side, you can work together to overcome even more complex conundrums. It’s easy to command Mui to stay in place, jump up to a raised area to drop a rope for you, and a whole lot more. The relationship works both ways, though. Thanks to an aversion to water, sometimes you’ll have to put work in to provide Mui a safe path through an area.

Planet of Lana review 2
Image: Wishfully/Thunderful Publishing

Rounding out the gameplay is an ability you receive late in the game that lets you control certain robots and machinery. With everything doled out at a well-measured pace, Planet of Lana remains gripping throughout, never over-relying on certain mechanics for too long without introducing new. With a running time of around four hours, it’s a game that doesn’t outstay its welcome, either. It’s the perfect game to sit down with and get engrossed in on a lazy evening.

Ultimately, Planet of Lana deserves a spot up there with the greatest hits of the genre. It’s every bit as impressive as the likes of Inside, but stands out due to its colourful visuals and heart-warming story. Sure, there’s not much to do once you’ve completed it unless you’re an achievement/trophy hunter, but it’s an experience that you really shouldn’t miss out on.

This review of Planet of Lana is based on the PS5 version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

Planet of Lana review - GameSpew's score

Planet of Lana
9 10 0 1
Planet of Lana is a wonderful cinematic puzzle platformer with brilliant presentation, a heart-warming story and enjoyable gameplay. You'll be gripped from beginning to end.
Planet of Lana is a wonderful cinematic puzzle platformer with brilliant presentation, a heart-warming story and enjoyable gameplay. You'll be gripped from beginning to end.
9/10
Total Score

We like...

  • Enjoyable puzzles and solid platforming
  • Wonderful art style
  • Sublime soundtrack

We don't like...

  • It's fairly short, and there's little reason to return
Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!