Fantastic visuals and a lot of “Ghibli-Esque” charm creates a fun puzzle game.
I was immediately intrigued when I first saw Planet of Lana during Summer Festival in 2021. Gorgeous hand-painted visuals, soft music, creative riddles, and a cute monkey-looking dog creature. Whatever it is, it has already convinced me that this game is a must-have.
At EGX, I had the opportunity to learn more about the project. It’s easy to notice why it comes up as “Limbo & Studio Ghibli” Following my strange little friend as a guide, I explored a beautiful 2.5D universe and figured out how to go through the game. The game itself said to tell a story that stretches through galaxies and centuries, so make sure to explore everything you want.
Surroundings you’re in is rich and challenging. The distinct difference between the sunny valleys and the dark forest parts, where only tiny bits of light reach the deep forest, was among the most stunning visual elements. You may experience some outer space planet full of life; sprites will be lurking and following your every move, and odd mechanical beasts will appear on your journey; all of them reflect a specific atmosphere of Studio Ghibli.
The game mechanics center around a friend character, a small monkey, with whom you must cooperate to accomplish missions. At first, exploring this fascinating planet is easy, but as you progress, the puzzles become increasingly difficult, and you’ll need to adapt to new dynamics and survival methods. There are parts when stealth is essential to progress, whereas other parts test your reflexes. Making even a single mistake could result in a horrible death for you and your small friend.
Some in-game levels may look difficult, as the player may not fully understand the game mechanics, for example the
Some in-game levels may look difficult, as the player may not fully understand the game mechanics, for example the part where you will need to outsmart a living rock. There seemed to be too much distance between the rock and the ledge to jump, but I went looking for a solution anyway. When I jumped down with my monkey friend, the rock rose to its feet, extended a tentacle-like claw, grabbed my friend, and swallowed him.
It turned out that the only way to save my tiny friend from the bad rock was to sprint across and lower him to the ground below the farthest ledge. Nonetheless, I had to watch our speed to ensure the rock didn’t notice us; I needed the boulder to shift its position to climb up using the delicious monkey blob meat as bait. Afterward, you can be sure I will never trust any rocks again. Thankfully, it appears that your follower’s longer leap range will allow him to follow you once you reach your goal. No matter how hard you try, you won’t have to solve the same puzzle twice to reach your destination.
In Planet of Lana, we discover a fantastical realm so visually amazing and mysterious that you can’t help but want to learn more about it. The game’s aesthetics, soundtrack, and story all reflect a sense of peace, yet a darker undertone, a growing threat, threatens to shatter that calm at any second. The riddles are difficult enough to keep you engaged while you seek a solution without being excessively difficult, providing a fun and positive experience. Even if the final game has more challenging puzzles than that blasted rock, the satisfaction of solving them with your tiny buddy will be well worth it.