Planet of the Eyes (Steam version, version 1.1)
- Genre: Platformer, Puzzler
- Release Date: Aug 24 2015, Price: $9.99
- Development: Cococumber
- Platform: PC (via Steam), Xbox One
- Official Site: planetoftheeyes.com
“You’ve crash-landed on the Planet of the Eyes in an escape pod. Discover what lies beneath through puzzle solving, exploration, and audiologs from another survivor. Turn down the lights, put on your headphones and grab your controller to experience the atmospheric journey of a lone robot in a dangerous world.”
(based on the current Steam version, after 1.1 patch, played 95 minutes of gameplay)
Planet of the Eyes feels like other things, more than its purpose as a game. That is a good thing.
This being part of a wonderful trend in modern gaming now, of these cheaply priced puzzle platformers. Great other examples include Braid, Limbo, Night Sky, Outland, Never Alone. Such games are where simple functions in a character do more than platform its way to a happy end. By doing more, there is less. No power ups, no crazy combos, no such increase in abilities, no points or pointless objectives. All you have in your protagonist, is your wits and mobility. There are sudden ways to die (often horrible and with hilarity) but the puzzles involved in figuring out the environment is where the real challenge is at.
With Planet of the Eyes, the puzzles feel a bit easy for my gaming hands, as I have played through many puzzle platformers since Abe’s Odyssey on the PlayStation 1. Nearly every obstacle faced in Planet of the Eyes, I have seen before in other forms and knew how to handle. I beat this game with little death, almost continuous in about 90 minutes time. Yet, I regret nothing of my spent time as I have much love for this game.
I say this because, sometimes games ask too much of me outside of the visual experience. I am often weary of drawn out tutorials, unnecessary lengthy text, constant need to upgrade and customize. I sometimes crave simple, more so in my cheaper games of recent times. In Planet of the Eyes, I need only survive and move on to unravel some mystery. I am a lone walking robot of simple design, following the path of a mysterious (human?) survivor leaving clues to his possible fate. Combined with the linear gameplay, the story feels like a short science fiction novelette. Except here, the protagonist can die horribly on any page, and that would be the end.
Along the way, you will see gorgeous and surreal visuals. The vibrant colors, digital gradients give life to the surrounding, where I feel somewhat privileged to explore and possibly die. Nearly every panel feels suitable for framing. And within and throughout, there are fantastic creatures of many shapes and sizes exhibiting deadly behavior when disturbed. Also, are remnants of a lost civilization, and surreal architecture. Much of the game is continuous walking between challenges, which are wonderful sequences as one could gaze and admire the situation.
The music is beautiful, with some original ambient electronic tunes. The soundtrack mixes well with stylish sound effects and the voice acting of the journal logs picked up. I highly recommend some good headphones for Planet of the Eyes, to fully immerse yourself in the gameplay and its awesome soundtrack.
Overall, this is a fantastic game for being more of a great work of interactive art and story. It’s still a game worth playing, but lacking in challenge for hardcore platform gamers. Yet, it is fitting for casual players and a new generation of gamers. Also, it is low cost and complete with no in-game purchases. With all that, there is enough reason to enjoy Planet of the Eyes.
– Orion T