Vulgar Knight

Planet Alpha Switch Preview

A star map puzzle

Planet Alpha was just another one of those demos I saw on the Nintendo eShop which I felt needed a download. It was free. What else could I do? If you own a Nintendo Switch, you’ll know that it’s easy to misplace a game as your library increases week on week that eventually, you forget you had it in the first place. Well, Planet Alpha was precisely that and realising I was running out of space, had a quick playthrough and deleted it to free up space.

‘A quick playthrough’ was not entirely an accurate description as I found myself dawdling at every opportunity to take in the stunning vistas found in Planet Alpha. You’re thrown into the game immediately as a wounded space traveller. No explanations, just a case of keeping up momentum and getting to wherever it is you may be heading. It’s a side-scrolling game that echoes the gameplay of Inside or a classic like Another World. The animation of the main character doesn’t appear to be rotoscope. Still, it’s incredibly fluid nevertheless so you could even make comparisons to titles like Flashback or even Prince of Persia (the original).

Cast offs from Ann Summers

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You don’t have any weapons, nor do you jump on aliens to earn some coins – you continually move forward, solving the odd puzzle along the way. The game flows as much as the animation, and aside from a sun and moon type puzzle I briefly hesitated on, the tempo is bang on. I just wanted to soak up the alien lifeforms and seemingly real-time night and day cycle that was on display.

I don’t know much about Planet Alpha, and you know what? I want to keep it that way. Much like Death Stranding, there are some games I don’t want to hear anyone’s opinion or interpretation until I’ve experienced myself. First of all, I don’t want any spoilers, but secondly, I’m a little easily led at times and reluctant to form an opinion that isn’t mine in the first place.

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Planet Alpha was released well over a year ago. Perhaps there was a lot of hype at the time, but I must have overlooked it while I was balls deep in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Spider-Man on the PS4. As it’s been out for a while, it toys with the odd price drop so watch out for a sale, but from what I’ve seen so far, I like it, and the full price seems very fair. Pending it isn’t too short…

Planet Alpha is available on the Nintendo eShop right now. Download the demo if you’re strapped for cash or unsure.

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