Planet Alpha (2018) is a running and jumping game. You're a wounded hero hobbling across an alien planet, but how did he get into this state? Travel across beautiful, mysterious and often deadly landscapes, you unfold the story of your marooned astronaut. Manipulate time and space in unusual ways to progress through difficult terrain and avoid the unwanted and violent attentions of the resident robots and giant beasts that live on this world. Planet Alpha is played over 10 chapters featuring slightly different terrain, puzzles and enemy encounters. The gimmick is that the world contains ancient contraptions that allow you to manipulate time. By doing this you manipulate the environment to your advantage. Reposition massive machines or allow flowers to bloom so you can jump on them.
Play involves working to the right with wall climbs and huge leaps in gravity altered areas. There are stealth sections, puzzles to complete and difficult terrain. There are regular checkpoints so when you die you are not returned to the start, which is very welcome as some sections are pretty devious.
The result is a beautifully designed planet with magical flora and fauna and challenging gameplay. The time manipulation mechanic is cleverly designed and adds a unique element to an otherwise straightforward obstacle course game and makes it more of a puzzle. Our examiner, Andrea Walney, first checked Planet Alpha 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 22 months ago.
Rated PEGI 12 for non-realistic violence towards human characters and realistic looking violence towards fantasy characters. Player’s character can be attacked by robots of varying sizes using laser and projectile firing weapons, when hit the character turns black, shimmers and disappears. No vocal response. Fantasy characters can also attack and kill other non-human characters e.g. a flying mammalian type character can be shot down, this is accompanied by some blood effects.
Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Parental Guidance (PG) for Mild Science Fiction Themes and Violence.
9+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Although there are some tricky jumps and lateral thinking about the time-shifting puzzles younger children will enjoy the fantastical experience.
Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.