Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (ITSP hereafter) is an action-adventure game developed by Shadow Planet Productions (comprised of Fuel Cell Games and Gagne International) and published by Microsoft Studios. The game is available on PC & XBLA. The PC version comes with all the DLC that has been released on the Xbox version.
If you have the XBLA original Version you can purchase the update: Shadow Hunters on Xbox LIVE Arcade for 400 Microsoft Points.
You can also bring along your friend for a crazy ride through Twisted Shadow Planets world with the Multiplayer functions, saying this though the game is primarily single-player based game.You play as a spaceship throughout the different areas of shadow planet, collecting artefacts and beating enemies and bosses to collect new powers that will aid you in the next round of the game as well as allowing the player to explore new areas of the map that would have been previously been un-explorable before.
The game consists of a number different areas of shadow planet for the player to explore and search for artefacts and upgrades in addition to a tutorial home planet. The controls of the game can be a bit tricky to get the hang of to start with as the right analogue is the main control for weapons whilst using the left stick as a trigger to fire… For a new player it takes a little getting used to. Other than that, the gameplay of the game is excellent. The puzzles in the game are the correct balance of difficult and fair, this is because every puzzle is do-able regardless of whether you’re a new gamer or a ‘hardcore’ pro.
The presentation of the game is also fantastic, with the art presenting a minimal style that is basic in colour with each area having its own colour scheme and all the background and details being in black. All the scenery is wonderfully detailed even though it is all in black. The player can go around the game to collect concept art from the game’s development which can be seen in the ‘extras’ section of the game. Music wise; ITSP performs well throughout the game, the music is noticeable but annoying /off-putting whilst doing tricky parts of the game. Music by the Black Metal band ‘Dimmu Borgir’ features during the cinematics of ITSP which strangely fits really well with the game.
In terms of longevity, the game can be completed in around 3 – 4 hours, which is a pretty good amount of time. However, if it was any longer it would ruin the game; extra content in the future would be wonderful however. There is a co-op mode in ITSP called Lantern Run, players in this mini game have to work together to get the lantern as far along the course as possible.
The art style of ITSP is quite frankly beautiful, even though it’s done in a minimal style. There are oodles of detail in everything, even the background scenery and all the enemies and obstacles are well thought out and designed for each area, with my personal favourite being the Organic zone. The music in the game has (like most of the details of ITSP) been well thought out, with a great balance of noticeable and un-distracting.
The gameplay of ITSP is very good and has been very well thought out. The puzzles are well designed with a good level of challenge and do-ability, making the game very enjoyable to play. The only gripe I have with the gameplay of ITSP is the control system. It is confusing to use at the start of the game, though the ability to assign hotkeys to tools is a useful feature.
This game isn’t a particularly long game in length which is a shame however with added extra of DLC on XBLA and the same additional features appearing on the PC version is does give the game some needed longevity. However, as previously said I think the game could be ruined if this was any longer. There are 12 original achievements to be unlocked + new Achievements from the DLC on XBLA, plus achievements that can be gained in this game; in addition to this all the concept art hidden around the map adds some length to the game.
ITSP is a thoroughly enjoyable game with wonderful art and excellent gameplay. Again, the only problem is the controls (at first). Other than that, this game is highly recommended to anyone with an Xbox or PC
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.