With the Super Mario Bros Movie right on our doorstep, it shows how a small 2D character from a platforming videogame can become a worldwide juggernaut. Planet Cube is a precision platformer with aspirations of following in some mighty big footsteps.
Planet Cube Edge Run & Gun
Created by Costa Rican team Sunna Entertainment, this is their maiden effort on home consoles, with their previous titles being mostly on mobile. Played here on PS5, it is available now across PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and Steam.
Players take on the role of Edge, a highly skilled engineer in an underwater weapons research facility, who is on a quest to fight a force that is invading his planet. Armed with a prototype photon blaster you must jump, shoot, stomp and dash your way through the hazards, enemies and bosses to try to return the planet to its former glory.
While the game is initially easy to pick up and play, it quickly becomes clear that the precision part of the platforming doesn’t quite feel right. While sometimes down to level design, it’s mostly down to the fact that as the player I never felt completely confident in the platforming execution. It led to what should have been a fun challenge to master, becoming a frustrating hit or miss battle with control.
Respawns after death are snappy which is very welcome as you will die often.
Some tweaking to the jumping would be great with an adjustment of swapping the shoot and dash buttons for a better feel in my opinion. Also moving the stomp button off of the face buttons would give players a tighter feeling control scheme. Ideally, allow complete button mapping for custom player preference.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics in Planet Cube are crisp, sharp and detailed with an original DMG Gameboy style colour palette. A lot of passion and work has been put into the design of this world. Everything runs smoothly with the visuals being quite pleasing to the eye.
The animations are really well done to bring a real sense of life to not only the main character but also the enemies and world around them.
On the audio front, the soundtrack is excellent. It has vibes of the 8 and 16-bit era of gaming with some tracks transporting me back to the days of playing the early Castlevania games.
If you get hooked then you’ve got 8+ hrs of platforming to keep you entertained. There’s the added challenge of finding all the collectables throughout the levels which unlock a gallery of art, animations, audio and video including some prototypes from development – A nice touch.
There are also online speedrun leaderboards where you can aspire to be the world’s fastest. For trophy hunters, there are 41 to bag – 26 bronze, 10 silver, 4 gold and a platinum.
While Planet Cube: Edge is a decent game it lacks a certain “je ne sais quoi”. Its looks will have an appeal for Gameboy fans and its sounds will be nostalgic for many, but some frustrating gameplay quirks mean it ultimately falls short of greatness.
The small team at Sunna Entertainment delivered quite a polished game here and I look forward to their next foray onto consoles. They take home the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.