Whenever a game’s title is lengthy, we tend to wonder if it’s a good or bad thing. In this case of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, it is actually an excellent thing. This title alone had my curiosity over the top and I was anxious to see what I was going to experience. I quickly found out that I was a little alien controlling a ship on a weird and shadowed planet. I had a few other colleagues with me but they didn't last very long and in the process of their demise, I was able to learn from them to make my journey easier.
ITSP is a side scrolling shooter that encourages you to solve different items that you acquire along the way. This game reminds me of metroid and Castlevania by way of puzzles and brain teasers. This can get frustrating if you're not a patient individual because the game has no words that explain how to get things done - instead you are greeted by pictures and signs which puts a tremendous dynamic in the game. You will be gathering upgradeable weapons, shields, and reflectors which are all beneficial throughout the cave raiding that you will be embarking on. ITSP has a multiplayer component coined the "Lantern Run" which can be a local or online match where players (up to four) get to run away with their lanterns from the big bertha squid monster. Once the players die, the game is over. There is one part in the game that I would love to mention but would hate to spoil it for you because I believe it is definitely a heart stopper if you play with headsets. The puzzle aspect of the game is satisfying indeed and as you go through the maps you can zoom in and out to easily track where you are going and what points of interest you can reach at the time. The map is big enough.For such a shadowy planet you would not expect such graphics to be so refreshing. ITSP has a refreshing color palette that you can stare at for hours. If you played shadow complex then expect some similar colors in this title.
Although it seems that the soundtrack is really kicking when you’re in a boss battle, it balances out while allowing most of the sound effects of the game to do the talking. The fights are epic once you get to the bosses and they really test your mental endurance as you battle for your life. My only request is that the soundtrack done by Dimmu Borgir gets released to us so we can enjoy all of its tunes.
Overall after playing the game and enjoying its metroid-esque characteristics, I can clearly say that ITSP is a must have and a no brainer to anyone who enjoys solid puzzlers with no nonsense. ITSP delivers an experience and gameplay combination that you won’t find anywhere else. It is a fresh outlook on a genre that we love and a wakeup call to the brain cells that we seldom use in the silver spoon titles we are fed today. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is priced at $12 and is available now on the Xbox Live Marketplace.