I'm not entirely sure what's going on in Planet Quest. There, I said it.
You play as an alien octopus in a spaceship and circle a variety of musical-themed planets, abducting the happy-go-lucky inhabitants who are dancing away at an animal fancy dress party.
Just make sure you don't abduct those dressed as sunflowers, or else.Tap crazy
There are eight planets in total and each has their own accompanying theme song based on a different genre of music. There's reggae, drum 'n' bass, and heavy metal.
Dancers dressed as animals appear at regular intervals and a simple tap abducts them - so long as you tap to the beat.
The spaceship hovers at a certain spot on a planet which spins in time with the music, rhythmically dragging the helpless animal inhabitants towards your ship.
The instant they arrive underneath the ship, you tap the screen to abduct them. Miss your tap by even half a second and you abduct only their costume - any more than that and you lose a heart.
You have three hearts to begin with and lose one if you miss, though you regain half for a near miss, and a full heart if you get a 'Perfect' abduction.
You also lose a heart if you abduct a sunflower - you were warned.Score!
Planet Quest is all about chasing that ever-increasing score. A near miss gives you five points and a perfect tap gives you ten. Each perfect you hit after your first increases your score multiplier by one.
And you’ll need to increase that multiplier if you plan on climbing the leaderboard - which you will, because Planet Quest reminds you of your place at the end of each game, wounding your pride in the process.
Similar to Guitar Hero, the visual cues are there to help you out during your first few attempts, but you'll have to really learn each song if you want to master it and get that all-important perfect score achievement.
And that's the other draw - the achievement system. There are 36 to earn in total, and they range from requiring you to perform a certain number of abductions in a row to getting a perfect score on a planet.
It helps that every song is catchy and increases in intensity (and difficulty) the further in you listen, driving you forward.Aesthetically pleasing
Planet Quest is also appealing visually, reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons or anything on Cartoon Network.
Each planet has its own distinct visual aesthetic that's clearly inspired by the music it's parodying. The metal planet is all darkness and flashing lights, while the reggae planet has a beaming smile on his face.
Planet Quest has a great sense of humour and its pleasantly quirky charm is apparent right from the get go.
However, if I had one complaint, it would be that Planet Quest doesn't do anything particularly new. The BIT.TRIP series offers better and more in-depth rhythm action games.
Also, if you have a bad sense of rhythm you likely won’t find much to enjoy here.
For everyone else, though, Planet Quest is a great example of both one-tap and rhythm action at their finest.