Dropped onto a planet where my ancestors once dwelled, I'm armed only with a single gun, a jetpack, and the knowledge that my ride should be back in roughly a year. The place is mostly deserted, so it seems like it might be an actual cake walk. Well, until you factor in Tyranid spaceships launching bombs at ancient burial sites, subterranean worms, and bounty hunters all after me at once. Thankfully, the more I shoot, the nastier I am to my enemies and I have a job to do. It's time to clear the planet that my Ancestors are interred in. This is Battle Planet.
Battle Planet is currently exclusive to Daydream View.
When the game initially jumps off, things seem almost too simple. The world is displayed in the middle of the screen, and movement is controlled by using the remote's touchpad. Your little army dude will go running across the surface in whichever direction you tell him to. There are blue jump pads scattered along the environment, and running over one will launch you over nearby stone structures. You also have a jetpack which you can use to zoom over the ground quickly. The tutorial gets you ready in a few minutes, but there isn't much of a story here.
Essentially you get dropped off on this planet, and as you do your alien nemesis shows up and starts sending down bombs and troops. Your goal each wave is to disarm the bombs. You start out with one bomb to get to and power down, but this number starts to go up immediately. While it's really tempting to run around and shoot the enemies that will spawn in front of you, they are really just a distraction. If you don't disarm the bomb, things go badly. Instead, you want to hang out by the bomb you are disarming while making those enemies regret their life choices.
The game itself has fairly simple graphics that lend themselves to the fact that you are focusing on waves of enemies.
Things definitely do start to get more complicated as you go along. Every five waves you'll need to dispatch a boss. During these levels there are no bombs to disarm; instead, there are giant enemies who need to be dispatched. At the same time, you'll also need to deal with smaller enemies that crop up around you. In these levels getting access to weapon power-ups and health packs can be the only way to survive. While you can expect not to get swarmed in earlier waves, things definitely get hairy after the fifth wave.
The game itself has fairly simple graphics that lend themselves to the fact that you are focusing on waves and swarms of enemies. The middle of your screen is where all of the action happens. There are a few different planets, but they are all roughly the same size and covered in a variety of rock and man-made formations. To the sides of the planet and behind you is space. This is where you'll see the enemy ships that will attack with bombs, mines, and waves of enemies.
Easy to control
The controls for Battle Planet are really easy to grasp and master. All you need to do is move your thumb around the touchpad to point your soldier in the direction you want to go. As soon as there is an enemy in front of you, your weapon will fire. When you want to use your jetpack, all that's necessary is clicking the touchpad while pressing in the direction you need to go.
Battle Planet is sneaky in getting you to enjoy strategy. At the end of each wave, you'll be able to choose from three upgrades to install. You can only have six upgrades total, and they are locked in once you select one. Upgrades vary between protective shields and health regeneration, boosts to your jump pack or battle capabilities, and plenty more. It's also rare that you'll see the same upgrades every game, so it will take a while to see and use all of them lending to the replayability of the game.
You'll have to book it directly to bombs if you want to defuse all of them because you are running against the clock.
A big part of the game is using your time and upgrades wisely. At the beginning of each wave, you will see an enemy ship shoot bombs down onto the planet. You're able to watch as they rocket down planetside, and you can roughly track where they land. There are also indicator arrows that pop up on the screen to point you in the right direction. You'll have to book it directly at those bombs if you want to defuse all of them because you are running against the clock. By the seventh wave, you are trying to defuse three bombs, you're dealing with a variety of enemies, and you're making sure you don't run out of time.
While technically all you have to do to defuse a bomb is run around it until the green circle is filled in, this can get mighty complicated very quickly. Enemies will attack and try to throw you away from the bomb so that the defuse sequence is paused. After the first few waves, you'll also see mines that go off if you get too close and bombs that have rotating lasers that can easily sap your health in a single swipe. Once lava craters are formed you may have to avoid environmental factors as well.
Once the bombs are dealt with, the wave will end and you'll get scored on your performance. On the left side, the snarky captain who is supposed to be returning with you will also comment on how you did. There are bonuses for remaining time along with defusing every bomb. There is also a score for the planet's stability. Over time it will become less stable as ships rocket down to earth creating molten craters. Those craters will kill you if you fall into them. Thankfully the only way to fall in is if you run over the crater and have no jet pack fuel to lift you off of the burning ground.
While you do get lasting upgrades, there are also some temporary perks you can pick up during each wave. These come in the form of souped-up weapons. Machine guns and rapid-fire rifles will appear as pink glowing items on the planet and tend to pop up after you've killed a group of baddies. The other perk that gets dropped are the occasional health packs. Unless you take the health regeneration upgrade, these are the only way to regain your health during the game because you do not heal between waves.
There is a perk to this, however. While you don't heal, the items that you earn during one wave carry over to the next wave. That includes both weapons you have picked up and those that are still shining on the ground a few feet away. This can be particularly handy when you roll into a boss level and have a few weapon or medpacks upgrades lying around to help you deal with what is being thrown at you. Those upgrades won't stay around forever, but if there in one within eyesight as you end one wave, it will still be there when the next wave starts up.
Battle Planet is a fun wave shooter that is filled with strategy elements. It pits you alone against waves of enemies while you desperately try to defuse bombs and save the planet your ancestors are interred on. There are tons of upgrades to choose between, temporary weapon upgrades you can pick up, and different strategies to take advantage of. With quick waves, a fun scoring system, and random access to upgrades, this game has an arcade feel that is a ton of fun to play over and over again.
- Random waves of enemies make gameplay different each time
- Plenty of different upgrades to customize gameplay
- Awesome blend of strategy and shooter
- Can be hard to see exactly what is going on
- Game is very fast paced and can be difficult to adjust to
- You have to restart from the first wave each time you play