An Unpredictable Addiction
Lovely Planet 2: April Skies is a speedy abstract shooter that is full of unlikely fun. This one is frustrating in an amusing way. It’s hard to get super frustrated when shooting purple projectiles at angry hat-wearing boxes and flying apples. Then again, channeling my inner William Tell or Annie Oakley was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done.
The objective is to run through the simple scenery and reach the pole at the end a la Mario. Simple, right? Well, it’s easy to fail. Get hit by a purple projectile or a flying red box, shoot a friend, miss shooting a falling or charging apple, or fall off the level (LOL!), and it will be time to restart. Oh, and all the baddies need to be hit before getting to the pole. Otherwise, it doesn’t count. I learned all of these things the hard way.
But I was not defenseless! Armed only with a rifle that shoots purple bullets, I charged through every level in about three hours. Neither box nor apple could stand in my way! Except when they did.
Journey to the Mountains
With five worlds filled with levels of varying difficulty, it stays entertaining despite doing the same thing over and over. The only differences between the worlds are the number of things attacking. The lengths are completely random. One level will require intense precision while the next could be done eyes shut (though probably not the first time).
Though the game is fast-paced and quick to finish, the challenge remains in attempting to get 100% completion. I figured out pretty quickly that the blue star is for finishing the level, the red star is for completing it under the time limit, and the yellow star is for accuracy.
The gameplay on PC was simple enough, even for an Xbox player like me. The original soundtrack by Calum Bowen kept me in high spirits no matter how frustrated I felt. Available for $9.99 on Steam ($7.99 during the 20% off sale), Lovely Planet 2: April Skies is worth it. A trip to the movies costs more than that.
This is the sort of mellow-out repetition game that could be used as a warm-up for a more intense shooter. It feels like playing through a series of Picasso paintings but with a lot more hearts. Lucky for me, I like Picasso. One thing is for sure. I will never look at an apple the same way again.