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Planet of Lana Review – A Beautifully Crafted Journey Through a World in Peril

I’ve always enjoyed well-crafted side-scrolling platformers, and Planet of Lana immediately caught my attention when it was first announced. Its hand-painted art style is gorgeous, and the game evokes a sense of mystery, something I’ve missed since the release of Inside. Now that it’s been released, does Planet of Lana live up to our expectations?

Planet of Lana, like Inside, doesn’t have a conventional narrative. The story is told through the environment and character actions on screen. It centers on a kid living on a planet in harmony with nature. Humans and other creatures coexist peacefully until one fateful day when a faceless army invades. From my perspective, these invaders resemble the aliens we see in War of the Worlds and other sci-fi movies. They wreak havoc on the planet and wage war on its inhabitants, but this is not the central theme of the game.

Primarily, Planet of Lana is a side-scrolling platformer that blends puzzles with interactive story moments to deliver a compelling narrative. It’s not a lengthy game by any means and will take you just under 5 hours to beat it the first time. In many ways, this game is similar to Inside. I couldn’t help but draw parallels to Playdead’s classics like Inside and Limbo. If you loved these games, chances are you’ll enjoy what Planet of Lana has to offer. It might not reach the heights of these games, especially Inside, but it doesn’t need to.

As Lana is just a little, harmless kid with no weapons, the game emphasizes stealth to progress to the next location while avoiding the roaming machines. Lana later teams up with a cat-like creature, Mui, who assists her in navigating through obstacles and solving various puzzles. These machines are quite menacing and can easily zap Lana or Mui if they spot them. However, they operate in a pattern, so using stealth, it’s usually easy to bypass them.

To me, the best part of Planet of Lana is its visuals. They are jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and many cinematic moments are awe-inspiring. The short experience of Planet of Lana is well-deserved, and its value is fully justified based on the visuals alone. The gameplay is good too, but the controls can be a bit finicky, and directing Mui can be hit-or-miss. It’s not a perfect game by any means, but I admire the developer’s efforts considering what they’ve achieved with this game.

I enjoyed the fair share of puzzles that the game presents, but most of these are quite simple to solve. There’s nothing that truly challenges our imagination here. On the other hand, the narrative is well-handled, and there are moments of emotional resonance amid the rush to reach a safe location. The platforming sections require well-timed jumps, and it’s easy to miss them when rushing through the levels. Puzzles require a keen eye to look for objects to manipulate, while Mui can also lend a hand.

Planet of Lana offers a world that invites exploration. The background and environment are beautifully drawn and contain hidden secrets that encourage further exploration. If you’re interested in the game’s lore, exploring will reveal more information about some of the events that transpire, providing further incentive to deviate from the main path. Lana and Mui form a deep bond throughout the narrative, and the game does an excellent job of developing this relationship so that we, as players, can feel it too.

I was also impressed by the game’s performance on the Steam Deck. It’s possible to achieve a stable 60 FPS by adjusting a few settings, but I settled on 40 FPS with the supported mode on the Steam Deck. In this setting, the game feels perfectly playable and doesn’t seem to suffer from any major drops. It works quite well on a portable device like the Steam Deck, but honestly, if you want to better appreciate its visuals, I recommend playing it on a larger screen. The game is also available on Xbox Game Pass, so you can check it out there if you have a subscription.

Overall, Planet of Lana is a visually stunning game with an imaginative yet powerful narrative. Its gameplay might not be flawless, and there are moments of frustration interspersed with moments of tranquility and peace. However, beneath it all, I can confidently recommend Planet of Lana if you’re looking for a spiritual successor to Playdead’s classics like Inside or Limbo.

Planet of Lana Game Information

  • Price: $19.99
  • Publisher: Thunderful Publishing
  • Developer: Wishfully
  • Platform: PC (Reviewed)
  • Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher


Planet of Lana is a visually captivating side-scrolling platformer with a narrative delivered through environment and character actions. Despite minor control issues and simple puzzles, the game's stunning art style and compelling story make it a worthwhile experience.

Total Rating

Ali Haider

Ali Haider loves to dabble in multimedia projects. He has a passion for editing and managing YouTube videos and loves writing in his spare time.

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