Shattered Planet Review
Shattered Planet is a survival roguelike RPG with a unique turn-based style. Developed by Kitfox Games, Shattered Planet takes place in the year 10,000 AD where humanity has finally encountered a disease it cannot cure, The Blight. The Blight devours all life it comes in contact with and has put humanity at the brink, however there seems to be hope at the origin of man, Earth. Although it is now completely shattered, Earth is broadcasting a faint signal which repels the disease and it is up to the player to explore the shattered planet and save humanity from extinction.
Over 200 Items!
Shattered Planet Steam Launch Trailer
Many words are used to describe the gameplay of Shattered Planet. The developers call it a survival-explorer-adventure-strategy-RPG roguelike with turn based mechanics. That's seven different genres! With that being said, Shattered Planet is a beautiful blend of all of these and the gameplay really shows elements of all those genres.
At the core, Shattered Planet is a roguelike game. With every map randomly generated containing different enemies, random encounters and environments Shattered Planet contains a huge amount of replay ability. Shattered Planet also contains over 200 items which include helmets, melee combat weapons, guns, consumables and followers which all make your play through a unique one. And the kicker is, every time you die (which will happen a lot) you lose all of your items! After death though you're revived as a clone and continue your adventure seamlessly.
Yes, Shattered Planet is a great roguelike, but it aren't just those mechanics which makes the game. In fact if Shattered Planet didn't have the other elements it does have, it would be a title which belongs in a bargain bin. The exploration aspect of the game definitely compliments Shattered Planet. Instead of the traditional 'room' system most roguelikes contain, Shattered Planet is an open world but uses the mechanic often referred to the Fog of War from the RTS genre. The world is covered in blackness until you explore it, meaning adventurers won't know what lies around the corner until they choose to explore it. Making relatively small maps feel vast and mysterious (not to mention dangerous).
Survival With Little Progression
Many roguelike games offer no form of progression, it is up to the player to master skills in order to advance. In Shattered Planet there is long-term progression that allows players to increase their clone's strength, wits and health - making it easier to conquer earlier levels. That being said, the progression comes slow and at times feels useless. Which wouldn't be an issue, but the fact that this mechanic is in the game it should feel useful which ultimately makes it feel broken.
This wouldn't be a complete issue if it didn't feel like each level was such an incremental jump in difficulty. Although this could be blamed on the randomly generated levels, there seems to be a common trend of the first 7 levels being easy, and 8-10 a little harder, and then 11 onwards becomes a massacre if you encounter any monsters even with upgrades. The point is, the progression of characters simply doesn't match the progression of difficulty.
Shattered Planet has two distinct different game modes with three challenges ranging from the difficulties of Hard, Very Hard to Insane.
The core gameplay is called exploration mode, where you gather materials and try to progress to the furthest level possible. Shattered Planet also features a daily challenge where players are given three items of random rating (from sticks to diamond swords) and challenged to complete 10 levels which is no easy task. For players who complete the challenge, they are gifted with the three random items they started with.
The roguelike gameplay fused with strategy, exploration, survival, adventure and RPG is a unique experience I have yet to find done well. Although at times the games progression feels broken, the fact that the game is a roguelike instantly excuses it. That being said I question the point of any mechanic if the mechanic feels broken.
With over 200 items, five different game modes, Shattered Planet's replay ability is up to par with the iconic roguelike games.
Daily Challenge Video
There isn't much to say about the graphics of Shattered Planet. They are in no way bad, but it isn't gorgeous either. Although the tile system for the environments are repetitive and get boring after awhile, the different amount of unique looking items makes up for it. Characters always look a little different because all items have such unique skins, which really adds to the charm of the game.
The sound again is nothing special. I'm a firm believer that sound is better at damaging a game then making a game better, and although the music and sound effects were immersive at first; after my first few run throughs I had to turn it all off because it got repetitive and stopped adding to the gameplay experience.
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For a game that was originally released on mobile, then to PC, then to Mac - Shattered Planet does a great job of being what it's supposed to be. A roguelike survival game with a unique blend of adventure, exploration, RPG and turn based strategy.
For only $15, if you are a fan of games such as the Binding of Isaac, I highly urge you to pick up this game.
If you'd like to support the developers purchase the game through the humble widget found on this page.
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