In this Insanely Twisted, 2-D action-adventure game, explore unique environments and battle bizarre creatures.
User reviews: Very Positive (400 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 17, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"A combination of beautiful art and great metroidvania style explorative gameplay with a smattering of unique puzzles. Highly recommended!"
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“... easily one of 2011's best games.”
95/100– GameCritics
“... a triumph in almost every way possible.”
10/10 – The Sixth Axis

About This Game

In this Insanely Twisted, 2-D action-adventure game, explore unique environments and battle bizarre creatures as you make your way toward the center of the mysterious Shadow Planet! Solve complex puzzles and upgrade your ship with alien technology as you fight to save your home world.

Key Features

  • Striking and appealing visual style by renowned artist
    Michel Gagné.
  • Innovative and intuitive puzzle design mixed with intense
    action sequences.
  • Unique and visually stunning creatures and environments.
  • Rich worlds and captivating back stories.
  • Explore the worlds of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet with
    friends with multiplayer.

System Requirements

    • OS:Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor:Intel Core Duo (1.25ghz) / AMD Athlon XP (1.8ghz)
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:GeForce FX series+ / Radeon 9500+
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is notorious for two reasons. First and most obvious is absolutely glorious visual style by Michel Gagné; it’s dark, macabre, slightly frightening, but at the same time truly beautiful and not repulsing even by a tiny fraction despite all of the picturing of those tentacles and insect-like creatures. Second prominent feature is the protagonist. You see, despite all the variety of settings and worlds and stories a hero in metroidvania usually is a human, or at least some humanoid. But here you play as small flying saucer; so technically there’s still some humanoid inside. Obviously it impacts gameplay turning it into twin-stick shooter and omitting platforming with all it’s precision jumping and running. What it has instead is all different kinds of guns and devices that our UFO can use. Among them there are not only assorted lasers and blasters, but also a buzz-saw, a grappling claw, protective shield and so much more. So you fly around, shoot stuff and sometimes solve some puzzles. They’re neither challenging nor time consuming, but their presence is enough to transform what could be a blazing gun carnage into an exploration of beautiful yet twisted and insane world.
Speaking of which, there may be not a lot of variety on the first sight, but there surely is distinct difference on what kind of thrill you can expect from different game zones. There’s soothing calm of ice zone disturbed only by pesky and ubiquitous enemies; there’s tension of mandatory underwater level; and then there’s those enigmatic factory and all those different yet very familiar regions of the Shadow Planet. It’s not just bland similarity, but rather a true sense of interconnectivity that is the result of this distinct visual style of minimalistic mix of black shadows and pure-color backgrounds. This world doesn’t look or feel artificial, it’s as natural as a background for digital entertainment can get. It’s complete and interconnected; it feels solid, ready to be explored by a curious traveler, who’s on a mission to restore it, rather than just tear it apart.
And because of its small size and simple story the game forms an intimate bond with the player. It’s not a feeling of attachment but rather a sense of lasting mutual sympathy. If anything, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet in a short few hours that you need to finish it accomplishes the task of teaching you a handful of interesting tricks while giving just enough time and space to toy with them to your amusement. Facing new challenge most of the time you either will know the solution right out or will figure it out faster than frustration kicks in. And that is not something easy to do, when an average gamer has an attention span shorter than one of a goldfish. Not that the game is a cakewalk from start to finish; there are bosses, you see. And they have all their bossy stuff: attack patterns, heavy attacks and weak points, that you’ll have to figure out to exploit them. So you’ll maybe even fail a few times while dealing with them.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet makes you feel invested without caring to present itself believable or even needing that for that matter. It’s a fiction that works on sheer kinetics and aesthetics; it doesn’t tell a story, it makes you perform it. The game simply unfolds with elegance and simplicity of a pop-up book and gives you the keys to the entrance.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2014
ITSP is a very concise game. It might not be long, but it's always moving; you're always getting new equipment and doing new things. You're always solving puzzles that are mechanically different from the last. It is nearly devoid of filler unless you actually want to get all of the concept art unlocks, and this is a path that I prefer developers take. I want short games that don't endlessly repeat over long ones that feel like a chore.

The puzzles aren't the most difficult out there, but they're imaginative and are very appealing in visuals/effects. The entire game, in fact, is one of the most visually appealing games I've ever played. The world itself is alive and squirming around you. The animation and kinematics are extremely smooth. The camera fluidly zooms in and out to frame the environment around you; for boss battles this means you are a very tiny ship in front of a monster taking up half of your screen. Areas have distinct color palettes with parallax backgrounds (also with animated squirmy things moving around in the distance), but the palettes are always limited in nature and most feature the distinct black silhouetted foreground that probably caught your eye to begin with.

I have a few dislikes about the game. The first is that it feels like it straddles the border between explicitly telling a story and leaving the story to the gameplay. It has these confusing cutscenes that don't really assemble into much of anything I care about. Honestly, I am fine if you just show me the planet/sun being corrupted by a dark force, allow me to infer that I need to stop it, and leave me be for the rest of the game; let the gameplay tell the story. This plot is not on the scale of Mass Effect or The Witcher where you'd need anything else explained in any other way.

Secondly, despite the quasi-storytelling, it doesn't properly build up to an ending; there is nearly nothing to suggest that you're nearing your ultimate goal of cleansing the planet and no real signifier that the last boss is... well, the last boss. Yes, it's really big, but so are the other bosses, it doesn't strike you as particularly end-guy'ish, so you beat it, pat yourself on the back, and then realize the game is over. For how fascinating the game was and how often it "ups itself" with something even more neat, I was hoping for an ending a bit more dramatic/climactic, something like an end-guy with a mind-exploding size that you have to beat in pieces at a time, or the throbbing core of the planet itself.

Despite a somewhat deflating end, ITSP is fascinating and entertaining. It's a game that makes you laugh because of how awesome its bits are, be those items you collected, the visuals of an environment you just entered, the very clever effects and how they integrate with the puzzles you are solving, or just how big everything around you is. It packs a lot into the several hours it takes to beat and makes them very worthwhile. If the main flaws above were fixed I feel like it could be one of my top favorite games - the potential is there but it got a bit muddled up - but the game as it turned out must settle for "just" being really good.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
33.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
10/10

Shadow cram it in your wishlist

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 5
My favorite weapon was the laser.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
Beautiful and amazing, simply and stunning, an awesome game you can never stop playing. 10/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2014
Truly a hidden gem among the plethora of titles listed on steam.

What hides behind the deceptively simple artstyle and gameplay lies an intricately designed masterpiece that has the power to evoke strong feelings of wonder and curiosity but at the same time, helplessness and terror.

I've still yet to finish the game but with the time I've played so far and what the trailer has shown, it is apparent that what I've experienced thus far is just a small slice of this exquisitely delicious pie that will only get tastier, the more I consume of it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
Nice little game with an art-style that reminds me of Samurai Jack.
Considering the short lenght of it, I'm glad I bought it in an Humble bundle.
I played with a controller and it's alright but for some parts (namely the 2-3 missile puzzles) I used the mouse.
The online part is dead and I managed to try it only because I create a game and played it with my brother.

All in all a little gem.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
I CAN THINK OF AT LEAST 4 THINGS WRONG WITH THIS TITLE
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
An exquisitely polished Metroidvania with a fantastic co-op mode.
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182 of 199 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 28, 2014
I got this game as part of a bundle and installed it on a whim.

There's something about the graphics, music, little videos, I dunno what, but I was so enthralled and immersed in this game that I completely forgot to go on a date with a girl.

An actual girl.

I could, tentatively, recommend this game over the prospect of meeting a member of the opposite sex.

Tentatively.
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45 of 50 people (90%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2013
Great exploration game. Fantastic art style! Developer just removed GFWL and transitioned the game to Steamworks! Yea! :)
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31 of 34 people (91%) found this review helpful
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a 2D side-scrolling action/adventure Metroidvania game with puzzle elements. Basically you fly around in a small flying saucer and solve small puzzles while fighting off enemies and gigantic bosses. As you travel through the shadow planet you will get new abilities that allow you to backtrack to previous areas to open new areas like any Metroidvania type game, though most of the collectibles you find by backtracking are concept art pieces and short movie clips.

The art style and music create a very nice atmosphere, and the controls are fairly smooth. Most of the special abilities you get are very creative and fun to use, my favorite being the buzzsaw. There's not a lot of tutorials or hints, but there's an objective marker and you get an info tool you can point at things to find out how to interact with them.

All-in-all it was a very good game in my opinion and it's only about 8 hours to play through the entire game and find all of the collectibles. I recommend picking it up sometime.
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33 of 43 people (77%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 22, 2014
This game... makes me so happy.
It's a beautiful game, and just... everything about it is awesome.
It's hard for me to describe, but it's sort of a discovery game, with puzzles in the enviorment.
There are deadly obstacles in the way as you go through the game, but it's nothing that a little patience and experimenting cannot solve.
I would recommend this game absolutely, to anyone. Take a look at the screenshots, and if it catches your eye at all, please give this game a chance.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
28.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2013
The game is just incredible. It has a poor story, but it doesnt matter, since the game focuses on visuals, which are incredible. You can hardly find any creature plant or anything twice. The Artist who made it is a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ genius God bless this man :D. Also the gameplay is challenging but not frustrating. Some puzzles are easier or harder what makes sure that you wont get stuck somewhere. Its a where calm game perfekt for chilling out, but it also contains some shooting stuff, so it fits every mood. Only thing that lacks is that nobody wants to play this online, and the COOP mode is awsome, too bad i have to play it alone :c
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
53.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Excellent little Medtroidy style game about an alien and his saucer trying to save his world.

The game looks and plays amazingly. From the great environments to the many tools you gain in your quest.

The Multiplayer (although dead, it's super easy to start a game with friends) modes can also be played solo, and has a surprising amount of RNG and challenge that I feel is overlooked in this game.

The overall campaign is around 8-10 hours, but it's very enjoyable, and never feels tedius.

It used to be GFWL, but the Dev switched it all over to Steamworks so it doesn't die with the GFWL platform. (Thanks Devs!)

Definite, absolute buy!
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 2, 2014
This is a neutral recommendation. The gameplay is solid, metroidvania-style spaceship shoot'em up. The puzzles and fighting can get rather difficult at times, but never unfair. If you fail a few times you will recognise patterns and you'll eventually get it.

You end up getting about 10 different weapons to play with, but the ones you get near th end of the game end up being just utility/physics in a very few niche situations. It just seems to work that way with these type of shooters, and it doesn't really change gameplay dramatically enough for any refreshing changes. One thing I like to see in metroidvania games are mobility abilities and this game lacks them.

The game tries convey a story through very short cutscenes and gameplay and while it works at getting the story through, it didn't work well at making a compelling narrative. I would have preferred some dialog but I can see why they choose this style. It just didn't jive with me. Same goes for the art style. It works well for the game and is unique without being 16-bit pixel indie game graphics, but I would have preferred more colors than black in every scene, even though you are on a "shadow planet". Just personal preference, I guess.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2013
Edit: I feel like I have to edit this review. The game is great in design and visual style! Yet, unfortunately, for some users there seems to be a problem, that the game just won't go above 30fps. Which is pretty cross, as the game is intended to run in 60fps and gets slower with the framerate. Thus, people who have the same problem as me will play through the game in HALF OF THE INTENDED GAMESPEED. For nVidia users, turning on maximum performance in power management mode works, for amd users, like me, however... nope? I'll remove this text, as soon as a fix has been found.

We've been waiting for this game since it came out exclusively XBLA to arrive on PC and now we've been waiting even longter for it to finally remove GFWL. Now we got that, too!

ITSP is a Metroidvania-type game where you control a flying saucer through an... well, an insanely twisted shadow planet! You gain new abilities and have to backtrack to other locations where your new ability will come in handy. The visual aesthetics are comical yet not ridiculous, the sound design is quite intense. The game's cutscenes feature music by Dimmu Borgir, whereas the background music is more atmospheric yet not less fitting.

All in all a very engaging experience, some may consider it short, yet intense none the less. Recommended!
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 17, 2013
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet provides exploration and an interesting game progress. As you dive into the bizarre world, you will encounter many enemies with special abilities. But you too will grow stronger with several cool weapons and tools.

Uncover the mystery!
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2013
Awesome game, first game in a while that had me wanting to play non-stop, and over a weekend knocked out the campain in probably 20 hrs. Really fun side-scroller with action and puzzle elements.
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27 of 44 people (61%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 5, 2014
I bought this game expecting to dive into a dark abyss of cool monsters and "visual madness" (if that makes any sense to you), as the name "Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet" title suggests. I watched the trailers and knew there would be puzzles and it wasn't a hardcore game, but all the time the whole "insanely twisted shadow planet" feel seemed to be solid and interesting. Well, it wasn't quite like what I wanted. Here's a list of pros and cons:

Pros:
- Great visuals overall.
- Really good and original enemy design. (even though some of them are re-used with little differences they still are great to look at)
- Nice soundtracks that fit in with the shadowy atmosphere.
- Fluid control.

Cons:
- The plot is extremely simple, being almost meaningless.
- The puzzles aren't challenging, some will require a little bit of thought, but overall they are pretty simple.
- Bosses are quite easy.
- Too short for its price. (finished it in a little more than 5 hours and it could be much faster)

There are many indies games that are very simple and yet you find yourself wondering about what's happening or wanting to help the characters to reach their objective. As already mentioned, you don't get attached to the character's objective or anything, you simply have one mission and complete it. The game is very forgiving and will give you several checkpoints along the way so you don't lose almost any progress when you die, I didn't put that on the lists because it can be pleasant or not to you. The most challenging things are to get optional upgrades, so you should have in mind it's pretty casual.

In the end I recommend only getting this game if it is on sale and you want something casual to pass time.
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