In this Insanely Twisted, 2-D action-adventure game, explore unique environments and battle bizarre creatures.
User reviews: Very Positive (385 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
29 of 32 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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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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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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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
I haven't enjoyed a dual stick game as much as this in a long time. Get it.

This is an exploration game, where you use a combination of skill and puzzle solving to get new tools and unlock new areas. Think Metroid Prime, but you're in a UFO, and it's 2D. You can scan objects to find out what can affect them and what they do, and use different tools in the same situations to get different effects.

It's a fun laid back casual game, but offers enough of a challenge for even the most seasoned of gamers.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
having just beat this game i have a few thoughts.

1. for you completionists out there, once you get to a certain point you will be UNABLE to return to earlier areas to gather missed items.

2. this game reminds me of metroid mixed with a touch of megaman in that you do a fair amount of backtracking mixed in with acquiring the bosses weapons 2/3 of the time.

overall, i reccomend it, but not for full price. it doesnt take long to beat.
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10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
For an indie game, this must have taken a lot of work because it really shows. The graphics are pretty standard but the art direction and effects are what the game is all about. All of the environments are decorated with amazing pieces, from enemies to awesome looking glowing things coming out of the walls. The boss battles are well thought out and the level design is pretty good. The ship you control is very cool. The weapons and items that you get to help you through the game are all very well thought out and fun to use. The sound is fitting and the music is moody and atmospheric. You fly around above water and underwater and the transition is very smooth. Nothing feels generic, it feels like a lot of time and care went into making this exactly how they wanted it. Am having a ton of fun with it the whole time so far.

8/10
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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
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
This is a fun little 2D exploration puzzle shooter. It has a lot of simple elements that mix things up often enough to keep things interesting. Some times you'll be shooting bad guys, other times you'll be doing tricky tunnel navigation, other times you'll be mixing and matching tools to solve not-too-complex puzzles, and sometimes you'll even have boss fights. The game can be mildly frustrating on occasion, but it never feels unfair. Normally it means you're approaching a challenge in the wrong way, or lack a tool that will make it solvable or much easier. I wouldn't say it's worth it at full price, but it is worth checking out.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 28, 2014
This game is awesome. I played it with a controller and it worked fine (except on one of the bosses where I needed extremely precise aiming). The boss fights are difficult, but pretty interesting, each one featuring the tool the most in that section (which is what a boss fight should be). The world is plenty large, and the different areas all have their own aesthetic feel, weapon and tool type focus, and monsters (not always completely different monsters but almost always re-skinned). There's puzzle elements, exploration elements, and combat/agility elements (including user-guided missiles).

I had a blast playing it, and had just enough difficult moments for me to keep me on my toes every so often (especially with bosses).
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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
7.7 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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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
Absolutely beautiful. Fun to play with a friend.
8/10
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 1, 2014
I never put much thought into this game when first seeing it and having it gifted and sitting there in the Steam Library before for some time befor I ever thought to try it out. And I'm rather happy that I did. The game offers a neat space exploration idea with you avdenturing through the Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and picking up weapons, upgrades and fighting massive bosses along the way. It has alot of creativity for the way each part of the planet feels different and artsy style of the game has some real charm to keep you attracted to not only your doing in the main game, but really feeling your tiny scale ship in such a massively scaled planet. It might not win game of year, but it delivers some great fun, creative puzzles and even a bit of multiplayer if you can get lucky to find more people online. Check it out if your ever curious. ^-^

Later,
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
Interesting puzzle game!!! Not hard and small but enjoyable experience.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
This was a really fun short adventure/strategy game. It's kind of like a modern metroid except with a space ship and if Tim Burton were to be the creative director. It only took about 7 hours to complete.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
A lovely game. Thoroughly enjoyable to play. The graphics are smooth and the artistry is beautiful. The puzzles are not too hard; I only had to look up help on one of them. A highly recommended purchase.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
Very mysterious and intriguing game. Will give you just enough to make you want to explore every damn corner of the map. It's a very imaginative game, and it will tell you a story without a single word.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
Beautiful.

All aspects of the game seem well thought-out and polished.

Manages to marry modern graphics and animation with old school 2D gameplay style, which I found refreshing as most recent 2D indie games are riding the retro pixel graphics wave.

I liked how there's not a word of in-game text or speech, no tutorials, yet it manages to communicate everything it needs to.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
This was a very fun little twin-stick-shooter/2D adventure game. The puzzles were very fun, and the exploration of the really creative environments was wonderful. However, the comat was mediocre, some segments were unecessarily frustrating, and the bosses are just boring. Overall, though, the fantastic design, exploration and puzzles of the game are far more commonplace than any combat which is actually necessary, making this game a lot of fun.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
This is a fun puzzle platformer, where you search for missing parts to your ship to help you interact with the world. The visuals are also fun and creepy at times.
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