Lovely Planet is an enigma.
On the surface, the game is cute, bright, colorful, and has one of the best produced soundtracks I've ever heard, taking major influence from J-pop and various production styles like it. It looks adorable, it feels adorable, it is adorable.
Then you start playing it.
This game is a first person shooter that is essentially a very cute target practice sim. You need to haul it as fast as you can through various obstacles to the ending pole, shooting any and every red enemy that you see, while avoiding shooting at the blue ones. You run pretty fast, you jump very high, and you have infinite ammo in your block shooting gun. No enemies take more than one hit to kill, and only one type will shoot back at you; shooting the bullets they shoot kills them as well as stops the bullet. You have three objectives to get stars at the end of the game; beat the level (duh), beat a minimum time they give you, and have 100% accuracy on all of your shots. Sounds decently straightforward, right? That's because it is, in theory.
The first world is decently easy. However, even in this world expectations are quite high; a lot of the levels I beat the minimum time by few milliseconds, just because it's so fast paced. This might just be me being bad at the game and not being fast enough, because a lot of the world records are half the average speed. However, as angry and frustrated at both yourself and the game you get, you're never genuinely mad, because of how cute and fun the world around you is. Beat a 10 second minimum level in 9.997 seconds? That sucks, but holy sh*t this soundtrack!
The second world adds a new mechanic into the game; you need to shoot apples (tomatoes? large red bean bags?) before they hit the ground. Now, this would be very easy if your bullets had normal bullet physics; however, they move at a consist speed, about the same speed you run. So, if you need to shoot one of these things from a good distance as it's falling down, you need to aim your bullet down just above the ground so it'll collide into it. This is not as easy as it sounds, and I've had amazing runs destroyed because the apple hit the ground a few frames before the bullet hit. However, as all this difficulty stacks up and starts to become extremely frustrating, the amazing soundtrack just slowly washes it all away.
Is this game relaxing, fun, and a good takeaway from stress and other more violent and dark games? Absolutely.
Is this game frustrating, rage-inducing, and the bane of speedrunners everywhere? Absolutely.