If there’s one thing that remains constant in Shattered Planet
, it’s that you’re going to die, and die a lot. Indeed, in this particular subset of the RPG genre, it’s not a matter of if you’re going to die, but just a matter of when. Shattered Planet
, as a space themed dungeon crawler, embraces the inevitability of death, taunting the player to conquer just one more floor before sealing their impending doom.
As an isometric rogue-like adventure, Shattered Planet
looks and plays very well. The character sprites and environments are beautifully detailed, though the game lacks variety somewhat in the number of tile-sets and enemy types. Similar to other games in the genre, combat is turn based, with the usual array of weapons, armor, and potions one would expect. The main game mode, Explorer, throws the player into an infinite dungeon, and though each floor itself is short, the descent into the dungeon is effectively endless. When the player succumbs to their inevitable death, all items found in the dungeon are lost, though currency is found on each run to spend in the waiting area on upgrades and character development, or the player can spin a random item wheel with 3 potential tiers. Unfortunately, there is no real crafting system present, nor the ability to sell accumulated junk to for currency.
Being an adaptation of a mobile port, the micro-transaction currency shop has been removed, though the mobile version is marketed as free to play. At times, collecting currency to upgrade can seem to be frustratingly slow, as once you are teleported back to the main area, you will more than likely spend that currency obtaining new weapons, armor, and items for the next run. The class variety is also somewhat narrow, with the only differentiation being a different starting bonus that wears off rather quickly. While players receive experience and items for “identifying” new things found along each new run, it’s apparent that the variety of dungeon types and item-sets is limited. After a few runs, everything begins to blend in and seem a bit familiar, leading to that undesirable tedium so often loathed as the “grind”.
That’s not to say Shattered Planet
is not a fun game in its own right. Despite the lack of variety in the content, what’s there is well done and quite polished. You might see the bulk of what Shattered Planet
has to offer fairly quickly, but it’s enjoyable along the way. Though there are five different player characters, they’re all similar enough that they essentially only differ in character sprites. Of course, you could play through multiple times with different characters, but there doesn’t feel to be any reason to do so without more clearly a defined delineation between the classes. The lack of a crafting system in Shattered Planet
really feels like a missed opportunity.
Though it has its roots as a mobile game, Shattered Planet
is a surprisingly fun for what’s there. While it may be one of the more stylistic rogue-likes to come out recently, the game would benefit greatly from additional content at its current $14.99 asking price.
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