Twisty Planets: See the World from a New Angle
Tricks of perspective have long been a staple of puzzles and games. We live in a three-dimensional world, so even when our canvases are as flat as can be, we still try to capture the depth that is part of our everyday reality. Traditionally, our perspective is fixed to whatever angle the artist or photographer has chosen. This can make for fun challenges as objects can be obscured that would be incredibly obvious were we able to shift our view. It can also make for frustration, particularly in video games.
Twisty Planets doesn’t force a singular perspective on you, but it does limit the number of angles you can view each world from. By shifting between the various viewpoints, you can see everything. You may not be able to see it from exactly the perspective you want, but it’s all there in front of you. The trick is that you’re not just shifting a disembodied camera. You’re moving the courses themselves. Rotating left and right is safe enough, but trying to move the view in any other direction can be very risky as your little character Qub might slip off into space.
You have to think carefully before you make any moves like that, but you can’t see everything unless you do. One of the first things you’ll learn to do in Twisty Planets is to find safe ledges for Qub that allow you to shift the course without making him fall. You also need to be mindful of where Qub will be able to go after you’ve twisted things around. Qub can hop up a height of one block, but any more than that is too much for the little fellow. It’s important to think about the next move at all times.
That aspect makes Twisty Planets seem like a pure puzzle game, but there are also some elements that require quick action — like springboards. They’ll launch Qub up in the sky, giving you a brief span of time to shift the course before he lands. The farther into the game you go, the wider the range of skills you’ll need to succeed. Each course also has a target time to aim for, which adds another more action-oriented goal to try to achieve.
Still, it’s important to always think before you move in this game. Haste will inevitably lead to Qub taking a nasty spill. He’ll quickly respawn, but it will cost you one of the stars you’ve collected. If you don’t have any stars to spare, you’ll be set back to the beginning of the course. Since stars are required for unlocking later areas, you’ll probably want to avoid losing them unnecessarily anyway. You don’t need to get every star, which puts progression within reach of any player while testing the mettle of those looking for a stiffer challenge.
Trying to collect all of the stars in each course is a tricky task, and it’s one that gives Twisty Planets quite a bit of longevity. Simply grabbing one star and heading to the goal is a breezy, yet enjoyable experience that allows you to enjoy the sights and sounds of Qub’s adventure without testing you too much. It’s a fun way to make your way through the game for the first time, but you’ll want to make sure to swing back around and try to get all of the stars. That’s where the true brilliance of the level designs shine through. Each course was built to be beaten, after all. Rather quickly, in some cases. You just have to figure out how, and that process of learning and discovery is something that Twisty Planets shares with the greats of the genre.
In short, Twisty Planets has something to offer players no matter what their level of skill may be. The core mechanic of turning and twisting the courses around is easily understood but difficult enough to require a bit of thinking ahead. The fact that it’s all so cute and colorful is just a cherry on top of the sundae. Qub is so expressive that even without a lot of direct storytelling, you still want to see him succeed. And so you return to the courses that stumped you and twist them around a bit more, hoping to find that shining light that will take Qub a little closer to his freedom.