In a summer full of less than thrilling game releases, the Xbox LIVE Arcade has come out with some great new titles to keep you entertained. Clever puzzles, hypnotizing artwork, and hella fun gameplay: meet Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.
There are few things in the world that I love more than robots and aliens. This game has given me both. The player explores the planet as an alien inside an adorable UFO that seems more like The Little Engine The Could instead of an invasion. The precocious flying saucer comes with a robotic arm that has various upgrades and attachments to help you navigate the dangerous surroundings. This non-linear, side-scroller relies heavily on its puzzle element. While there are frequent enemy packs to shoot through, the majority of the game tests your critical thinking skills.
What makes this seemingly basic game so captivating is its stylized environment. In a form we all remember from Limbo, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet brings a lot of eye-catching silhouettes but juxtaposes against amazingly vibrant colors and shapes.
There is also a multiplayer component that is brief but fulfilling. You and up to three friends can struggle down a linear path protecting objects and fighting enemies while earning as many points as possible. The key is communication. Correct placement of the lanterns, clearing obstacles, and defeating enemies requires constant team work. Make sure you play it with people who have mics and play well with others. There is a random XBL search to help you find other players, but that can be really unorganized and make the fun game more stressful.