Release Date: 1 December 2015
Planet Diver is an infinite runner (or rather an infinite faller) from Fabraz. You take on the role of an adrenaline junkie who’s decided that her latest kick is to dive down very deep holes on alien planets. Dragging your AI robot cube ‘Buddy’ along for the ride, you leap headfirst to the centre of a planet and whatever awaits you, which usually turns out to be something not particularly friendly.
Diving is simple: you progressively fall towards the planet’s centre, moving left or right to avoid rocks, enemies, fire and other hazards. Along with this, you can also move down, which acts as a speed boost and initially as an attack, and up, which slows you and allows you to pass through falling objects. You have a limited number of dashes which you can recharge by braking, but the star bit collectables you can accumulate are worth more the faster you travel. Thus, there’s a risk vs. reward element too.
So far, so standard. Where Planet Diver stands out is in its selection of mods and outfits. The currency you collect whilst falling allows you to buy a bunch of interesting items. Whilst outfits just change your look and your dashing animation (for example, the ‘Bounty Hunter’ which turns you into a Morph Ball whilst dashing) the mods can completely change the way you play.
Maybe you’ll pick up the ‘Gunslinger Mod’, that means your dash is no longer an attack but instead when you brake you release a wave of damaging beams. Or maybe the ‘No Manual Mod’ is more to your liking: use it, and you’ll gain an additional health bar and dash bar but lose the UI! Each of the mods really changes up the way you play the game, and means there’s lots of variety.
In terms of game modes, there is a story of 75 different missions, each with differing goals spread out across the three planets. When you get through each planet you unlock the next one: not only in the story but also in the arcade mode which acts as your infinite level generator.
Planet Diver has been released on Steam and iOS/Android: whilst this is often a black mark against a game, in this case it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference other than the relatively simple controls. The Steam version has the microtransactions removed, and whilst I haven’t tried the mobile version reviews seem to be positive.
Whilst the infinite runner style game can get very dull very fast, Planet Diver has plenty of features to give you good value for your money. With all of the different mods (and a few surprises that I won’t spoil) the game is a lot of fun. The game also comes with a fantastic soundtrack, one of the best I’ve listened to in a long time.
Whilst it’s not going to be anyone’s Game of the Year, Planet Diver is a great fun and is probably a really good pick up, especially if you’re looking for something on mobile platforms.