As wondrous as the game is visually, though, it’s too short...even by arcade standards. Four hours should be more than enough to get through all of the worlds and complete the campaign.
Co-op is a bit of a bust, too. The concept is solid...it just doesn’t provide a lasting appeal. The only mode so far is called “Lantern Run”. Four players can play shared screen, online, or any combination therein. Everyone chooses a color, then grabs a lantern at the start and traverses an alternating pattern of tunnels and caverns. A tentacle monster slowly advances, adding quite a bit of intensity to the scramble. Increasingly difficult enemies spawn in the caverns, which serve as short survival style matches to keep everyone busy until the barrier can be removed. Players are provided only with the phaser gun and claw tools, so don’t expect to see the more complex enemies - just enough to make you drop your lantern for a minute and blast a few aliens.
A solitary player desperately avoids the tentacle monster in Lantern Run mode
What’s lacking in the co-op mode isn’t vision nor support, because the gameplay is tight, the action is fun, and the crossover between local and online players is always a plus. Unfortunately there’s very little reason to play the mode. Getting through 19 caverns gets you an Achievement or Trophy, and your score can be posted to an online leaderboard...beyond that, it’s just a distraction from the real meat of the game (the campaign), which is ironically too brief.
Too short, and not enough co-op. But for 1200 I’m not going to skewer Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet with its own shortcomings. I’ve utterly loved playing it, and I look forward to exploring every inch of the map in time. I eagerly await news of whatever this studio is working on next.
The Co-Op Experience: Team up with friends through the game's co-op "Lantern Run" mode which involves a tactical approach to lighting and surviving.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.