*Originally published in The Argus Friday, September 21, 2018*
Freedom Planet is a 2D action platformer with gorgeous 16-bit era graphics that’ll have you feeling waves of nostalgia. The game gives off an instant familiarity to classics such as Sonic the Hedgehog and that’s no coincidence as the game originally began development as a Sonic the Hedgehog fan game before being re-conceived as an original work. The stylings of Chinese artist Ziyo Ling gives the game a unique look focusing more on an East Asian theme. The colourful cast certainly makes for a more original feel to the game with its fully voiced cutscenes found in “Adventure Mode”.
Unlike platformers of the past, Freedom Planet boasts a dramatic storyline that makes transitioning from stage to stage a more fleshed out experience. You can, of course, choose to go “Classic Mode” and forego all the story elements the game has to offer. The gameplay itself can certainly hold its own with its sprawling level design, endless hidden secrets and plenty of collectables. There’s always something new to find on each playthrough. Each stage strikes a good balance of basic platforming, puzzle elements and enemies. The game constantly keeps you on your toes.
To keep things interesting you can also play the game as one of three characters, each with their own unique style and set of skills. One of the great things about Freedom Planet is that the game is never overly punishing but still manages to maintain a good level of difficulty within its stages. The game’s East Asian influences bring with it a visual style that works wonderfully in 16-bit graphics. Each stage is filled to the brim with gorgeous landscapes and multi-scrolling backdrops. The soundtrack only adds to the nostalgia trip that Freedom Planet evokes and makes for an all-round pleasant experience.
Freedom Planet is a fun platformer that strikes just the right balance of difficulty. There’s a good amount of replayability to be had too with all the collectables and hidden areas to uncover. Once you’ve managed to do all that it’s a great game to speedrun.