Freedom Planet demo – Sonic-inspired indie game
The demo for Freedom Planet, the currently under-development game from indie developer Galaxy Trail was released yesterday. Freedom Planet is a game that is heavily influenced by the Sonic the Hedgehog games, and it wears that inspiration on its sleeve. The main character is named Lilac, who is – appropriately enough – a lilac colored … hedgehog? (There is a second playable character named Carol as well with some different play elements, including a punch flurry. She is available in the Freedom Planet demo by finishing the level in under six minutes checking out the Freedom Planet Facebook) I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matters. What matters is that, even in this first demo, the gameplay is pretty solid. In Freedom Planet, Lilac has the ability to curl into a ball, much like Sonic, although she can only do so when moving. In lieu of Sonic’s crouching charge, Lilac builds up an energy meter as you run quickly, allowing her to do a jump boost that shoots her in the direction you indicate. The game has probably the most important element of a Sonic game down – the speed. When you get moving, it all feels very satisifying, and the Freedom Planet demo is quite lengthy (my first play through was well over 10 minutes, and that was not even quite to the end) with a number of different paths to explore, one of the most frequently cited examples of what made the Sonic games on the Genesis so good. The graphics are spot on as well. The sprites are large, colorful, and nicely detailed. The game is still under development, so some small issues crop up here and there, but it’s really already in a pretty polished, and certainly quite playable state. The other thing that really sets Freedom Planet apart from Sonic is that Lilac has the ability to do a punch as well as a ‘rising uppercut’ type move to damage enemies. This too some getting used to, as I kept looking for Sonic’s spin-dash to no avail, forgetting I had the option to simply engage in fisticuffs. I also got stuck briefly when I had to do a puzzle to pass through a door, although that was more a lack of lateral thinking on my fault than any problem in the game. Still, the game is at its best when it is letting you move fast, and it is certainly coming together very nicely. The full game of Freedom Planet promises a fully voiced story mode (although there is a Classic mode for an ‘old school Genesis’ feel) as well as mini-games and lots of bosses. You can check out the official page for more information about Freedom Planet and to download the demo.
Has anyone else checked out the Freedom Planet demo? What do you think? Do you like the idea of a 2D Sonic revival?