Generally favorable reviews - based on 76 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 76
  2. Negative: 0 out of 76
  1. Aug 14, 2011
    It's a well-polished side scrolling adventure in an amazing world, filled with wonderfully weird environments and creatures.
  2. Sep 1, 2011
    The only thing insane here would be your failure to download this game.
  3. Aug 1, 2011
    Fuelcell Games displays a savant-like grasp of the material they've created, and the result is easily one of 2011's best games.
  4. Aug 2, 2011
    When you sit down with Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, you're in for a visual feast, colorful, foreboding, intriguing, and worth every penny. And thankfully, the gameplay is solid. Gange's art is fantastic and even if you don't have fun, you'll probably be compelled through the game just to see what the next area or boss fight is like.
  5. Aug 18, 2011
    A game for all ages to enjoy. That is the rarest kind of game to behold these days, and each game that fits this description is a treasure to be respected.
  6. Aug 3, 2011
    With its outstanding design and smart puzzles, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet takes you on a ride through creator Michel Gagnés vivid imagination. The end result is a Metroidvania styled game that's well worth its 1200 MS Points.
  7. Aug 2, 2011
    For 1200msp you get an engaging adventure that is lovingly-crafted, full of charm and invention from the very start. There are a few frustrations, but rarely does Insanely feel unbalanced or unforgiving.
  8. Aug 4, 2011
    Sound and music are spot on – crank up the volume! With Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and its strong atmosphere, the Summer of Arcade once again delivers one of the best Arcade titles of the year.
  9. Aug 18, 2011
    Given the relatively short game length (even for an XBLA title) and little incentive for replay, I think 800 points would have been a much fairer asking price. Regardless, this is one XBLA title you don't want to miss.
  10. Sep 23, 2011
    Although you might not get much else out of the game once it has been completed, the journey there is fun and at times a challenging one.
  11. Aug 1, 2011
    What makes this so immersive is the extraordinary animation and artwork. Everything feels alive, from the pulsating creatures that line the walls, to the slick and swift movement of the boss creatures.
  12. Aug 3, 2011
    Draws you into its unfamiliar terrain with a great sense of atmosphere and fosters experimentation with varied tools and fascinating situations. It's a fairly brief excursion, but it's worth the journey.
  13. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 19, 2011
    A very good cave shoot 'em up in the vein of PixelJunk: Shooter. The dark and simple graphical style is quite striking, if not original - Patapon, anyone? [Sept 2011]
  14. Aug 17, 2011
    You've seen these gimmicks in other games, so it's ultimately a familiar grammar involving water, gravity, light beams, and so forth. The charm comes from the execution and the funky artwork.
  15. Aug 1, 2011
    Even in the few sections of ITSP that ape the Metroid series more directly, it rarely falls flat simply because the formula is so solid. The game really excels when it changes things up with puzzles and boss fights.
  16. Aug 1, 2011
    Visual, audio and narrative tones are all in harmony for this short but memorable journey.
  17. Aug 23, 2011
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a far cry from revolutionary (though it hardly seeks to be), and it's too linear and shallow an adventure for a game banking on the appeal of Metroid. Nevertheless, it's a tasty hors d'oeuvre that teases with sheer beauty and some clever gameplay concepts in the later areas. Its appeal is greater than the sum of its parts, even if it does leave you wanting more.
  18. Aug 9, 2011
    An amazing adventure full of charm and invention that's well worth its 1200 MS Points.
  19. Dec 15, 2011
    A good exploratory shooter game pleasing you by its engaging gameplay, stylish art and specific atmosphere. If you want to take a breather, you do not want to play anything big and you need to relax – this game is perfect for you.
  20. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Sep 19, 2011
    A multi-directional adventure that plays almost as good as it looks. [Nov 2011, p.110]
  21. games(TM)
    Sep 13, 2011
    One of those games where the satisfaction is drawn as much from exploring the world as it is from attaining absolute victory. [Issue#113, p.116]
  22. Sep 10, 2011
    There isn't too much to say about Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet; it's a very solid exploratory adventure title that's needs a bit more length to justify a full-priced purchase of. Excellent art and music really bring the world to life, and a multiplayer mode that can eat up an hour or so of time, if you're so inclined makes a pretty good game that I'd casually recommend.
  23. Sep 9, 2011
    At first you think Shadow Planet is all about the original looks, but the more you play, the more you realise this game gives your brain enough complex situations to keep you occupied for hours on end.
  24. Aug 24, 2011
    ITSP is undoubtedly a work of art, even if you only based that evaluation on its unique and beautiful visuals. But the rest of the package more than carries its own weight, especially the design and variation amongst the bad guys and some of the level design.
  25. 80
    An astonishingly well made forray into the Metroidvania genre with beautiful, original graphics and wonderful atmosphere.
  26. 80
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a great platformer / twin stick shooter hybrid game that I can safely recommend to anyone who has a fine appreciation for great artistic design and competent gameplay design.
  27. Aug 15, 2011
    Insanely Twisted? Maybe not, but it's definitely entertaining enough to be worthy of the name Ultimately Excellent Shadow Planet: a fantastic adventure for anyone enticed by the thrill of exploration.
  28. Aug 14, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  29. Aug 14, 2011
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a memorable title during a summer of incredible arcade games.
  30. Aug 12, 2011
    Seamlessly combining minimalist presentation with intuitive puzzle design, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet makes great use of the Metroid formula.
  31. Aug 11, 2011
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is good fun, with striking visuals and a great setting. A few issues keep it from being totally brilliant though.
  32. Aug 9, 2011
    The game screams of style and has the gameplay to back it up. With the recent announcement of a co-op DLC campaign I am stoked to return to this twisted locale.
  33. Aug 8, 2011
    I would recommend that anyone who likes the Metroid style of exploratory gameplay try it out though - you'll probably enjoy it a lot.
  34. Aug 8, 2011
    The artistic direction of ITSP drew me in a dream, even though I was expecting a better storyline, and a tiny bit more out of the title overall. The gameplay remains solid, supporting an adventure with a nice blend of action and puzzle-solving sequences.
  35. Aug 5, 2011
    The boss fights showcase the game's weapons-based puzzle solving well, and no more so than the final boss.
  36. Aug 5, 2011
    This game successfully blends shoot'em up mechanics with Metroid-esque design, using cleverly the two analogue sticks, and although it is a bit short, it compensates for it with a multiplayer mode.
  37. Aug 3, 2011
    Summer Arcade 2011 goes on and this time a crazy action platform 2D will blow your mind with its vintage and crazy style.
  38. Aug 3, 2011
    Won't tax your skills much, but makes for a fun and easygoing ride while it lasts.
  39. Aug 1, 2011
    And while some nagging design annoyances and control issues permeate the game, its incredible, whacked-out art style does a lot to carry the experience.
  40. Aug 1, 2011
    The stylish visuals compliment the well-executed action, resulting in a game that resembles past SOA favorites Limbo and Shadow Complex.
  41. Aug 1, 2011
    An engaging, sometimes cerebral experience that transforms familiar genre elements and lumps in spectacular art design for a sharp single-player experience.
  42. Aug 1, 2011
    The game is solid in its mechanics to the point where it would be worth playing even if it were butt-ugly. If Bastion isn't quite what you've been looking for in the latest download bunch, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet may turn out to be the blackest, shiniest gem in the Summer of Arcade for you.
  43. Aug 1, 2011
    Begins stupendously, kicking things off with a visually stunning, orchestral bang. Its first moments are truly captivating, introducing a planet that is both hostile and inviting -- a world that begs to be explored.
  44. Aug 1, 2011
    It's worth playing for any fan of the genre, but it isn't the brightest star in the sky.
  45. Aug 1, 2011
    A brief but striking title, one that doesn't outstay its welcome, perfectly pitched at the digital market.
  46. Aug 1, 2011
    Leaves you wanting more. With such a well-conceived and beautiful world to explore, it's a shame we can't spend more time in it. But a great short game is more welcome than a mediocre long one.
  47. 80
    It's a dense, intelligent game, and we felt smart for having finish[ed] it. [Sept 2011, p.78]
  48. Aug 19, 2011
    With its well crafted, cleverly designed levels and impressively high production values, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a 'must play'... but like that fanciful Friday night party, such a pity that it's all over too soon.
  49. CD-Action
    Aug 31, 2011
    Fuelcell Games managed to create a really memorable game. Planet's tunnels are varied and surprise you with something weird all the time. Exploring this world is the most important aspect of the whole experience. Shooting constitutes for about 1/3 of the gameplay, leaving a lot of room for thinking and coming up with the ways to progress further. [Sept 2011, p.75]
  50. Aug 30, 2011
    A fun and enjoyable game. Sadly the mind-numbingly difficult side of things create the most hurt against it.
  51. Aug 24, 2011
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet offers some fun puzzles and way too easy bosses. Its unique art style definitely makes it worth playing but the familiar gameplay, as seen in dozens of older games, disable the game from being something truly special.
  52. Aug 8, 2011
    While the campaign could use more of that urgency, ITSP is a perfectly polished, bite-size shooter that returns us, however briefly, to a long-neglected sector of the gaming universe.
  53. 75
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet's biggest boon is that tries to do something different, and it does it well. It falters early on with unintuitive tutorial sections - at a time in the game where it needs to be as intuitive as possible - but this forces the player into the deep end, and it's probably not a terrible thing considering how the game plays out.
  54. Aug 1, 2011
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet immerses you in its alien world, but frequent mechanical problems lead to frustration.
  55. 72
    If there was just a bit more content in the game, and if the focus was more on solving puzzles, I have no doubt that this would be a huge hit.
  56. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Sep 19, 2011
    That isn't to say that ITSP isn't brilliantly designed or fun, but it eventually suffers from lacking an incentive to tackle its puzzles. [Issue#76, p.103]
  57. Sep 12, 2011
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is an afternoons worth of mildly entertaining exploration and bug blasting, but doesn't leave much of a lasting impression.
  58. Despite the fact that Shadow Planet is an exploration game that doesn't have enough to explore, the charm of the visual style, the ambience of the world and the silent communication itself makes the short journey completely pleasurable. Just be aware that you're dropping a tenner on something pretty that won't fill an evening.
  59. Aug 25, 2011
    If you liked Shadow Complex two years ago, then you should like Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.
  60. Aug 23, 2011
    A side scrolling space puzzle shooter that borrows a lot from Pixeljunk Shooter-series. A bit clumsy equipment system and sometimes hard to know what to do, but still a great cozy experience.
  61. Aug 14, 2011
    Should you find yourself with an abundance of MS points this summer and not much to play, you could still do worse than give this a whirl.
  62. Aug 12, 2011
    A good "metroidvania-style" adventure game, but its structure is a little bit too simple for the category. The level design is awesome, but the lack of a real challenge transforms a potentially great experience in something too flat for an hardcore gamer. Anyway, the game is still pretty good, and if you like Metroid-style adventures, you definitely have to try it.
  63. 70
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet follows in the footsteps of games like Super Metroid and Shadow Complex. Even though it's not as deep, it's still good entertainment with a lot of discovering to do for a couple of hours.
  64. Aug 8, 2011
    Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is a puzzle-arcade game with some shooting elements and as such is a job well done. It satisfies but does not enchant. It seems that the game would be better if the developers focused more either on the puzzle side or on the shooting side. The game's strongest moments are its looks and boss fights but you need to remember that a trip to this interesting world won't last longer than one afternoon.
  65. Aug 5, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  66. Aug 4, 2011
    The game has its good aspects, but it's a bit far away from what it pretended to be, mainly due to the lack of fresh ideas and its repetitive gameplay. A fun game with an interesting multiplayer, but not as good as it should be.
  67. Games Master UK
    Sep 25, 2011
    Super-responsive controls make your ship tricky to fly and the game, though a tad pricey, isn't short of nice visual ideas. [Nov 2011, p.91]
  68. Aug 9, 2011
    A little less hand holding when it comes to map exploration would have made the experience a tad more interesting for me, and while I can't deny that the visuals look nice, the effect being used is certainly starting to get a little tired the more I see it pop up in digital releases.
  69. Aug 1, 2011
    The emphasis on twitch action means that gamers looking for a surreal puzzle experience are going to be put off, while the short length and straightforward mental challenges make the 1,200 Microsoft points ($15) price tag seem a little steep for the hardcore. If you're a sucker for the visual flair, go ahead and jump on this one; otherwise, it's probably best to wait for a sale before purchasing.
  70. Aug 18, 2011
    An interesting 2D shooter with a few intriguing boss battles and an art style very similar to the Pixel Junk series. On the other hand, it feels very repetitive and some puzzles are just trying to "buy time" for the campaign.
  71. Aug 9, 2011
    A beautiful disappointment – a great look in search of a great game to go with it. The genre template may be rock solid, but the end result is an adventure that's been strung across a fault line.
  72. Aug 4, 2011
    Unfortunately a complete lack of characterisation, derivative gameplay, and a difficulty setting that's clearly meant to make a winner out of even the most incompetent makes Shadow Planet 2011 Xbox Summer of Arcade's first inessential release.
  73. 60
    It copies and borrows from the best - and often very well - but competence is no substitute for character in this forgettable 2D adventure.
  74. Aug 2, 2011
    What's left is the nucleus of a Metroidvania game, mechanically functional and regularly interesting, but a shadow of its inspiration nonetheless.
  75. Aug 1, 2011
    Scores points for its moments of genuine cleverness and tight, logical design, but the majority of the experience is a lukewarm and superficial one. It tries to merge three types of gameplay together, and while the intention is admirable, the effort made is far from total.
  76. Oct 17, 2011
    The fusing of puzzles, Metroidvania and a the film noir aesthics create a very alien, yet familiar world to travel in. It becomes a bit boring in places, but overall the journey is a fascinating one.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 46
  2. Negative: 4 out of 46
  1. Aug 9, 2011
    This is an extremelly addictive, beautiful and innovative game. The campaign is awesome, providing many great gameplay levels, solid puzzlesThis is an extremelly addictive, beautiful and innovative game. The campaign is awesome, providing many great gameplay levels, solid puzzles and artistically beautiful backgrounds - which are extremelly varied. To add more, it provides a multiplayer mode called 'Lantern Run' which is a very fun team focused mode that is guaranteed to keep you playing for hours. The only reason why I gave it a 9 and not a 10 is because some of the backtracking gets really tedious after a while (and you have to do quite a bit of it during the campaign [well, i did]), but this does NOT detract from the main enjoyable experience of this game. Full Review »
  2. Aug 9, 2011
    I'm surprised at the scores this game is getting from critics. I expected them to be much higher. So far this is the best summer of arcadeI'm surprised at the scores this game is getting from critics. I expected them to be much higher. So far this is the best summer of arcade game released this year. It's a metroid-vania style game, of which there are far to few. The game is absolutely beautiful. The campaign is hard to put down once you pick it up. The controls are exactly what you want them to be. The weapons are all distinct and original. The co-op mode is hard to put down. The only fault I can find with the game are the story cinematics you unlock while collecting artifacts throughout the game. They're so short it feels like the game would be better off without them This fault is so minor though, the rest of the game more than makes up for it. Full Review »
  3. Aug 6, 2011
    ITSP campaign looks fantastic but If want something to play with your friends, this is what you are looking for. Lantern Run is a fast pacedITSP campaign looks fantastic but If want something to play with your friends, this is what you are looking for. Lantern Run is a fast paced shoot em up that keeps the player saying, "One more time!" This game will keep me satisfied for this summer of arcage. Full Review »