A good rhythm game can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying play experiences you can have. Hitting every beat just right can, in a single tap, be both utterly simple and fiendishly challenging - a fact Planet Quest seems to understand perfectly.
In many ways Planet Quest is the quintessential rhythm game. One tap controls all of the action, with your only goal being to drum on the screen in time with the beat. What makes it special, however, is how it takes this base mechanic and then tweaks and polishes it to create something that just makes you smile.
Of course, the most important element of this genre is its music. Planet Quest’s selection of original tunes cover a range of styles, but all have two things in common; they are amazing, and they have a solid beat that prove the backbone of the game. Incidentally, that last point is also why you can't stop tapping your foot while you play.
The accompanying visuals are similarly well matched. A strong illustrative style sees you in command of a little UFO hovering above a planet that is slowly rotating beneath. Various animals and people pop up on the surface below, leaving you to time your taps to zap them as they pass by.
A well timed zap sees you rewarded with a "Perfect!" prompt, providing instantaneous feedback and building your score multiplier. However, missing or accidentally vaporizing one of the flowers that appear causes you lose your combo and take a hit to your 3 lives. It may sound simple, but you will quickly find your lives slipping away as you tap through the various levels. Fortunately, well timed taps replenishes your energy creating a tense push-pull to stay in the game.
To really mix things up, stages appear in a random order. One moment you might find yourself on a stage with a hard jarring beat in a monochrome area that regular has the planet disappearing against the black of the background, before cutting a soothing reggae beat on a beautiful planet with a huge face on it. It’s surreal, but it leads to a constantly changing, unpredictable challenge, even after multiple replays.
Bar the long adverts you have to sit through if you don't pay to stop them, there is very little to fault about Planet Quest's tight rhythm gameplay. Indeed, my only complaint is that it is so involving - demanding so much focus and immersion into its single simple task - that you can quickly find yourself getting lost in it, resulting in that fearful question, "Wait, was that my stop?"