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Posted On 6/7/2012
In Nanu Planet, you play a pig-like alien explorer who, in the process of crash-landing on a strange planet, gets separated from your sweetie, whom you spend the game trying to find.
The planet, like Korea, is divided into two hostile countries, with a demilitarized zone between them; you land in the DMZ. Theoretically, the game is teaching you something about the history and current state of Korea's division (the game was funded by a Korean government agency and Samsung); however, the connection to the real world is fairly notional, and it's best considered as a charming, if somewhat awkward, graphic adventure.
It's graphically beautiful, in a Manhwa style, and the writing slight but charming. It has two issues, however. First, the mouse-over hinting of items with which you can interact is awkward; quite often, something is visible on the screen with which you can, in fact, interact -- but only after you move closer, and no hinting occurs until you are standing in the right place.. It's frustrating and awkward to wander all over the place, mouse-hunting for interactions at each location; it would have been far better to have all interactable items detectable, with a system of hinting that you need to be closer when necessary.
Second, each scene is a fairly substantial Flash load, and the pipes between Asia and the rest of the world are the wonkiest on the Internet; expect both long load times, and the occasional unexpected break, with the game hanging and no ability to proceed. You can always reload, but while the game does come in "chapters," and you can restart from the beginning of the last chapter, these save points are few and far between, making it somewhat difficult to play through entirely. (I imagine that Korean players do not have this issue.)
Nanu Planet is a 2012 Games for Change nominee in the Knight News Game category.