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Video Game / Tasty Planet

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Tasty Planet is a 2006 video game developed by Canadian indie game developer Dingo Games, which is similar to the Katamari Damacy line, but with Grey Goo instead of the Katamari ball. You begin as a micrometer-sized bit of experimental gooey grey bathroom cleaner created by a pair of scientists, eating tiny dust particles, but get free, and continue consuming, growing to eat mice, people, buildings, asteroids, the Earth, stars, a black hole, the entire universe, and finally SPACE AND TIME ITSELF.

The game spawned a series of sequels and Spin Offs:

  • Tasty Planet: Back for Seconds: Released in 2010, it can be described as a version of the first game changed to involve time travel, in contrast to the first game's mundane present-time setting. It introduced multi-part levels, wherein once you reach a certain size, the game zooms out to reveal a bigger scene, and you find yourself small again with new things to eat.
  • Tasty Blue: A spin-off released in 2014 that features a layout similar to that of a Platform Game, where you play as a goldfish, a dolphin, and an experimental shark entity known as the "Nano-Shark", which was created by the same scientists as the Grey Goo. The overall gameplay and features are still similar to that of Back for Seconds.
  • Tasty Planet Forever: Released in 2018, this game consists of multiple "worlds", each with its own protagonist (including the Grey Goo) and gameplay style. The worlds have about ten normal levels each, plus a similar amount of bonus levels.

All games are available on PC through Steam, as well as on iOS and Android (with the first game being remastered for the latter two ports).

A condensed flash version of the first game can be found here. A flash version of Back for Seconds, titled Tasty Planet: Dinotime, can be found here.

The Tasty Planet series provides examples of:

  • Adorable Abomination: The Grey Goo is capable of becoming a Spacetime Eater. And looks like this.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: In Back for Seconds and Tasty Blue, the last level in each section (time period for Back for Seconds, character for Tasty Blue) is a concatenation of multiple levels from the whole section, with an added twist ending.
  • Alternate-History Dinosaur Survival: Invoked in Back for Seconds when the Grey Goo accidentally swallows a meteor that otherwise would have caused the dinosaurs to go extinct in the Mesozoic Era. This causes an alteration in the timeline, leading dinosaurs to suddenly appear in the present. As a bonus point, the scientists' lab cat seen in the game changes to a dinosaurian species.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Back for Seconds, as well as the mobile version of the first game, made it so that getting actually eaten is extremely unlikely, and in the latter, any entities that could eat you were changed to simply make you shrink, whereas in the PC version of the first game, some entities that are larger than you can actually eat you and cause you to fail the level. While this doesn't apply in hard variants, where Everything Trying to Kill You is in full force, see below.
    • Back for Seconds introduced an indicator that points towards offscreen deadly enemies. This means that provided you are paying attention, you can't accidentally ram one because it wasn't visible yet. This indicator became a stay in subsequent titles when playing on "Deadly" difficulty.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 0, then stepping from Class X through X-4. And then subverted when your Blob Monster becomes so powerful that in turns into a new Big Bang. Played straight in the sequel, though.
  • Art Evolution: The original version of the first game had a single art style for levels, cutscenes and the main menu, which involved rather rough drawings with thick lines and little shading. From Back to Seconds and the first game's remaster onwards, each game has an in-game style and a separate cutscene/menu style. While the former style remained consistent with outline-less figures and prominent shading, the latter had some considerable differences between games. The first two games had it as an improved version of the original art style with thinner outlines, larger amounts of shading, and a more polished look; in Tasty Blue it's more minimalistic in overall detail but otherwise has a more realistic approach; and Forever gives it its most realistic and detailed version overall.
  • Big Eater: The Grey Goo that you play as.
  • Blob Monster: The Grey Goo.
  • Brain in a Jar: In Back for Seconds, the scientists become these to survive until the blob appears in the future.
  • Canis Major:
    • In one Cat level in Forever, you escalate all the way from a complete inversion of the trope with "pico poodles" who are millimeters long and small enough to be eaten by roaches to car-sized "poodles maximus".
    • The Dingo in the same game eventually reaches this trope in size as he grows larger.
  • Captain Ersatz: In Back for Seconds, the Grey Goo eats "Monsterzilla", which causes the present day to be attacked by some suspiciously similar looking monsters, including a giant gorilla, a giant moth, and a dragon with three heads.
  • Clown-Car Base: Some levels exclusive to the Japanese release of Back for Seconds feature Ninjas coming out of a Cherry Blossom Tree.
  • Covers Always Lie: In the full version of the first game's remastered thumbnail, there is a blue car present in the bottom right among the objects being absorbed into the Grey Goo's mass, even though no blue cars appear in the actual game. There's also a building at the far right that doesn't resemble any of the ones seen in the game.
  • Cute Machines: It's a blob with cutesy eyes!
  • Cyberpunk: This is the theme of the Penguin's levels in Forever.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Happens at the end of Tasty Blue when the now-gigantic Nano-Shark eats the Earth's core.
  • Energy Being: Energy Entities appear in the Orbit levels of the original game. They're capable of eating things smaller than them, including the Grey Goo, and appear in two types: several-meter-sized green ones and much larger, tens-of-kilometers-sized purple ones.
  • Energy Weapon: In the Future time period in Back for Seconds, we have these not just on Tanks, but Ants, Rats, and Cats.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: In the ocean and cosmos, almost everything bigger than you will kill you. Same goes for the microscopic world and the cosmos in the sequel.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Technically, Ultimate Omnivore. There really isn't anything you can't eat, provided you're big enough.
  • Formally-Named Pet: In Back for Seconds, cats are given random individual names instead of being labelled as just "Cat". Sometimes the names get formal prefixes, resulting in names like "Ms. Kitty", "Mrs. Bitey", "Sir Pookie" or "Captain Patches".
  • Gaia's Lament: The Penguin levels in Forever take place in a Cyberpunk future where pollution is rampant, and Antartica has entirely melted.
  • Genre Blind: The scientists who created the blob have evidently never heard of the Grey Goo scenario.
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • A pair of scientists create a Grey Goo designed to eat dirt for use as a bathroom cleaner. Indeed, it eats dirt. All kinds of dirt. You think they noticed the planet we live on is named "Earth"?
    • In Tasty Blue, the scientists create the Nano-Shark to compete against and eventually eat the ever-growing Goldfish and Dolphin in order to save the world, with the same results as the Grey Goo. Given the ending cutscene, it appears that they were anticipating the consequences now, since they have a "Failsafe Mode" to presumably eliminate the Nano-Shark, but they were too late in doing so. Even then, it proves useless anyway, as it turns out that a penguin had bitten one of the wires in the Failsafe Mode's system.
    • In Forever, it's the older scientist's cousin who screws up with another of his creations, the experimental Parisian Cat, whom said cousin had sent out with the intention of cleaning the restaurant he and the younger scientist's cousin were working at in a similar manner to the Grey Goo. At least the Parisian Cat seems fine with only eating the entirety of Paris.
  • Green Aesop: Several times in Forever: the octopus is angry because his home was polluted, the bee is an experiment to prevent Colony Collapse Disorder that went wrong, the basking shark is furious after fishermen killed all others of his kind, and the penguin is Gaia's Revenge to fight back against a heavily polluted Cyberpunk future.
  • Grey Goo: Several of the protagonists are explicitly made of replicating nanomachines, including the series-iconic Grey Goo, the Nano-Shark from Tasty Blue, and the Parisian Cat from Forever.
  • Harder Than Hard: The "Deadly" difficulty from Tasty Blue and Forever is the highest selectable difficulty level, standing just above "Hard". Enemy projectiles now deal even more damage, and some contact damage now outright results in instant death.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: In Forever, the cat, rat, dingo and goo are "land", the octopus and the basking shark are "sea", and the penguin and the bee are "sky".
  • Made of Explodium: In the Sky and Orbit levels, planes and space shuttles will explode on contact with other planes/shuttles, hot air balloons, meteorites, the grey goo, kites, or even birds.
  • Marathon Level:
    • The 3 Endurance levels, the last of which requires 1 hour of concentration to beat.
    • The last level of Back for Seconds is far longer than any level before it. Gold medal time is 21 minutes 20 seconds!
  • Mega-Microbes: That eat galactic superclusters.
  • Nanomachines: The Grey Goo and the Nano-Shark.
  • No Name Given: All of the relevant characters in the series are referred to by generic terms rather than actual names, including humans like the scientists.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The grey goo was created with the sole purpose of absorbing anything smaller than itself, and so it does.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Run out of stuff to eat before the meter is full, and you get a special fail message saying there's nothing left to eat.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: Lampshaded by the scientists in Back for Seconds.
  • Planet Eater: The Earth (alongside the other planets in the Solar System) gets eaten at least Once an Episode.
  • Protection Mission: In the sequel, you allegedly have one of these in the Roman era, where you're supposed to protect five Ballistas from Roman Gladiators until you can eat them. But really, all you need is to maximize your meter. Even in you fail to protect them, it's still possible (though not easy) to win even in Timed Mode.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the original version of the first game, white blood cells have red eyes to indicate they can hurt the goo when touched, and only appear in the level that teaches you about that fact, fittingly enough. The remastered version removes the eyes and leaves the cells with a mere fluffball-like shape.
  • Reset Button: Back for Seconds starts off with the same scientists inventing the same Grey Goo, but this time it's just something the older scientist made out of boredom. Presumably, this is in the new multiverse.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Various of the No Sense of Mass type.
    • The goo is supposed to be able to eat anything smaller than itself, but sometimes what it can eat makes little sense. For example, it can eat entire sharks when it's less than a meter in diameter.
    • In Back for Seconds, the size you can eat something at is determined from what it looks like from the top down. Thus, you can eat humans at 35cm.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • The first game starts with you eating specks of dirt, and ends with you eating the fabric of time itself. Then the Grey Goo explodes, becoming a new Big Bang and birthing a new universe.
    • The second starts with microbes, and ends again with the fabric of time. Then you find that the universe rests on a Turtle of Time, which rests on an infinite pile of Turtles.
    • Forever starts with quarks and ends with multiple universes... that look like quarks. Then you work your way up again.
  • Shown Their Work: The Cretaceous levels of Back For Seconds avoid Anachronism Stew flawlessly, not only with dinosaurs but with mammals and insects as well.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In Tasty Blue, the scientists (who were eaten when the Grey Goo swallowed Earth in the first two games) are the only humans to survive the Nano-Shark's rampaging diet.
  • Timed Mission: There are various of these in every game from Back for Seconds onwards, providing more of a challenge for the levels.
  • Time Travel: Back for Seconds has the Grey Goo eating a time machine, then going back to the Late Cretaceous, then to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, feudal Japan, and the distant future.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Lampshaded in the cutscene that follows the final Egypt level in Back for Seconds.
    News Broadcast: This just in! The pyramids of Giza have gone missing!
    Older Scientist: The goo must have eaten the pyramids!
    Younger Scientist: If he ate them 3,000 years ago, why did they disappear just now?
    Older Scientist: *shrugs* Time travel's complicated.
  • Top-Down View: The first Tasty Planet, Tasty Planet: Back for Seconds and half of the worlds in Tasty Planet Forever are seen from above.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: The two restaurant employees seen in the opening to the Parisian Cat's section of Forever are cousins of the scientists (who don't appear in the game itself), and look almost exactly the same.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole:
    • In Cosmos 4, black holes actually suck in stars, yet for some reason don't suck in the grey goo. Same applies for the sequel.
    • In Forever, you can play as one as the alternate form of the goo.
  • Villain Protagonist: While not exactly evil, the grey goo still eats the Universe.
  • Womb Level: In the third Laboratory level of the first game, the grey goo bites one of the scientists and enters his bloodstream.