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Lifeless Planet

Mystery Awaits On The Lifeless Planet

The PAX Prime Indie Megabooth is always a great spot to find new and interesting game concepts. One of the first games to jump out at me this year is Stage 2 Studios' Lifeless Planet.

As one of the earliest games to seek funding on Kickstarter, Lifeless Planet has been in the works for nearly two years. The project is the the first game by David Board, an Alaska-based developer who cut his teeth in video production and interactive design.

Inspired by games like Out of the World, Ico, and Myst, Lifeless Planet tells the story of a NASA astronaut who journeys light years beyond Earth to explore a planet identified as being capable of sustaining human life. After a rough landing, the astronaut is left unconscious amongst the debris. Upon waking, he realizes he crew has moved on without him. Far from the scientist's prognostications, this planet hardly looks capable of supporting human life. Rocky desert terrain dominates the landscape.

Much like Journey, Lifeless Planet features breathtaking vistas and a sprawling environment. At first glance it appears to be an open world, but Board says each explorable area is story driven, with clear objectives. The playable PAX demo focuses on a region where the astronaut must navigate a series of rocky platforms with the help of his jet pack and solve Myst-like puzzles that require him to manipulate mysterious rock structures emanating a green colored energy.

Like a classic Twilight Zone episode, as the astronaut explores more of the planet he comes across an abandoned Soviet settlement. The rest of the game involves finding out what happened to his crew and this colony while pursuing an alien-looking woman who speaks Russian, wears a Soviet uniform, and leaves glowing green footprints in her wake.

The demo was brief, but the tiny slice of gameplay has me excited to see more from Board's first game project,. He says says Lifeless Planet is slated to come out on PC and Mac platforms later this year, and the studio is currently meeting with the three major console platforms as well to explore their options in that space.

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  • Will this be drab or fantastic?..Looks a bit drab at this point. Or is that the point?
  • My initial reaction was to compare it to Journey.  I like these tiny exploration games, and this one especially piques my interest because it has story-driven objectives.  My only complaint so far is the very primitive 3D art style they went with, but the gameplay sounds so much more enticing anyway.

  • I think it looks out of this world.  Whether or not that is a good thing we will have to wait and see.

  • I like the themes of Soviet "bigness", it certainly makes for an interesting contrast between man-made and "natural" environments. Looks interesting to say the least.

  • looks interesting.. i hope it has a scary side to it.
  • Sounds like a good mystery/exploration game.  

  • Eh, I'll buy it. Looks interesting, and the story seems neat. But when is it set? Like, is it the extreme future where humans deserted Earth and made this program, or is it 50 years after a not-so-distant future?
  • Have had my eye on this little gem for awhile now. Quite looking forward to what this game comes out to be.

  • Very interesting. I suspect there is a darker side to this title's story, and that his crew did not simply leave him of their own will...

  • I don't know, I suppose they ARE trying to take a few notes from Journey, but something just doesn't seem right. I'm not opposed to voice-acting, but maybe Journey worked better because of the novelty of the environment and music telling the story, not some people over a radio. Plus I don't think it's nearly as gorgeous thanks to their use of a more realistic art-style. I do like the conspiracy angle of the game though, betcha that this ends up like Planet of the Apes and the "Lifeless Planet" is Earth after an alternate reality nuclear attack.
  • It looks very interesting.

  • Gosh I really wish I had enough money for more than just the Nintendo games I need to play...

  • I'm calling it. It was Earth the whole time.

  • Man, a lot of typos today...

  • I love these open exploration games.

  • Count me in.

  • Wow this looks amazing!

  • Puzzle solving? Atmosphere? JETPACKS? Oh yeah, this is shaping up to be something special.

    The more games like Journey or Out of this World*, the better it is for people who need to wipe the taste of "Overbudgeted Mainstream Shooter no.4639" out of their mouth... gamers like me. "Hipsters" or "Haters", according to JeffM's, "The Hipsters Guys to Hating Video Games" feature on the front page right now ;)

    * - "Another World", really. Ever since the 20th Anniversary rerelease on GOG, it's just been known under the one name
  • I regret watching the video, felt like a lot of it was spoiled.
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