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Indie Game Review: Lifeless Planet

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Lifeless Planet

Rating:
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Lifeless Planet showed up in my inbox during early access, alpha stage to be exact. I played it off and on but the game didn't really have much during these stages. The final version has been released and I have spent my fair share of time with it. While the final product certainly feels complete, people who are unfamiliar with “desolation games” will get the impression this game is still in beta.

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After a hard landing on the planet, the astronaut discovers the planet that was reported to be rich with life is instead a barren wasteland. When he goes searching for his crew, he makes a more startling discovery: evidence that humans have already been to this planet years ago! When he comes upon a deserted Soviet-era Russian town, he struggles to make sense of his mission. Did his light-speed travel to the planet send him back in time? Or is this all some strange Cold War hoax?

Lifeless Planet controls rather well. The controls are simple so the puzzles and platforming is accessible. I did have a recurring problem with the environment. I would fall through the edge of a platform resulting in falling and death. So you really have to stick the landing when jumping because a lot of the paltforms are misleading.

Lifeless Planet's art direction is a double edged sword. On one hand you have this cool desolate planet to explore. There are no signs of life, just ruins and empty houses. Then on the other hand you have a big open field with nothing to interact with and it takes forever to get from Point A to Point B because there is nothing to really do in-between. While it is cool to have a game where you have an environment that is void of life, it makes you want something more other than just staring at red landscape. As the game progresses it gets more populated with buildings and areas to explore. The start of the game is the hardest to get through.

Your goal is to find members of your team and discover he mystery of the planet you are on. Along the way you will find diary entries, audio logs, and similar knick knacks to help you figure out what is going on.

Lifeless Planet is for the patient gamer who does not mind an incredibly sluggish beginning. However, it has a cool premise and it's a different kind of game to play. You can pick it up on Steam now. I give Lifeless Planet a 7/10.

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