While seeking life on a distant planet, an astronaut discovers an abandoned Russian town. He suspects his mission is a hoax until a mysterious young woman saves him from a strange and deadly phenomenon...
User reviews: Mostly Positive (1,211 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 6, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Every tone it attempts is struck with confidence and talent, from creeping horror to outright terror to reflective serenity"
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June 23

Mac Version Released!

Hello, patient OSX users... the wait is over! I'm happy to announce we just finished testing and uploading the Mac version of Lifeless Planet. If you previously purchased the PC version, you can now download the OSX build here on Steam.

The Mac build is based on version 1.2 so it has the latest updates. If you spot any new bugs or issues, please let me know so we can address. Note that you will want to have dedicated graphics and a decently fast/recent CPU. Intel integrated graphics are not supported.

Thanks again for your patience, and hope you like Lifeless Planet!

-Dave

7 comments Read more

May 31

Full Release Friday June 6

The full version of Lifeless Planet releases on June 6th 2014! And if you bought the early access build, you'll get the full version automatically on release day. If you haven't bought the early access build, you can still do that up until release and get the lower price.

It's been a long journey from our humble Kickstarter project over two years ago. Being a one-man dev team has been particularly challenging, but rewarding as well. It's been especially great to hear all the positive feedback to the early access beta on Steam. And somewhere around 96% of the user reviews have been positive, which is more than I ever imagined it would get!

Speaking of feedback, I haven't been able to reply to all those comments and suggestions, but I've read them all and I'm extremely thankful for everybody who played the early access build and took the time to share their thoughts. MUCH of what you've suggested has gone into the final game, including:

  • Subtitles for all voiceovers.
  • Localization for German, Russian, French and Spanish (Italian is coming shortly after launch).
  • Added Steam Achievements.
  • Fixed checkpoint system.
  • Numerous gameplay refinements.
  • Lots of little bugfixes.
The only bit of disappointing news is that I haven't had time yet to finalize testing on the OSX version and I'm not sure we'll have the Mac build ready on launch day. BUT, the good news is if it is delayed, it will not be for more than a week or so at most. I promise I haven't forgotten you Mac users, and I am working hard to get this out the door as quickly as possible.

Thank you again for playing Lifeless Planet, and another huge thanks to everybody who provided feedback and bug reports. It's finally time for liftoff!

—Dave

42 comments Read more

About This Game

While seeking life on a distant planet, an astronaut discovers an abandoned Russian town. He suspects his mission is a hoax until a mysterious young woman saves him from a strange and deadly phenomenon... Lifeless Planet is a third-person action-adventure that features an old-school sci-fi story and spectacular environments in the spirit of classic action-adventures.

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?

Along the way, the astronaut meets a Russian woman, Aelita, who is somehow able to survive the hostile atmosphere of the planet. Through an unusual natural phenomenon, her skin causes the soil to glow green under her feet. The player must use these glowing tracks as a guide across the planet past treacherous and deadly threats. Is she leading him to safety... or an untimely death?

Lifeless Planet was inspired by Cold War era science fiction stories, posing questions about humankind's desire for space travel. What if you journeyed across the galaxy to another planet, only to find humans had already been there? What kind of person would sign up for a one-way mission, leaving behind planet Earth and everyone they've ever known and love... to go in search of an Earth-like planet?

Equipped with a limited-use jet-pack and a mobile robotic arm, the player must use wits and skill to solve puzzles, unravel the mystery, and survive the Lifeless Planet!

Key Features:
  • Explore 20 unique and atmospheric environments on a vast and treacherous planet.
  • Follow a mysterious young woman as she guides you past dangerous terrain and deadly life-forms.
  • Investigate the startling discovery of an abandoned Russian town.
  • Experience an exciting and intriguing story through rich graphics and cinematic cut-scenes.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent
    • Memory: 1500 MB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 430 or ATI equivalent
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 900 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DX9.0c compatible
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 or faster
    • Memory: 3000 MB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GT 640 or faster
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Hard Drive: 900 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DX9.0c compatible
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.7 (Lion) or newer
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo or Better (2ghz or faster)
    • Memory: 1500 MB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia/ATI Dedicated Graphics (Integrated Intel Graphics not supported)
    • Hard Drive: 900 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
35 of 38 people (92%) found this review helpful
21.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
See TL;DR/BOTTOM LINE at the bottom if you are lazy.

Lifeless Planet is an incredible game filled with atmospheric joy and a story that only gives you just enough to figure out what is going on. You play as an American astronaut that is sent to explore a planet that your readings suggest is brimming with life. Upon arrival you find that this planet is nothing like you expected. It houses strange secrets of past explorers and a nation trying to find the perfect life away from Earth only to find that meddling with things they don't understand almost never ends happily. An interesting mix of casual exploration and platforming, it keeps things relatively fresh most of the time. You should feel the want to get to the end to see how everything pans out and what the mysteries of this Lifeless Planet are, but at the same time your feeling of eerie isolation and the ambient sounds of the world make you want to take your time looking at the planet and chilling out as well. I became lost in the isolationist atmosphere and didn't want it to end.

If you peer at the store page for this game and look at the user tags you would think that this is a game in the same genre as Dear Esther and the other "walking simulator" sorts of games. In some instances this is accurate, but in Lifeless Planet you have more than just your feet to work with. You are in a space suit with a jetpack! So while this game is semi-casual most of the time, there are a fair amount of platforming situations in which you must use the jetpack to make some pretty intense jumps now and then. I wouldn't say that this is extremely difficult to do, but you don't just walk from point to point here like a "walking simulator" would suggest. Not only that, but there are puzzles that you will come into contact with that force you to ponder the environment a bit as well as some technology to help you solve these puzzles. So it definitely delves into much more gameplay than just walking from story point to story point.

Besides the tags being somewhat misleading, that META Score (lol Metacritic I know) is completely off base in my humble opinion. Lifeless Planet is a fantastic game with a fantastic atmosphere, a cornucopia of map changes that will give you an explosion of color in some areas that is intensified by the more “Lifeless” areas you will find. The game has about 20 different areas with about 15 of them feeling like something completely different from the rest. Each area can be blown through in 10-15 minutes if you want to unless there are puzzles to get through, but anyone that enjoys looking at scenery and taking their time to explore game worlds should find more joy. (While discussing the want for even more little discoveries outside collectibles like random gravestones and such to add to the flavor of the world on the forums the developer said that they will be adding in more of this in a future patch, which would be incredible.) It is not open world, but the areas feel wide and spacious enough that you will be able to wander a bit. Not to mention that there are some collectible items such as minerals and documents found in the game to give you a reason to check some of the back corners. Documents, which add a great deal of the story aspects to the game tend to be on the main path, however so you shouldn't miss any of these.

The soundtrack is used sparingly, but feels like when the music comes into play it is escalating the situation and your feeling of isolation and the importance of where you are. It creeps into the feeling of the game and gives you the impression that it is pushing you towards an important moment when it begins to quietly chime in as you move forward. Most of the time, however the isolation you feel is intensified by the ambient sounds of a barren world. Winds and other strange sounds like rocks falling while looking into a great chasm add to the effects of your play.

The story is mysterious, creepy, and interesting. While the main protagonist is your view into Lifeless Planet, you can hear the echos of others throughout your exploration in documents. Some documents contain a sound file in which you can read along as a Russian speaker transcribes it in their own language. It is a Russian speaking voice from someone native to the language as well so it feels authentic. Based solely on the game's title graphic, it is obvious that there is a Russian aspect to the game, but a Russian aspect from the Soviet Union of old. While you are an astronaut from the United States, and there is a Soviet Union background within the game, it does not delve into politics of any sort, nor does it make any statements about either of these nations, or any conflict they had other than maybe a passing note here, or there if necessary to understand the story within the game. The story is one of DISCOVERY, and what it would be like for someone to travel many light years away from Earth and to explore a new world. Their excitement with seeing new forms of life, as well as their struggles with dealing with the unknown.

The best part of the story to me, however is your own discovery of something else being there, and your interactions with it throughout the game. Very little communication is had as you feel it out and it brings an aspect of humanity to the game that is wonderfully done I feel. Without talking, or actively communicating you do feel a sense of closeness to something while making your way to the end. It is too spoilerish to discuss it really, but it is something I feel should be mentioned because the impression you will get mostly looking at this game is that you are fighting the planet and the story is just one of looking at the past more than anything else. This is a major part, but there is the sci-aspect that all good sci-fi stories have in which humanity and human experience comes into play.

Graphically the game is solid and gives you a great many screenshot opportunities. The game uses a bit of a filter on it that you would see if you were on such a place to blur it up some, but it is clear for the most part. On the outside of the FOV you will see blurring on the edges, however. Even on fantastic the game looks very good, but it is definitely not a AAA title quality level of HD graphics. For an Indie title they are great though and they fit the game perfectly.

Gamepad support is good and is preferable to me while playing the game. I used a PS3 gamepad with Xbox 360 plugins and it worked fine the entire game.

The game is predominantly bug free from my playthrough except there seems to be a bug with an Achievement that the developer has said will be addressed in a patch coming soon. There is an Achievement in which you must collect all documents in game, but as of now it seems the few of us that have looked for this final document to unlock the achievement cannot find it. The document is known to exist from the game files, but does not appear to be in the game anywhere. The developer is quite active on the forums and said they will fix this soon so there should be no worries here.

TL;DR/BOTTOM LINE: Lifeless Planet is a great game that will appeal more to a casual gamer from a gameplay standpoint, but to a wider audience of gamers who like sci-fi mysteries, exploring new worlds, and feeling the isolation of a lost planet. The developer, David Board and his team should be proud of their work and congratulate themselves on an epic and unique game. I loved it all the way through and plan to play it again. There is an Achievement to beat the game in under 4 hours, so it could be completed in under that time, however it would be a complete waste to blow through it that quickly. It took me close to 10 hours to finish the game taking my sweet time. There is an Achievement for playing 10+ hours in one game as well too, and I got that without actually having to just idle the game so it is possible to spend over 10 hours in it easily.

9/10 Space Suits
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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
I thoroughly enjoyed Lifeless Planet. It was a fairly long game considering the price.

What stood out the most for me was the sharp controls and mysterious storyline that kept me wanting to see more. The environments vary greatly and really did a good job at making me feel isolated in a “foreigner” sort of way. I felt like an explorer and each new level I encountered showed me something new.

Lifeless Planet was a nice break from the typical game genres out there and I’m sure that most people can appreciate it the same way I did.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Good story, not bad storytelling, a bit tedious at some points, several flaws in the sound department (it might be just me being a picky sound engineer) but a beautiful experience nonetheless.

Recommended if you like relaxed exploring and discovering.

If you're looking for a challenging game wirh puzzles hard enough to boil some brain cells... Move along, you've got nothing to see here.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
Well... This is game is just a masterpiece. Such plot, though. Lovely gameplay, although some places are a bit... "scary". I would recommend this game for an adventure style, sci-fi game.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
A damn fine adventure game with platforming galore and some basic problem solving (well really basic). Well worth taking for anyone that enjoys undergoing a journey into the unknown and doesn't mind getting right up after failing their jumps time and time again.

Though underscored a bit the game is not just an adventure to understand what's going on with this strange planet but also to understand why our astronaut took his one way journey into an alien world in the first place. All is revealed to the determined, fear not.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 21
It's hard to pin down the genre of Lifeless Planet. It's part walking simulator, part platformer, part puzzle game, with an overarching strong story focus. You're an astronaut sent on a mission to explore a lush planet but end up on a deserted wasteland. Questions like "What happened to the planet?" soon meld into questions like "Did something happen to me?" when all kinds of weirdness starts popping up.

Elaborating further would steer the review into spoiler territory, so I won't go there. But unfortunately I have to report that while I make the game sound very mysterious (and it certainly is that, up to a point), the final answers provided do not end up being nearly as satisfying as I would've initially hoped they'd be. There is some neat psychological ambiguity lightly sprinked around, but most of the story is rather standard sci-fi fare.

While you wait for the game to reveal its next story nugget, you'll traverse through some pretty arid environments and do a lot of jumping. And I do really mean a LOT of jumping. Most of the actual gameplay in Endless Planet consists of jumping and platforming, and it ends up being more of a nuisance than interesting or rewarding in any way. I feel like majority of the bouncing around could be replaced with just bog-standard walking sections, and the game would work a lot better. A few simple puzzles also felt a bit hastily thrown together.

Lifeless Planet is heavily banking on the player finding its story worthwhile, but at least for me, it just didn't hit home at all. The most interesting facets of the story are hardly explored at all, and the least interesting ones are shoved into the limelight and paraded around. I just can't root for this one.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
Basically there's content for about 30min's, stretched to 5-10h

Stephen King's The Stand revised edition: The desert crow who lost it's wings
I woke up in a desert craaa craaa, what's this I see in the horizon? It's glowing, I like glowing things, lets walk.
...., ...., .... "some time later" I spotted a ravine, there's nothing on the horizon where should I walk, left seems like a good choice.

1. "some time later" sporting through the sand like a snail, i get stopped by an invisible shield, what's this Im wondering, could it be the end of the world. Dissapointed I turn around until I find my path again.
2. "some time later" back at the ravine, lets jump, *ouch* forgot I have bad leg mechanics I cant really walk and jump. Lucky I can respawn at an earlier state
3. "some time later" finally made it, I managed to get to the glowing item, I hear voices in my head. And whats this another glowing thing at the horizon, I like glowing things, lets walk
"some time later" steps 1 to 3 until you feel read to go to step 4
4. "some time later" Im getting sick of walking lets just get there allready, but man there are some nice vistas on my sides, ouch *forgot I have a bad neck mechanics* can't look sideways, and i don't really have time to stop and look I have walking to do!
"some time later" steps 1 to 3 until you feel ready to go to step 4 or 5
5. "5-10 hours later" and some glowing things later, I like glowing things! - The End
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
I'm not usually into slower moving games but this was so beautifully done. And such a great soundtrack.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
A short trip onto an alien world. Gameplay is part walking simulator and part platformer, the environments look great and keep an almost creepy unsettling feel to them. This was an enjoyable play.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
Very Fun Exploring Indie Game :) wish i had time to complete it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
Its not terrible, but its not $20 either. It plays like an amateur Half-Life 2 mod and has about the same level of polish and design behind it. Everything about it has rough edges and much of it seems like the bare minimum amount of effort was put into it to finish it. The level design especially is either painfully amateurish or just half-♥♥♥♥♥. I'm not sure which.

Usually a bad game is annoying. But this one just makes me sad. It could have been decent if not good with some more effort and experience on the part of the devs. But as is its just kind of shambled together to get a weak story from point A to point B. And you will spend 95% of your tiime going from point A to point B just walking. With nothing going on really. Just lots of walking and empty space. Following a totally linear path laid out before you.

I'm sure someone has already made a Russian walking simulator joke though. -.-
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
Don't be fooled by the thumbs down. This was actually a fun (if not short) game. It reminded a bit of Journey in that you feel the world is vast and that you could play through the game multiple times and not find everything.

However! Graphics ARE simple. Even the cinematics have a minimalistic feel.

NOT worth $20 IMO, but possibly $10? It's got it's strength at being quite creepy. But to be honest, without commiting to the feel, it all feels slightly bland.

Don't get me wrong, if you're reading this while it's on 50%+ sale, I'd likely recommend it to you! (unless you just like to run slackjaw through halls with your finger holding down a trigger.) Pick it up! Not super original, but the atmosphere is well done, and if you like a fairly intruiging premise (mostly told through found audio logs and reading text) you (probably) won't be disappointed.
Just not at this $20 price point.

Mildly entertaining. 6/10
Admittedly struggled with a bit of the platforming elements due to the clunky "turning" on small platforms. Which often lead to my horrible death by gravity.
'D*MN YOU SPACE SUIT! D*MN YOUUUUU!' *SPLAT!*
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
I got the Humble Bundle mostly for this, I was disappointed.

The beginning was alright, but then the game becomes a long chore of frustratingly easy and repetitive puzzles, bad platforming and some bad level design. Yes, the title has its merits, but there was hardly enough in here to make the game interesting or really stand out. So you end up reluctantly advancing while picking up logs and watching at some other stuff.

If I had to put a finger on it, it is kinda like the Max Payne (1) dream sequence dragged out a lot in large parts. without the dizziness(except from the camera) or the horror-elements. Also there are levels that are just too dark and the brighten option hardly seemed to do anything.

Tbh it became really boring in the end and I only finished it because I thought I had to.

If you don't mind traveling over a countryside that looks in many places like the hills in Battlefield 1942 did, if you like exploring places that only occasionally yield another trifle to look at, if you don't mind kinda horrible platforming and some clunky mechanics and can immerse yourself in this, then get the game. I'd only recommend it like I got it, either in a bundle or in a sale with a huge discount.

All in all it really just felt like a chore to me, which is kinda sad, because the initial idea was intriguing and I looked forward to this. In any case, I'll not replay it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
Basically I didn't like it - the game is very short, finished it under 4 hours and more than half of it was simply running - and the half of other half was reading log entries. You might think that I should've been enjoying the scennery - but there isn't much to enjoy, everything is pretty monotonic - starting from orange and brown hills, through grey and black hills and even some blue glossy hills that probably were meant as glaciers, finally finishing with green hills.

Graphics of this game were pretty outdated, which would be hard to notice, since most of what you see are rocks and hills, but... well, suffice to say that I've seen better character models in games made ten years ago. And you'd think that gamedevs would put some more work into character models, since there are about THREE of those in the entire game.

Dying - dying was pretty annoying. I understand the fact that dropping from 100 feet to the ground is lethal, but seeing me fall and turn into bloodied ragdoll about 30 feet above ground is laughable. Similarly, I understand that stepping into lava is lethal, but ragdolling with the cheerful sound of flatline after one step into a burning rock? Am I to understand that burning your toe causes immediate heart failiure?

Well, you might say that this is a story-driven game and what I should look for is good story - and the fact is that story in this game is pretty interesting. But the way it is delivered is, in my opinion, horrible. Voice in this game is used only as single sentences spoken by main character (in plain, monotonic voice) or single words by the Russian girl (which are, obviously, in Russian). Pictures are so confusing that without reading full logs you're not sure what exactly is happening.

So to sum up, what we have here is neglegible quantity of voice acting, couple of nice pictures and several pages of text. Good enough for a sci-fi novel, not good enough for a game, not nearly enough for this price.

I'd say 4 out of 10.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
This could have been a great game or even the best game of last four years if the original idea (Soviet colony in Earth-like planet, kept secret from the world, USA discovers the planet and sends an expedition team) was developed properly. It could have been a new universe for gaming, even may expanding into RPGs, strategy games, MMOs, fanfiction and comics. Instead of building upon this great idea which allows a variety of paths to take about story-writing, it turns out to be dull and somewhat cliche (human greed ruins everything) plot and it kinda ruined the experience for me as only thing I knew before buying was the original idea.

I was actually pretty excited when I first saw the utility poles upon setting foot upon the planet, my excitement doubled then I discovered the colony and in the first hour I deeply felt isolated. But upon seeing how linear and pointless the story and mechanics is my excitement turned into a giant sigh followed by forcing myself to complete the game.

Gameplay and UI is pretty clunky, even the Save&Quit button on the main menu was not working for me. This is a walking simulator with some puzzle platformer elements thrown in, but those additions felt more like chores to do for me as most of them were pretty easy and rest of them were just easy.

I enjoyed only 1.5 hour of my 6 hours of gameplay time (story ruined by human greed thing, "wife" and the game's perception of other life forms, isolation feeling ruined by swiftly attacking roots) so I will give this 2.4/10 which should be pretty fair, as maths is always fair.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
I really enjoyed walking on a Lifeless Planet. Even though the visual are not highly detailed, there is some charm to the environments. The soundtrack supports the atmosphere really well and the whole experience feels like something unique.

The platforming mechanics, especially with the long range jetpack are fun, although the jumping is hard to control and sometimes feels clunky, but I suppose that is to be expected since the gravity on this planet is different.

It's a great little relaxing ride. I enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
Very good game, altought the graphics could be better but the story line is just awesome :D


+You can fly :D
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Great game with surprisingly good storyline and interesting environment.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
finished it 6.4 hrs of fun????????????
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
An interesting, atmospheric game, Lifeless Planet is different.
First, it's not lifeless, I found frog monsters. You can't fight them, they don't kill you, but they are clearly multicellular life.
It is, however, a planet. Some of the puzzles will make you rage quit after about an hour. But it's still a good game. Get it on sale.
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