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 (1,329 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"
Read the full review here.

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

Windows
Mac OS X
    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
192 of 231 people (83%) found this review helpful
18.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
Lifeless Planet is a game well worth playing, surely one of the best Indie games I have played this year. It had a successful Kickstarter and passed through Greenlight to go to Early Access and to be released as completed game.

Its made by Stage 2 Studios which consists mainly of David Board, and the game is the outcome of years of passionate hard work, while it utilized all the stages an Indie project can pass through, till its released on Steam.

This game is a unique work of art that inspires and entertains with its beautiful visuals and its story, unlike anything you can find in big budget titles. Words hardly can express the accomplishments this game reached. Its a Sci-Fi Story Adventure comparable to the books of Isaac Asimov or Games like The Dig.

The atmosphere is carrying this game. It makes you feel lost, helpless and afraid, even sad and isolated, but then again it evokes curiosity, hope and amazement. It has very little action but a lot of exploring and platforming and a bit of quite easy puzzling. Its pretty linear, but that's to be expected from a game that tries to tell a story I guess. There could be a bit more to do in some parts of the game.

I will not reveal anything of the story, its yours to discover for yourself, because that's what the game is about. But I can assure you that it is very much worth it, if you have an open mind and search for something meaningful that you can enjoy without feeling pressured. It will take you around 5 hours for a playthrough. This is not a game for the impatient or simpleminded tough, those players will get bored or fail to grasp the storyline.

If there's one thought that I had while playing it, it was that the more you think you know about the world and the universe, the more you discover what you actually don’t know. The Storyline and ending is partly open to interpretation. Its not very strictly explained, which gives room for your own imagination. A freedom very few games ever trust the player with, and therefore it has to be complimented on such bravery.

The technical aspects of the game are robust for such a small team, reasonable performance, hardly any bugs, no crashes for me. I had to restart a level because something to advance the story didn't trigger first time, but that wasn't really a problem. Controls where fine for me with KB & Mouse, jumping around with the jetpack is a lot of fun. Gamepads are supported.

The graphical style is fitting for the game, although the way its done, also means that its looking pretty simple at times. Its definitely not a Crysis, but the aesthetics and level design make up a lot for it and make the game nonetheless a pleasure to explore and screenshot. It also has nice particle effects like dust, and the levels have a great variety of environments.

The musical score and sound is very good also, it really works well in combination with the storyline to emphasize important moments and add tension to the game. The voice acting is great, there are native Russian speakers who did the voiceovers and this makes this aspect really shine.

In conclusion I can say this game is well worth its price. The game has to be played and developers like these have to be supported. Buy and play this game, so we hopefully see more of this studio!
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76 of 86 people (88%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
I wish I could recommend this game, since it does have a certain beauty. But in the end too many negative bits sucked the fun out of it for me. It just felt tedious towards the end. Here is what is good and bad.

The good:
  • Beautiful Landscapes: You basically “run” (more on that later) through a series of truly well-drawn landscapes. The graphic textures are not always the greatest, but overall you get some stunning visuals. Especially the vertical elements can be quite remarkable.
  • Atmospheric Sound/Music: Minimalistic, but appropriately used. Simply good.

The not-so good:
  • So… much… walking… : Unfortunately your movement speed is not very high. Which means that you transverse above mentioned landscapes step by step by step for what simply feels way too long. It certainly contributes to the atmosphere of solitude/lifelessness (because very little is happening while you walk). Just, that is not a very neat atmosphere to build up. The whole thing is compounded by the fact that:
  • The story does not move forward: Most of the time you are running somewhere you are doing so without much motivation, but simply because you are following the only viable way through this world. Not everything has to be open world, but at least give me a reason why I should now be traversing the lava level. God, I felt with my character when he character said “I demand answers! Now!” some hours in. Neither of us would get any for many more hours.
  • Unmotivated Discontinuity: Sometimes a new level begins without any discernible transitions from the last. Example: Last minute it was daylight and you were standing on a cliff. Next second you are in a canyon and its night. Eh, what?
  • Puzzles are way too easy: Most of the game you are following a giant “follow me” trail of glowing green, the only challenge being to keep your motivation for these long minutes. Puzzles are sparse (which in itself is a bit of a problem for a puzzle platformer), and never pose the slightest challenge. Like one-moveable-object-besides-one-landmark-easy: move object to landmark, done. When you get stuck, this it is very likely because you overlooked a required booster pack that is hidden a few hundred meters back. And who explores slightly off track at this walking speed?
  • Abilities are arbitrarily removed: At some points you get a cool booster pack. Not only does it allow you to solve some platform puzzles, it also allows you to move quicker (yay!). Now you can spend an hour flying around with this thing in one level without a problem. But as soon as you cross a line the game declares it has run out of fuel (regardless of how long you have been using it). This is feels completely arbitrary. Similarly, sometimes the plot will decide you need more oxygen, regardless of when you refilled last or what you have been doing in the meantime.

Overall, a tedious experience with some visisal perks. Did not go into the story becuase it might be subjective, but personally I am not blown away.
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53 of 62 people (85%) 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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22 of 25 people (88%) 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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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
14.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
Lifeless Planet is a beautifully atomspheric adventure game, throwing you in the space suit of an astronaut who, after a long journey through space, reaches a mysterious planet in search of life & potentially a new home for humanity. On arrival, you discover you are alone, isolated on a planet seemingly devoid of life, yet strangely there is a Soviet town abandoned long ago. How can this be & what has happened here? As the story unfolds, & you explore more of this intriguing alien world, you soon realise there is a much more going on than meets the eye. The planet is not as lifeless as it seems...

The sense of exploration, uniqueness in the alien world along with the snippets of story that you unlock through your progression was most enjoyable & kept me wanting to progress to reveal more.

Sound effects & musical score were also strong, & graphically there is also a cool film grain effect & blurring of the edges of the screen that add greatly to the experience. Would have been epic in first-person view to really enhance the claustrophobic feel of being stuck in the space suit on an alien world.

For those who love their Sci-fi movies, you will also come across many scenes throughout that feel somewhat familar (in a good way), yet meld together well. Futuristic yet retro, reminding you of old classic 50-60s B-Grade Sci-Fi, cold war era themes & some modern storytelling elements.

When looking past these positives there are some parts of the game that I found lacking from making this a really excellent game. The controls for one, although basic & suitable for the layback style of gameplay are awkward. It is easy to mis-jump, your jetpack is limited in function (essentially only providing a double-jump type mechanic to traverse larger areas) & the puzzle elements feel somewhat clunky & difficult to complete. Even though the puzzles themselves are rather simple. It also didn't help things when you respawn (this will happen a lot!) facing the wrong direction all the time is very disorienting.

Dark, creepy sections that occur in several stages are way too dark, with only a tickbox option to lighten the scene in menus. You have a flashlight, but does little which is most frustrating at times. It really needs a gamma or brightness slider.

There are also the 'emersion breaking' elements, such as there always being an oxygen tank just when you need it, or dynamite just near where you need to blow your way through a blocked path or a nice round rock (unlike anything else in the surrounding enviroment) just at the right spot to jump to a higher platform. It seemed to lack some creativity in level design in this regards when elements like this are introduced essentially just for the sake of it.

Most cut-scenes are limited being less than 30secs with most of the story elements experienced through translated logs found. This felt like a bit of a missed opportunity to really expand on the adventure; still good overall (& I am being picky to a degree) but could have been exceptional if the story continued as strongly as it began!

Some later sections of the game feel padded out, with no real content or interesting things to see, just more running & jumping. Other parts are really awe-inspiring so it quite a mix. Some of the final levels just seem to go on & on without any purpose other than to lengthen the game. The experience would have more impact if the overall length was reduced by maybe 30% or so in my view. While shortening some areas, some larger cut-scenes & more back story to your character (only touched on for most of the game) would have been great!

Although not quite as good as my expectations coming into Lifeless Planet, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story, the implications of the story (not to give anything away) & the final reveal. It was an interesting conclusion. Overall a fun & occasionally disturbing experience!
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19 of 25 people (76%) 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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15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 8
In Lifeless Planet players hop into the moon boots of an astronaut on a mission to a far away planet in search of the abundant life their preliminary scans have shown should be there. Unfortunately, as they almost always do in games, something goes wrong. The ship crash lands. The themes brought up throughout the game, some subtle, some not so much, are widespread and generally effective. Our space-faring scientist has to deal with loss, loneliness, self doubt, the prime directive, and more.Something immediately noticeable about Lifeless Planet is that it has fantastically rich and convincing atmosphere. While the graphics leave something to be desired from a purely technical standpoint, the visual and aural direction really sell the whole thing. Some of the alien vistas are truly beautiful, and walking around the seemingly endless barren deserts feels as isolated and alone as being on the other side of space should.Unfortunately Lifeless Planet doesn't make exploring as rewarding as it should be. The game offers a lot of nooks and crannies for the player to poke into, but very few actually offer anything interesting. They tend to be empty corners, without any remarkable features at all. The game also has very few collectibles; just a handful of geological samples and scientific notes.With no combat to control the game's pulse, Board opts for a mixture of ambient storytelling, platforming and physics puzzles.Most of the platforming isn’t difficult because of complex timing or dangerous obstacles, it’s difficult because the controls were meant to act like a guy in space. Lifeless Planet is a really fun experience, but not a very good game. I’d still recommend it based on the entertainment I got from exploring the mysteries of the game’s world, but I wish I didn’t have to deal with questionable puzzles and mechanics to do so. I think it is unique enough to be worth its asking price for those that are fans of the genre though. Overall 7/10.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Moje česká recenze: http://www.playhit.cz/2014/10/lifeless-planet-bezova-planeta/

This game is awesome! It's mostly just jumping and avoiding deadly root-bushes, but what matters is the story. I can't tell much more not to spoil it though. As an american astronaut, you travel onto a foreign planet, that could serve as the next Earth. But you discover so many strange things that you might wish to have stayed home. I couldn't stop once I started playing. I recommend this to everybody, who doesn't need to spill gallons of virtual blood everytime they play. 8.5/10
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13 of 19 people (68%) 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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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
ENGLISH and SPANISH review:

ESPAÑOL: http://imperiogamer.com/index.php/reviews/751-analisis-lifeless-planet
ENGLISH:

Lifeless Planet is a Kickstarter project which could see the light of day, and it really deserves it. In this game we'll travel through a seemingly empty planet, only to realize that something happened and it's not as dead as we imagined.


SpaceWalking Simulator?

We'll have to walk a lot, yes, we'll really have to walk long distances completely alone with a relaxing soundtrack in background, which reminded me a lot of Shadow of the Colossus, making long journeys from an objective to the next. It's clear that the focus is not in action, but in convey a feeling of loneliness we'd face if we found ourselves alone in a planet.

This characteristic could be interpreted as something dull and boring, but it's the complete package we have to judge: environment, music and story. Those three aspects form a symbiosis which amazes the player.

About the gameplay: it's simple, with the low gravity of the planet as an ally and jumping to each goal. Other than a few puzzles, we won't find any big problems; this game is more focused in "appreciating" than "thinking".


Prepare for amusing chasms

The game features beautifully crafted environments in which we'll be able to appreciate the inmensity of the place and realize that many times the lack of life doesn't mean lack of beauty. As I said before and I'm not getting tired of repeating, the scenery which we'll stumble upon are impressive, really a piece of art.

Going through all kind of environments, from big deserts, old craters, to abandoned towns, lava-filled volcanoes and patrified forests, to mention a few.

The lighting gives a special touch which we won't be able to forget, it's sky is almost always clouded where only some rays of sunlight can go through, which makes you feel the end is nigh and your time is accounted for, which is no doubt a decisive factor to involve us in the story.


Take it easy dude…

Tranquil, and really quiet, with only a few abrupt changes to accelerate the game. If you're looking for a game with lots of action, violence or something alike, this is not the game for you; you'll probably quit after a few minutes.

It has a rich soundtrack which perfectly accompanies the gameplay, and the ambiance sounds really make you feel like you're in the game. This was all made by Rich Douglas, who also worked in the sountracks for Insurgency and Takedown. Douglas manages to jump from total calm to frenzy without any complications, moments where he conveys happiness and other moments where we'll be invaded with a feeling of adrenaline which makes us be alert.

Lifeless Planet is that game you need when you come home tired and need to relax, taking your time to play it and taking it to your own pace, appreciating every little thing in it.


In the last episode…

David Board, its developer, originally planned the game as an action game, but as development progressed and the story expanded, Board decided to change the game's focus to center on the story. We'll be able to notice how it's inspired in classic adventure games like LucasArts' The Dig, as well as platformer game Another World, and science-fiction movies based upon the Cold War. Board said he wanted to convey a combined feeling of optimism and horror about what science is capable of in the hands of mankind.


Victim of a great story and false advertisement (spoilers ahead!)

We're part of a team of astronauts whose mission is to explore a seemingly empty planet. Something goes wrong with the expedition and we wake up from a cryogenic sleep fifteen years after we boarded the ship to this adventure into the unknown.

When we wake up we can't find the rest of the crew and that's where the loneliness starts to take part in our journey. Did the Americans get to the Moon first? Maybe so, but the Soviets managed much more... in a planet! When we arrive we can't find anybody, only the remains of what seems to have been a big enterprise by the Russian. We'll soon realize that this planet is not as lifeless as it seemed in the title, so I'm sorry to have to break the news for you but you've been victim of false advertisement! Irony aside, the place becomes more and more confused as we move forward, with hallucinations about our life on Earth, alien remains and the print of the Russians everywhere. This is where the story truly starts, for we'll soon discover what happened as we search for a way to go back home.

Exploration, which seemed like a big part of the game, regrettably doesn't exist... the game is completely lineal and most of the times the way is forced to make us move forward. Maybe it's because Survival and Sandbox games are increasing in popularity lately, but this game is neither; Lifeless Planet intends to tell us a story, show as a world which is dying little by little. And it achieves it so perfectly.
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8 of 10 people (80%) 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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19 of 31 people (61%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
10/10 Best rock-climbing simulator of 1995

Enjoy a game filled with all the following features:
  • Hours of jumping between rocks, waiting on elevators, and walking absurdly long distances!
  • Follow the green path for the entire game! (Don't stray off the path, or sometimes you'll die because reasons)
  • All the jumping of a platforming game, without any of the enemies, items, or power-ups that make platformers fun!
  • Die dozens of times thanks to terrible controls! (Did you land close to the edge? There's no way to survive, because every key makes you run forward a little!)
  • Massive frame-drops!
  • Waste time looking for arbitrarily placed buttons and glowing rocks!
  • Solve the same button-puzzle 10 times!
  • A mediorce storyline that will have you at the edge of your seat believing something interesting will finally happen!
Plus nothing more!!
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13 of 20 people (65%) found this review helpful
66.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
Too many invisible walls
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
The atmosphere is beautiful, Good game controls, I loved the different parts of the planet. I wish i was able to take a 15 year exploration on another planet, too lazy to walk everywhere, so i'll be an astronaut in a hoverround Kappa. The story is confusing SPOILERS: So he goes into the cosmos to come back 200 years and check up on his wife, but he acted like he didnt know the russians were there? I didnt understand why the russians were apart of the story. They died trying to explore or make a new home for themselves, but why? I'll admit i didnt read all of the logs and thats probably why i dont understand half of it. but i was trying to get the 4h playthrough achievement. So please excuse me from that. But wondering around is quiet and fun. The land is limited, so after one playthrough theres really nowhere else to explore. Its big but invis walls, Anyways its worth the buy.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 6
I have had the pleasure to play this game for the last two days and I am not disappointed. I'll try to make this review as good as I possibly can.

Lifeless Planet sends the player into an unknown world full of mysteries and puzzles to solve. You play as an astronaut (whose name I have sadly already forgotten), who was sent to a planet far away from earth. After having spent 15 years in a spaceship, the protagonist finally arrives at the already described destination but is quickly confronted with a problem: a lack of oxygen. This is where the game starts.

My first impression: It looks nice. I have always been a fan of games showing an atmosphere that sticks with you for a while. This game probably is one of them, since it never ceases to amaze the player with nice-looking surroundings. Another aspect I really love about this game is the music and its voiceacting, whereas I would have loved to have more of both. The player gets to listen to small pieces of a conversation between the protagonist and a woman from time to time which I always thought were interesting. They give a small insight on the astronaut's past. The Russian audiologs were very cool as well. (9/10 for the audio. 10/10 if there had been more)

The astronaut soon discovers a Russian village and - of course - can't believe his eyes and thus believes that he is back on earth and that he has been played a trick on. From this point on the player moves from one area to another, which usually are connected to each other by small puzzles. The already mentioned audiologs and documents help the player to understand where he is and what has happened. Not too much time in the game and you are confronted with a female inhabitant, living on the planet you are walking on. Your main aim from now on is to follow her and to try to get some answers to the many questions that are still open. Don't worry, at the end none of them should be left.

The story was interesting to follow. At first I did not expect the documents to be able to tell a whole story, but now - after having played the game - I can say that I didn't have any problems understanding the plot. I find it very well thought out and would thus give it a 9/10.

The graphics are beautiful. Of course, you can't compare it to other newer titles or the Crysis games, but that's not what the game developers tried to go for anyway. I was positively surprised by the many areas you walk through and are able to (partly) discover. It varies from a desert-like landscape to glaciers, waterfountains, lava, forests, and much, much more. Designing these many arials must require creativity which this game sure didn't lack of. The graphics fit the game just well, so I'll give it a 8/10

Gameplay. That's where Lifeless Planet doesn't hold up to the price it is being sold for. I wouldn't say that it was not fun for me to play, not at all. There are many repetitive parts and puzzles which you usually soon get the hang of, but the different surroundings and dangerous, creepy traps made it a new experience every time. Nevertheless, most of it was rather easy to solve and I never really found myself in a situation, where I had to think for more than 5 minutes in order to find the solution for a problem. A big part of the game consists of jumping from platform to platform which - once you have required the extra boost for your jetpack - is really fun. The controls were the average ones which were not a problem for me (thus giving them a 10/10), whereas some other people have complained about them being too sloppy or unprecise when doing long jumps. All in all the gameplay could have been a lot better by adding a greater variety of puzzles and missions to solve, but the surroundings made up for it and I often caught myself simply exploring what there was - even though most of the times there was nothing worth to see expect a collectible mineral. 6/10

It took me about 7 hours to play through the whole game, but I really tried to take a look at everything instead of rushing through one area to the next one. In another review someone had written, the author said that the game was too short and that the achievement for the first playthrough being under 4 hours was too easy. Well, I have to disagree. You can get many more hours out of it when really looking for the minerals (which are worth two achievements too by the way) and exploring hills and buildings. I believe that 7 hours for a 10€ game is a good deal.

Let's come to an end. I definitely recommend playing Lifeless Planet when you are someone who doesn't need highend graphics or a moment of action every five minutes. This game is - in my opinion - made for people who are patient, who like to take their time and who focus on music and sound, because that's where the game scores. It sometimes reminded me and can be compared to a game like "Journey" on the PlayStation. It is worth 10€, but I probably wouldn't buy it for the original price, which is 20€.

I hope this review convinced you to either buy or not buy this game. Thank you for reading.

P.S.: The game scared me at some points. It was all good and fun though. :)
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 26
DO NOT READ THE GAME DESCRIPTION ON THE STORE PAGE, IT'S FULL OF SPOILERS

7.5/10

Not a typical game with full of actions. Despite the lack of actions, the engaging story was able to compensate it. Mindblowing story. (Since it is very story-oriented, DO NOT READ the game description on the store page, it's gonna spoil some of the major plots)

Took me 4h to finish it. I don't think I will replay this anytime soon.

Beautiful atmosphere and soundtrack. Some minor and semi-obvious puzzle. Although the game is not truly open world, but the emptyness makes the game feels huge.

Probably not worth $20 but highly recommend on sale.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
Lifeless Planet is quite a compelling adventure exploring puzzle game with platforming. The environments in the game ar vast and the locations you goto are many.There are a few gameplay elements added that add to the fact you are a astronaut such as need to replenish oxygen and need to use suits jump gets. As you progress ingame a certain amount of time passes as you get from point to point so you will play from day to night.Ruins of what you find wil be found everywhere as well as signs of what happened.

The storytelling is done quite well and is more original than one would think.I can say the environment & puzzle/platforming meld quite well pulling you into the immersion exprience the game has. The puzzles are not too difficult at all,but there are some areas in the game where one can tell a slight design flaw based on if you mess up to much and cannot reset making you have to start from ur last save point area or checkpoint.

Other than an annoying major bug where the save & quit function can become unacccessible the game is solid though a bit laggy at some parts. The game auto saves when you get to certain areas and there are checkpoints throughout your play so you hardly have to backtrack to much if something goes wrong. Get it on the cheap, or pay the full price, game is worth playing if you like the adventure/explore platforming puzzle gamess.
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6 of 7 people (86%) 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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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 17
This was an interesting game to me. I can see why some people wouldnt like it, but I also think it was unnecessarily panned by critics. It does a great job a creating an uncertain and desolate atmosphere, and the sense of adventure and mystery was always present. The world is pretty large, and there is definitely a lot of open space where you are just walking, but visually, those moments still do a lot to please the eye. I wouldnt really call this game difficult at all either. Some of the longer jumps can be challenging, but mostly, this game is about the journey more than the challenge itself. Although it took me about 7 hours to complete, it felt like a lot longer, and not in a bad way. The game does a good job of putting you in the astronauts shoes, and the distanes combined with the relative sense of desolation does a good job of distorting time a bit.

The story itself is pretty sparse overall, but well thought out nonetheless. There are really two stories happening simultaneously and they kind of feed off each other. One (the Russian settlement) is resolved nicely and is actually a pretty cool, 1950's sci-fi movie style story with a bit of an environmentalist message. The other story isnt well resolved in my opinion, but also doesnt really need to be. It sort of leaves it up to you to decide on what the story really means....it does carry a message, but it is also vague enough for plenty different interpretations.

The actual gameplay involves a lot of running around (a lot), a lot of jumping (utilizing air thrusts for added distance), and the occasional blowing up of or repairing of necessary objects. You are given (about an hour into the game) a portable mechanical arm (like they use in the space shuttles) to help with some of this, and find dynamite every so often as well. Everything has a specific reason for being there in the game (with only one exception), so if you see it and you can interact with it, you need to. There is a bit of doubling back to complete puzzles so you can move on, but for the most part, the game keeps driving you forward and doesnt bog down at all. Since this is story driven (even though it takes a minimalist approach), you are always led to the next stage of the journey smoothly and efficiently.

The setting itself was pretty amazing in my opinion. It was a beautifully crafted world. At first, its basically all barren and lifeleess, but as you travel across the planet, you start seeing more evidence of life, until eventually, you find verdant expanses of the wild. The subteranean sections are also really cool, but the show stoppers are when you start finding the alien technologies, and the final few sections are visually mindblowing (at least, I thought they were). This was really a stunningly well crafted world from a visual standpoint.

So, as I said before, this game is all about the journey, and for me, it was a journey filled with so many nuances of human emotion, that it siply could not be ignored. My only complaint is that perhaps it is actually a little long, but really, I thought it was a an interesting game. I'd give it a 7.5 out of 10 or 78 out of 100.
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10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
This game should be called "Jumping and walking like an idiot on the Planet"

I can't believe I wasted my money in this game
Everything is soooo bad in this "thing" (if you can call it a game) that I can't express how much I hate it
The graphics are "mediocre" for a indie game (there are a lot of stunning indie games, this is not one of these)
The Story doesn't even worth telling, really,doesn't worth
The audio is OK but not great
The gameplay does not exist '-'

You will walk a lot and jump a lot.. That's it! Nothing more! Except for the countless times you'll die because you'll be stuck on rocks and the HORRIBLE performance drops (seriously, on my HIGH END ENTHUSIAST machine, this game runs at 25 average fps when there are any objects, walls, anything nearby).

And sorry for any grammar issues, I'm still learning english :)
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