Phoning Home is an open-world exploration game with survival elements set on a strange, alien planet. Follow the story of two robots – ION and ANI – and their life-defining journey.
User reviews:
Very Positive (10 reviews) - 90% of the 10 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (101 reviews) - 71% of the 101 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 7, 2017

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Recent updates View all (9)

April 24

Version 1.1

Hello Explorers,

It's been nearly 3 months since the official release of Phoning Home here on Steam. The game has had a lot of changes since we put the first version live.
Thanks to you and your feedback we were able to improve the game - a survival story of the two robotic protagonists ION and ANI and their ships TR2 and Sister.

We want to celebrate the release of this Version 1.1 with a 33% DISCOUNT throughout the week. So get the game while it lasts!

Visual Improvements
If you own a powerful graphics card, the improved "Extreme" quality setting might be worth checking out. The range shadows are rendered has been increased a lot.
Also, the range in which objects are rendered at their highest detail is much higher than in the default "Very High" quality setting. Landscapes look very impressive on "Extreme", as you can see on this screenshot:

Additionally we added new environment effects to the ocean and crater areas.

Graphic Options
The options window has been overhauled completely with new settings both for rendering and audio. There are new options to toggle bloom, SSAO (screen space ambient occlusion) and motion blur to adjust the game to your taste. Upon request we also added a slider the change the field of view (FOV) to a value between 60 and 90 (default is 60).

To reduce collision inaccuracies we've increased the frequency of physics updates in physical objects. According to our tests this shouldn't affect performance in any significant way, as there are not a whole lot of physical objects in the scenes.

Sound and Translation
We went over all of the voiceover sounds and tweaked the volume and improved the sound quality where applicable. Also, we had a few streamers and Youtubers express the wish to be able to separately adjust the volume of the voiceover. We added that and another setting for ANI's voice.
Additionally we added missing translations, fixed typos and other language errors. If you spot any errors in your playthroughs, we would be happy if you reported them in the support forum.

To increase performance we have tweaked the LODs (levels of detail) for some of environment models and the texture sizes to reduce memory consumption on your graphics card.
Phoning Home still is a very modern game in terms of visual quality and detail. However, on lower end systems you can now gain a few more fps with the new graphics options,
like disabling some of the post processing effects like bloom and ssao (screen space ambient occlusion), even though we wouldn't recommend that because they look awesome.
Another option to gain fps is reducing the ground detail slider, this has proven to be very effective.

Other Changes
Besides a range of bug fixes this update includes a fix for a crash that would only happen when you quit the game right after you started it. We also increased the amount of visual effects in the desert, ocean and crater areas. Furthermore in all areas the navigation mesh was improved and extended, which is important for ANI to know where she can follow. However, if ANI does not follow, she just cannot reach the spot you currently are, mostly because the angle is too steep or there is no direct connection to your position.

Happy exploration!

5 comments Read more

March 10

Update 7

In this smaller update we've tweaked the doors in the mothership. There was also a missing collider near the entrance of the ship.

Now you have more than one way to help ANI around. She is needed to detect all the Tetrerium inside.

Furthermore we fixed a rare bug that caused ION and/or ANI to fall through the floor after entering a portal into another area. This has been confirmed fixed earlier today. Thank you, leebigh!

We also tweaked ANI's fall/collision damage. Since she is smaller than ION, it often happened that ANI took damage after following ION through one of his portals while ION didn't take damage. This happened often in the Skyscraper sequence or inside the Mothership as seen on the screenshot below.

I know that ION's and ANI's journey becomes very difficult toward the end. And from looking at the achievements it appears 5% of you guys have already made it to the final decision. But I'd like to challenge everyone to get there. It's worth it.

Another fun achievement is this one. Get to the top of the mushroom tree before entering the volcano.

5 comments Read more


“Definitely one of the best indie games I ever played.”
90% – TD Game Club

“Phoning Home is indie developer ION LANDS love letter to storytelling and boasts a tale that really is worth telling.”
85% – Keengamer

“I absolutely adored ION and ANI.”
Slickster Magazine

About This Game

You play ION, a young exploration unit on a mission to secure natural resources. When you crash-land on an alien planet your ship is almost completely destroyed. Not only do you have to survive in a strange new world full of dangers, but to have even a hope of escape you must find a way to contact your home planet for help.

With only your ship’s A.I. for company, you set out to explore your new home. On your journey you encounter ANI, a small, stranded service unit who identifies as female. ANI is the first to admit she’s a bit mad, but she is also a valuable resource, and it soon becomes clear that there will be no escape without her.

And so, the two of you begin a journey that neither of you is prepared for, on a planet where even the laws of nature seem not to apply. A journey in which ION and ANI must face the strangest of all possible challenges if they are to have any hope of living to tell their own story.


  • Explore a new frontier. Large open environments with realistic environmental effects – from time-of-day lighting to dappled forests and snow-covered mountains, to volcanoes, canyons, deep oceans and scorching deserts – you must find your way.
  • Experience a story with living (but not breathing) characters, brought to life by voice actors.
  • Survive harsh weather conditions and temperatures – and protect ANI at all costs!
  • An intriguing mix of exploration, logic and action gameplay.
  • Create portals to traverse the landscape.
  • Fight – or find ways to avoid combat.
  • Craft improvements and critical tools from resources found in the environment.
  • Discover the remnants of an alien civilization, decrypt their language and restore their technology.
  • Enjoy a beautiful soundtrack.

Be warned. Phoning Home starts easy, but gets quite challenging in the later stages of the game. Can you leave the planet?

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP / 7 / 8.1 / 10
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 / AMD, 2.5 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated GPU, NVIDIA or AMD, 1.5 GB video memory
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 10 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 (64-bit)
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 / AMD FX-8350, 3.4 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 (3 GB) / AMD R9 290 (4 GB)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 10 GB available space
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