Planetoid Pioneers - PC Review

In my beta preview of this game, I called this game the lovechild of Cortex Command and Crayon Physics Deluxe. The game growing and expanding has not dissuaded me from that assessment in the least. The nameless protagonist (or at least the current incarnation of him) is dropped onto a planet's surface with little to no explanation or direction given. Thankfully, the first planetoid acts as a sort of tutorial island, forcing you to learn through experimentation to surpass obstacles. This is where the similarities to Metroid end, though.

You see, the real goal is to repair/rebuild your ship so that you can travel to the next planet (upon which you will strand yourself) and in order to do that, you need to explore the (somewhat) abandoned caverns of the planetoid, uncovering ruins, repairing machinery, destroying machinery, jamming rocks into spinning gears of doom, and generally shooting everything that so much as thinks about moving.

After you have disassembled and deatomised enough of an item, you learn how to build new copies of it. This takes from your nigh-inexhaustible resource pools that you can top up by firing your deatomiser at random walls, which gives your resources a sort of 'trickle-charge' degree of benefit.

User-created content will ensure that there is a never ending supply of new planetoids to explore, ranging from impossible to entry-level, and ensuring that there will be something of interest for everyone. Puzzles that require you to use firearms, throw tools, use levers, gears, power devices, and far more. Much like Mario Maker, though, the game will live or die by the sword of the community. A thriving community of content makers and a ready supply of great players and streamers will draw enough people to continue playing this game to the point that more people will create more amazing content.

If this was a wholly online multiplayer game, the lack of ability to pause the game would be somewhat forgivable, but this is, all things considered, a fairly resource intensive platformer. There is so much going on with the physics engine (and that's not a bad thing. A lot of things actually behave as they SHOULD, and not as video games have taught us they do) that you will need an actual gaming machine to play this game. 8GB of ram minimum for a platformer is pretty excessive, but they do make a very polished looking product with that massive footprint.

It does feel like it could benefit from a smidge more Metroid in this metroidvania-like, though. The music is great, the weapon selection is varied, and the sound-effects are spot on, but jumping feels clunky and unresponsive. Closer to an accurate(ish) physics game would have than a platformer would, which is fitting, given that this game isn't really marketed as a platformer!

Players can design their own weapons, their own vehicles, they can even build themselves jetpacks to help traverse the terrain. This is a game where you are more limited by your own creativity than you are by the game itself, which, depending on the kind of person you are, can be either a very great or a very crippling thing.

If you're just looking to try this game out, I suggest you watch a stream on Twitch first, because if you buy it, you're SERIOUSLY going to want to buy up to the contributor tier version of the game for access to discord, a community of content creators, and a wealth of knowledge accrued by the many months the early-adopters have on you.

Game Information

Data Realms
Data Realms, LLC
Single Player
Local Multiplayer
Other Platform(s):

Provided by Publisher

Article by Marc H.


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