Pathea Games, the studio behind DRAINS and LITTLE ZOOLOGISTS, made their debut on Steam Greenlight today with PLANET EXPLORERS: a sorta science-y, voxel-based, exploration, combat, creative-mode, open world thingy. Kinda like Spore meets Minecraft meets Oregon Trail. IN SPACE. WITH GUNS. FOR FREE.
The synopsis from Pathea Games:
[quote] In Planet Explorers, it is the year 2287, one of the first colony ships sent out by Earth arrives at the planet Maria, in the Epsilon Indi Star System. During its landing sequence, something appears in front of the massive ship that causes it to lose control and crash into the planet. Some of the colonists survive in lifeboats, but what they find is an unforgiving land filled with creatures ready to outlast the visitors from Earth. Now the survivors must explorer, gather, build, create, fight, and ultimately, conquer the land. [/quote]
So it’s not the most unique plot ever, big whoop. What struck me is that the game is skirting the open-ended glory of Minecraft without ripping off its visual style. Or StarForge without its clunky, unforgiving difficulty. Or Spore without its crappy pacing. Check out the “Adventure Mode” trailer below:
It’s trying to be a very cinematic trailer, with a touch of run and gun with the local fauna, and some cave-diving and settlement building mixed in. It has a flavor of Wild West, Manifest Destiny about it: settle a new “wilderness” and proceed to annihilate everything that breathes your oxygen. Seriously, this game has some ambition on it. Pathea promises a robust single player mode, local/online co-op/versus modes, and an infinite build mode. Can I get a kitchen sink editor with that, too?
Honestly, at first I was kinda meh. I wasn’t blown away on my first impression. The game runs likes a slideshow presentation and the look is very 2007. But it’s a freakin’ alpha, so I give it a lot of slack. Even with all the primitive elements, there’s still something every evocative about such a wide canvas to paint on. There’s a lot of potential here. What lefts to be seen is if they can combine all these cool parts into a cohesive, immersive experience.
Plus there’s this:
That’s right, race fans. PLANET EXPLORERS features robust item, vehicle, and terrain editors, so I look forward to racing Optimus Prime versus Sweet Tooth versus Thomas the Tank Engine in a race to the death in front of Castle Greyskull. All armed with dildo guns.