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Video Game / Planet Explorers

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Planet Explorers, by Pathea Games, is a sci-fi voxel-based Survival Sandbox game with RPG elements, featuring a lengthy storyline and a procedurally generated adventure mode. The game allows players to create custom vehicles, weapons, tools, armour, turrets, robots and static ornaments and use them in-game, and even use a separate tool to create their own planets with custom quests and environments. Online multiplayer was available until the developers lost the netcode to a malware attack.

After a Kickstarter campaign and over two years in Early Access, Planet Explorers has been officially released on November 8, 2016.

The game is set on the planet Maria, an Earth-like planet in the Epsilon Indi system. In Story Mode, the player takes the role of a stranded colonist who has been thrown in at the deep end when their starship was struck by a mysterious object, forcing the crew to abandon ship and make a rather "dramatic" landing in the escape shuttles. A lengthy, complex storyline then unfolds, featuring political intrigue, conflict between the people of Earth and Mars, more conflict with Maria's sentient natives and probably a lot of fast-travelling.

This game provides examples of:

  • 24-Hour Armor: Players can wear armour constantly, even while sleeping on a wooden bed out in the cold, mining deep underground or trekking through the blazing-hot desert. Heavy armour is tiring and uncomfortable, though, represented by reduced Stamina and Comfort.
  • Acrofatic: Ronaldo Sanchez is short and very fat, and allegedly fought off twenty Triad agents in one sitting before the witness protection programme shipped him off to the colonies. He can also fight as effectively as any thinner NPC.
  • Action Girl: If the player character is female, she'll almost certainly be one. Female NPCs are all capable of fighting, too.
  • Anyone Can Die: Maria's dangers are many; the Rhino Wolf in particular can bite through Plot Armour like it's cardboard. In Story Mode, easily half the named NPCs eventually kick the bucket.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Pleiades Zheng, Ava Azniv and Aida Acosta both have short hair and the matching bolshy personality. Gerdy Hooke as well, to a lesser degree.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Story Mode has a fairly gritty plot, but for the first few acts the player character's exploits mostly feel like a fun romp across Maria's beautiful vistas. Standing together against the wilderness, facing monsters and aliens, standing up for what's right and making new friends everywhere. Then you get to the end of Chen's reconnaissance mission, a plague drifts in from the swamp, Pujans attack both colonies and the bodies hardly stop piling up until it's all over.
  • Character Customization: Players can design their own avatars, in a wide variety of colours.
  • Cool Bike: The "Cartercycle" the player gets early on in Story Mode, a tricycle with built-in first aid kit that can skip across the plains like a gazelle.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Anything from guns to cars, airships to suits of armour, turrets to compound bows and attack drones to a little statuette of a Maristag riding a unicycle can be designed in the creation system.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: After one enhancement, the enhance machine improves your equipment by half as much each time.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Maria is home to a lot of predators. It's almost impossible to travel far without being attacked.
  • Extra Eyes: Almost all of Maria's fauna have more than two eyes.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Pujans and Pajans share a lot of animosity, with both races describing the other as brutal savages and blaming them for the virus that devastated the planet.
  • Fetch Quest: Players can are often given quests to gather resources.
  • Gatling Good: The Gatling turret, naturally.
  • Genki Girl: Adisa has shades of this, particularly her squeeing over the hard drive from the long-lost Michaelson probe.
  • Giant Flyer: Many. The smallest creature to fit this category, the Harpia Warbird, is the size of a lion, while the Caelum Rex and Red Korona are on the scale of Kaiju.
  • Global Currency: Meat in Story Mode, and credits in Adventure Mode.
  • The Great Wall: The Pujan city in Story Mode is protected by the Wall of Hardship, a colossal stone edifice as long and nearly as tall as the nearby mountain range.
  • Green Hill Zone: The plains biome.
  • Grid Inventory
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Marihares. They are among Maria's weakest predators, but can easily overpower an unarmed human.
  • Hammerspace: A player's inventory has room for hundreds of items, and could concievably hold an entire fleet of flat-packed airships ready to be deployed at a moment's notice.
  • Healing Potion: The herbal juice items fill this niche.
  • Here We Go Again!: Story Mode begins with the player's ship crashing into a huge piece of space debris, forcing them to crash-land on the Galileo continent. How does the story end? With the McTalk facing off against three more of the objects, now known to be alien vessels, as they phase in from out of nowhere. The look on Ava's face pretty much sums it up.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Darkness on Maria isn't all that dark, a stark change from the pitch-black nights colonists used to endure during the alpha.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The energy sword, which does more damage than any blade forged in the creation editor. The diamond greatsword and daggers cap off their respective weapon trees with lesser but still comparable DPS.
  • Killed Off for Real: Several main characters die during Story Mode.
    • Vera Novikova, Moric Gahn, Lao Lei and Ataro Baatar succumb to The Plague, along with three procedurally-generated colonists.
    • During the attack on the Martian Colony, Gerdy Hooke, Alfonzo Hooke, Governor Skyrunner, Rol Olympus, Tariq Bakir, Dayita Saxena, Nanda Yadav, Amy Mikkola and a few procedurally-generated randos all perish.
    • Chen Zhen dies during a Paja ambush in the rainforest. During the subsequent attack on the player's colony, Ronaldo Sanchez, Jenab Hashtag and Agnes Copperfield go the same way.
  • Magic Tool: The Replicator. It is able to craft a huge variety of items, and anything it can't craft can be made with the Factory Replicator.
  • Male Gaze: Some of the female armour sets come with exposed stomachs, shapely breastplates or even corsets. Aida Acosta's uniform comes with a crop top as well.
  • Morale Mechanic: Represented as comfort, it determines a variety of things, including how fast your stamina regenerates. It gradually depletes over time, but can be restored by sleeping.
  • Oxygen Meter: The player needs to breathe. If they spend too long underwater, they will begin to lose HP.
  • Practical Currency: In Story Mode, you use meat as currency. Meat can also be used for food or for crafting certain items, such as the all important animal fat.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: NPCs and players alike have the same stats, regardless of their sex.
    • A caveat: the game has separate men's and women's armour, fitted differently but with the same stats. Some sets are styled very differently depending on what sex they're made for.
  • Respawn on the Spot: If the player uses a revival shot.
  • Run, Don't Walk: By default, the player moves at a gentle jog. They can sprint for a limited time by holding down the shift key.
  • See Water: When the player is submerged, a transparent watery overlay is drawn over the screen.
  • Sentry Gun: The player has access to several turrets which come in two flavours: large turrets which never run out of ammunition but have to be placed on a flat surface, and small place-anywhere guns which periodically need more ammo or electricity. Given the many dangerous predators that call Maria home, a few turrets are a must for any successful colony.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Wild animals will sometimes attack each other, leaving the resulting corpses for the player to loot.
  • Settling the Frontier: The player and friends' original goal in Story Mode, played straighter in Adventure Mode.
  • Shout-Out: The Steam Page official art is eerily similar to the box art for Another World.
  • The Siege: Near the end of Story Mode, waves of Pajan soldiers demanding nuclear weapons to deploy against the Pujans attack the player's colony with their robots in tow. No matter how the player fights back, a handful of colonists will die during the onslaught, but a brigade from the nearby Pujan town arrives to bail them out.
  • Sprint Meter: A stamina metre limits the player's running, jumping and whatnot. Mining and logging also drain stamina, but the player can keep doing these activities at a reduced pace.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Some aggressive animals will chase the player for hours, even when mortally wounded.
  • Survival Sandbox
  • Synthetic Plague: In Story Mode, a virus engineered decades ago by aliens from outside the system was responsible for crippling both the Pujans and the Pajans, as well as causing the player's colony a lot of strife.
  • Terrain Sculpting: It is possible, if time-consuming, for players to level a mountain. Or build a mountain.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: In the campaign, the player faces an early one in the form of three Red Koronas, fierce Giant Flyers who can endure dozens of arrows and dish out devastating damage. The two free sentry turrets from Chen can just about see you through the fight, but then, with slightly better gear if you're lucky, you'll be thrown against three even deadlier, more resilient Firebears.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Keen-eyed players will note that nearly every animal you see have six limbs.
  • Wrench Wench: Story Mode has a couple:
    • Adisa Mostafa is a skilled engineer who teaches the player how to use the creation editor, and subsequently helps design an airship to reach the Newton continent.
    • Ava Azniv can work magic with robots and computer systems.