Game Trailer

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The Story

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 loved... 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.


My goal with Lifeless Planet is to create a game that puts the adventure back into "action-adventure." I grew up loving old 50's-era science fiction movies and TV. I also loved games like Out of this World, The Dig, and ICO. Lifeless Planet combines a gaming experience in the spirit of those classic games with an old-school sci-fi story.

Lifeless Planet has quite a story to tell. As I write this, the Kepler Telescope has discovered over a thousand new planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy. Of these, at least 60 are comparable in size to the Earth, and a few are within the habitable zone of their star—meaning they could harbor life.

What if you could explore one of those planets?

In Lifeless Planet, you will:
  • Leave the comfort and safety of Earth and journey to a distant world.
  • Discover that the planet scientists thought was rich with life is instead a barren wasteland.
  • Find out other explorers had already set foot on the planet...many years ago.
  • Struggle to explain the existence of another human in this apparently uninhabitable land...Will you be able to put aside your skepticism and follow her to preserve your life?

Now to me, "story" does not mean "words"... I've seen a lot of games that bombard the user with text on screen. This is great for some genres like RPGs, but even the best-written verbiage doesn't make for a cinematic experience. I love how LIMBO has not a word of dialogue but says so much through its dramatic visuals. I plan to do something similar with Lifeless Planet by conveying as much as possible through visuals and sound. There will be text logs, documents, and other items that shed light on little details of the world, but these will be optional to finishing the game, serving instead to add depth to the world for those who want a little more...

Good stories don't come out of thin air, so I have spent a ton of time building a plot that will present something new and exciting to the gamer. I spent months developing a sound plot outline. Then I spent many more hours working and re-working the story to flesh out unique and interesting details. I knew I had finally arrived at something good when the lucky few who heard the story were nearly as excited to hear it as I was to tell it.

Of course, story is important, but the gameplay has to be great too. I'm spending an equal amount of time working on making this game fun to play. I'm breaking down other great games to find out what makes them great—not just looking at their general gameplay, but examining each objective, each puzzle, to discover what makes them fun. Lifeless Planet will be more than an exciting narrative. It will be a thrilling interactive experience!

Lifeless Planet is under development for PC and mobile platforms. The game will first release for PC and Mac and hopefully other platforms to follow.

This game is a totally independent game project by a very small team: in fact, all of the production so far has been by one guy (me!), so...

THANK YOU for your interest in Lifeless Planet!

—David Board