The new Lifeless Planet trailer is haunting, beautiful and full of promise.

I hate to admit it but despite being successfully Kickstarted back in October 2011, Lifeless Planet somehow stayed under my radar until it was brought to my attention via email this morning. It’s embarrassing because based on everything on display in this trailer, this is exactly my kind of game: bizarre, PC-exclusive and Russian.

The game itself isn’t actually Russian, but they’re in there and up to shenanigans of some sort. Exactly what sort of shenanigans they’re up to is a mystery, and what a mystery it is. After a pioneering, one-way flight to a planet 20 light years away, astronauts crash-land on the surface, only to discover traces of a pre-existing Soviet presence – and that the lush, Earth-like world they expected is barren and lifeless.

Is some kind of Planet of the Apes twist in the offing? Did the Soviet Union discover, and then somehow lose, the secret of faster-than-light travel? Did aliens spying on humanity back in the 60s decide that Kruschev and Co. had the right idea, but then crash-landed on the way home before they could spread the news and decided that their final act in this life would be to erect a monument to the brilliance and eternal greatness of the U.S.S.R.?

Okay, that last one’s a bit of a stretch, but the idea is incredibly intriguing. It has a considerable Myst vibe to it, but it’s not a point-and-click adventure; publisher Lace Mamba describes Lifeless Planet as an “exciting 3D action adventure” and the Kickstarter page says it’s intended to offer an “experience in the spirit of” games like Out Of This World, The Dig and Ico. That’s a bold comparison but if it holds up, it makes Lifeless Planet a must-play game.

Lifeless Planet is currently expected to be out by the end of the year. To find out more, hit up

Thanks to valsholk for the tip.

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