Searching for resources, staying fed and hydrated, crafting tools and building a base and staying alive in a hostile environment is what survival games are all about. But how about altering that environment until it’s not as harsh as you thought? What if you could transform a hostile desert planet into a lush, green paradise through terraforming?
The Planet Maker, now on Steam Early Access, takes you to a barren, barren world that looks a lot like Mars, and your job is not just to survive, but ultimately to make the planet habitable for other humans. As you explore and collect minerals and other resources, and keep yourself fed and oxygenated, you’ll craft tools and equipment, build a base, and craft machines and modules that can start warming the planet. Eventually, you will be able to create a breathable atmosphere and bring life to the world in the form of trees, plants, lakes, and even wildlife. You can start growing in hydroponic tubes inside your base, but the ultimate goal is to be able to grow them outside under a bright blue sky.
Planet Crafter has a compelling Subnautica vibe, and there’s a good sci-fi feel to the base modules and other machines you build. And unlike many survival games where you spend a lot of time hunting animals for food or fending off attacks, The Planet Crafter is a non-violent game. There are a lot of challenges when it comes to surviving the elements and progressing through the higher stages of terraforming technology, but you won’t need to kill anything to do that. Nice.
The sci-fi survival game will spend between one and two years in Early Access, according to the two-person development team at Miju Games, though that could change based on player feedback, which so far is “Overwhelmingly Positive” on Steam. There are plans to add small lifeforms, more environmental threats, a vehicle, and more story elements during its development.