One positive side-effect of video gaming’s ever-increasing popularity is the resulting boost in diversity. While the industry still has work to do, it’s much easier to find varied representations of gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation among titles available today than it was just a few years ago. Case in point: Escape from Pleasure Planet, an unabashedly pro-gay sci-fi adventure. The brainchild of Australian indie developer Luke Miller, the game recently achieved its funding goals on Kickstarter and is now headed toward release early next year.
Escape from Pleasure Planet acts as a standalone follow-up to 2014’s similarly gay-themed My Ex-Boyfriend the Space Tyrant. However, its inclusivity isn't its only selling point, with Miller promising a “solid sci-fi story” inspired by the “big, bold, colorful retro sci-fi” titles of decades past, such as Flash Gordon and the works of Isaac Asimov. Players take on the role of Captain Tycho Minogue, who is tasked with tracking down a dangerous (and “dangerously handsome”) criminal named Brutus.
In his search Minogue travels to Arcadia, a world dubbed the Pleasure Planet, where tourists of all kinds – “gay and straight, human and alien” – are able to fulfill their “wildest fantasies.” While plot specifics are sparse for now, Miller teases that more may be going on than meets the eye. Is Brutus really “hiding out” on Arcadia, or does he have ulterior motives for seeking refuge there? Is it really all pleasure and no pain for Arcadia’s tourists, or does the Pleasure Planet hide sinister secrets beneath its Utopian exterior?
Played from a third-person, 2.5D perspective, the game will use point-and-click controls with various puzzles and tasks for players to confront throughout the game. The hand-drawn graphics feature a cartoonish, colorful style depicting 30 locations across 5 different planets, populated by 35 different characters designed by illustrator Joe Phillips.
Escape from Pleasure Planet is scheduled to land on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms in both DRM-free and Steam versions in January 2017. Interested gamers can head over to the official Kickstarter page for more information.