Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places, as three former school friends from Slovenia found out in 2015 when a random Facebook photo struck a chord and provided the foundation for their debut design project. That game is the upcoming PlanetRealm, and over the course of the intervening years it has grown into a full-fledged 3D adventure packed with puzzles, hidden treasure, and little planets – lots of little planets.
It’s been three centuries since the infamous planet hunter Olygoz made off with a dozen rare and valuable planetary cores and hid them somewhere in the system so they’d never fall into the wrong hands. Now a breadcrumb trail of challenges awaits the one brave enough to follow it and find these omnicores at its end. As the nephew of the scavenger Solygar, the last person who tried and failed to find the omnicores, you embark upon a planet-hopping quest that promises to test your wits.
PlanetRealm is populated by scores of small cartoony planetoids connected by tunnels of magical vines. Its low-poly but extremely colorful worlds can be traversed in free-roaming first-person 3D via keyboard/mouse or gamepad controls. The celestial bodies are small enough that they can be traversed in short order, but large enough to give you some space to maneuver; criss-crossing any given surface, the nearest horizon is always just a few feet away. Planets may require a certain task to be completed, like activating a piece of machinery, or serve as a challenge in and of themselves, with maze-like trail layouts that must be navigated to reach the next transport tunnel.
The full version of PlanetRealm is still a way off, with a release window currently targeted for 2021. However, a PC demo is now available to download from itch.io and Game Jolt. If you like what you see, those interested in backing the development team financially can also do so via the game’s official Patreon page.