Fun but frustrating
Lifeless Planet is something of a frustrating experience. It's so very very good in many ways but is also let down but numerous issues which prevent it from living up to its full potential. It gets off to a great start, with an intriguing story that finds an astronaut on a one-way mission to explore a supposedly lush and inhabitable planet but which turns out to be lifeless and barren instead. He finds traces of a previous team which was supposed to be there to help him out and as he explores he uncovers evidence of another rival team which was not supposed to be there. What follows is a sort of combination platform/puzzle game with a strong emphasis on exploration and on uncovering the narrative. There are various types of environment to venture into, including underground areas, while a handful of gadgets are available to help you in your quest. These include a jet pack for movement and a robotic arm which is used to handle objects you can't touch personally. Lifeless Planet is so very nearly a classic experience. It's got an intriguing storyline which is told in a clever and minimalist way and there's a lot of fun to be had from uncovering the planet's mysteries. However, the puzzle and platform elements are not implemented in the best way and range from questionable to downright frustrating. This is in part due to wonky controls and overly simplistic puzzles and platforming, while the main gameplay itself is just too repetitive and it all becomes a bit of a slog too quickly. There are flashes of brilliance but unfortunately they are too few and far between to make this a must play.