Space Metroidvania Planetoid Pioneers blasts out of Early Access

"Physicsvania" is the not-so-catchy term that developer Data Realms has slapped onto Planetoid Pioneers, which has just left Early Access, and while I'm not entirely sure it'll catch on it does at least describe the game fairly accurately. You're an astronaut exploring and trying to survive on various mini planets while using a ridiculous physics system to solve puzzles and obliterate enemies. Each planet offers unique vehicles, enemies and items, and you'll be able to explore solo or with a friend in drop-in co-op.

Its creation tools are its big draw. The developers have made a huge array of planets for you to get stuck into, but the game also lets you design your own planets, weapons, characters and vehicles, and the system is powerful enough that Matt was able to build his beloved Mazda 323 in the game and drive it on the moon.

These community-made maps and items will likely make up the bulk of the game eventually. The idea is that the best work will become part of the base game, with the rest landing in the Steam Workshop. As the developer told Joe in November, the idea is to "elevate modders into contributors who are empowered and encouraged to work alongside the official development team". 

I've had my eye on it for a while, and I think it looks fun enough to consider even if you don't intend to create anything. The wacky physics should be amusing, especially if you're playing with a friend. My only concern is that the astronauts "fall over themselves with QWOP-like action" as you try to control them, although the footage suggests it's not that difficult to get around, which means you can get on with the game.

The game is £15.49/$19.99 on Steam and the Humble Store (the Humble version still lists it as Early Access, for some reason), or you can pay a little bit extra for the Contributor Edition, which gives you access to a creator's Discord server where you can chat with the developers.

Samuel Horti

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play.