Lifeless Planet, a game about exploring a distant alien world that’s dotted with some oddly familiar features, did not thrill me as much as I hoped I would. But I still very much like the idea of Lifeless Planet: A weird, pulpy story styled after the softcover sci-fi classics of the 1950s. And so I was happy to receive today’s announcement of a follow-up called Lifeless Moon, which is now in the works at developer Stage 2 Interactive.
The new game will be set in the early 1970s, many years before the events of Lifeless Planet, and the teaser hints at a similar sort of experience: Two astronauts on a mission to the moon discover that things are not what they expected on arrival. But studio founder David Board said that while the two games are “rooted in the same universe,” Lifeless Moon is not a direct prequel.
“The Lifeless Moon story is actually based on an early alternate concept that I had for Lifeless Planet. While the story for that game went in another direction, I kept returning to this idea as a possible future story. So though it is not directly tied to the Lifeless Planet story, Lifeless Moon is rooted in the same universe,” Board explained. “However, the two stories are loosely connected, so in that sense, Lifeless Moon is a kind of a spiritual successor to Lifeless Planet. Fans of the first game will recognize and hopefully enjoy certain elements of the story.”
Lifeless Moon will have a “deeper focus on puzzles” than its predecessor, and Board said the gameplay will “compliment the mysterious and psychological themes of the story.” Platforms haven’t been nailed down yet, but VR support is planned, and the studio—which since the launch of Lifeless Planet has “exploded” from a one-man operation to a team of three—hopes to have a playable beta out sometime this year.
A Kickstarter is coming as well, although not for awhile yet. For now, you can find out more (and sign up for the mailing list, if you’re so inclined) at lifelessmoon.com, and check out a few screens below.