Remote Planets – A universe in disarray

Look at this, we meet again with yet another simple and maybe not-so-easy game called Remote Planets. I say maybe as this game plays on your ability to read the room. OK, it is not so much a room as it is a platform, or multiple platforms, that represents a planet in an empty space. I should not say empty. There are after all 123 planets, or puzzles if you will, and some locals that are more or less receptive to you being there.

Why am I here if the locals do not want me to be here, I hear you ask. Well, let me put it like this. There is a reason I do not have a driver’s license for any type of vehicle. Hell, I am not even trusted with the tricycle at the local toy store. And after crashing into this planet I am most likely to end up on some interplanetary watchlist and get banned from operating anything in space as well.

A broken ship and an energy grid

What is even odder than my inability to operate vehicles is how they deal with problems on this planet. Let me put it like this. If you were the mayor of the best pastel-looking planet in the universe, would you strongarm an obviously incompetent pilot like me into messing with your energy grid before helping me repair my ship? I guess you would if you had some ulterior motives like running an insurance fraud against the interplanetary energy federation. But even so. you might want a more competent individual to fix what is broken.

The reason I say this is because I am halfway into the game with 8+ hours on my record. It might sound like a good thing if you appreciate a lengthy game. But here is a little secret. Remote Planets has an estimated playtime of 3-5 hours for most. Now, it should be said that I redid several levels to see if there were more than one way to solve a puzzle. I mean, it is a puzzle game after all. There could be some paths hidden in plain sight, right?

Directional cubes and platforms

While on the subject of solving puzzles. Do you remember that I mentioned multiple platforms at the beginning of the review? What I did not mention is that you are in control of some of these platforms. You control said platforms by pushing a cube around on one or more platforms. But it does not stop there. This cube can also be fixed in place, or have a reversed function. I do not think the latter did much for the game in terms of adding to the gameplay. But I did enjoy being stuck in place while trying to solve a puzzle.

Something else I found enjoyable was when the game allowed me to combine or build my own platforms from pieces that were scattered throughout a level. I would go as far as to say that this is the best part of Remote Planets and something the developer Zuza should expand on. I understand it might not be possible for the initial release. But downloadable content is always an option, right? At least I hope so.

Overworld circuits and beyond

I have to say, your silence surprises me. We are more than 560 words into this review and you have yet to ask me why I am talking about rebuilding, combining, and moving platforms around. Either you lost interest at “Look at this” or you just did not think about it because you were entrenched in my quality writing. If that is the case, thank you for enjoying what I do!

The reason we are indulging in this platform shenanigans is that we have to move the non-directional cubes, or transformers if you will, to any of the available level circuits that are on or off the platform your cubes are on. By doing this we activate the overworld circuit for that specific level which will count towards you getting one step closer to getting your ship repaired.

The casual conclusion

As you can imagine, it is one thing to get the ship repaired and another to actually leave the planet. I mean, you might decide to stay and give all levels another try or maybe even trick a friend into completing the ones you have not. I know I am. Yes, the last comment was a joke. What kind of reviewer would I be if I did not play the games I am reviewing, right?

In conclusion. Would I recommend Remote Planets? It depends. If you are looking for a relaxed and casual experience, yes. If you are looking for something more complex and demanding, no. But even if you prefer the former, you might not find the art direction, storyline, or soundtrack to your liking. So it all comes down to what you like in general and what you look for in particular. Whatever your preferences are, I had a good time with Remote Planets.

Disclaimer: Remote Planets was provided to me by Zuza for review.

  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Developer: Zuza
  • Publisher: Zuza
  • Release Date: April 24, 2023
  • Platform: Steam
  • Price: TBA
  • Reviewed on: PC
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