Explore Every Corner Of The Universe: Planets³

It probably seemed a good idea at the time to call a game about cube-shaped planets, Planets³. Before realising that this was the internet, and people weren’t going to open Character Map every time they wanted to search for your game. So Planets3, as even developers Cubical (³ical?) are calling it now, perhaps isn’t going to win any SEO awards. But it might pick up a couple for cuteness. This is a voxel-based universe explorer, in which you fly your spaceship from planet to planet, beating up monsters, gathering tools, building houses and vehicles, and generally being very busy with stuff.

Oddly enough, despite the word “cube” appearing throughout like a plague, this isn’t a straight Minecraft-a-like. The planets themselves aren’t formed of cubes, but rather voxelly slops and triangles. Okay, it still looks a lot like Minecraft, just a lot smoother. But still, spaceships, multiple planets, etc.

You can get an idea of the crafting hopes in a couple of the screenshots. Here are some “vehicules”:

And this appears to be a weapon crafting moment:

It’s still in early development – so much so that there’s not even a Greenlight page yet! I didn’t even know that could be a thing. There is, of course, a Kickstarter coming soon.

Also, if they don’t copy “Explore every corner of the universe” as their strapline, then the game will flop. Fact.


  1. Snegletiss says:

    Count me in. Those planets look beautiful. I’d just fly around enjoying the view.

    • Christo4 says:

      i was hoping that too, but imo from the small gameplay it looks too much like minecraft
      if it was something scifi with smaller worlds in cube planet shape it would have been more interesting imo

  2. jonahcutter says:

    3d Minecraft then 2d Terreria then 2d Starbound then 3d PlanetsCubed

    The circle has been completed. By squares.

    Except not really squares/cubes. Which raises the question: Why cubed planets when the base building blocks are not limited to cubes themselves?

    • SuddenSight says:

      As a joke, I assume. It’s a running joke in Minecraft that the moon and the sun both appear as squares in the sky, so presumably all the planets/stars in Minecraft are cuboid.

      This game looks a LOT like minecraft (you could convince me some of the shots were from Minecraft). So I presume the cubic planets are meant to attract Minecraft players.

      • communisthamster says:

        I think “cubes” is an aesthetic by itself now, independent of simple minecraft-cloning.

  3. Gap Gen says:

    “Captain! They’re blocking our shields!”

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I’m not your captain, rook. I’m your SQUAD leader ha ha.

  4. Ultra Superior says:

    Those planets are missing the skies!

    Who stole the sky?

    No man.

    No man at all.

  5. waltC says:

    It’s dead, Jim.

  6. Cockie says:

    There is by default a ³ button on each azerty keyboard, in fact. I feel slightly superior now over you poor, non-cubekey-having people. ;)

    • onsamyj says:


    • Harlander says:

      Do francophones refer to mathematical cubes a disproportionate amount, then?

      • Cockie says:

        [nitpicking] I’m Belgian actually (Dutch-speaking) but for some reason we use azerty too. [/nitpicking]
        About as much as anglophones use the tilde key I think.

        • vivlo says:

          French azerty here. No ^3 in sight. (also it’s a macbook layout… BUT i know for a fact that on pc’s layouts, you have ^2 but no ^3)

          • Cockie says:

            Hey, I knever knew, French and Belgian azerty is a bit different apparently! On my keyboard, the ³ key is the same key as ² (normal press = ², shift+press=³), but on French azerty it isn’t there. Odd. Oh well, learned something today.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Without tilde, how would I write approximate numbers, or add patronisingly sing-song emphasis to words, or refer to my home directory under UNIX?

          • Cockie says:

            Hmmm, that’s true. I have to use Alt Gr to do all of those things.

  7. onsamyj says:

    Add elements of “SimCity” and “Civ”, and you get “Imagine Nations”.

    • Targaff says:

      The triangles immediately made me think of Patterns.

      • socrate says:

        the problem with all these minecraft clone is that if you look into minecraft mod its already all been done in one way or the other.

  8. Lemming says:

    I can’t help thinking this would’ve been so much nicer without the cube gimmick. No one using voxels heard of marching cubes all of a sudden?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Especially if “not made of cubes” also means “not deformable”, which is one big reason to be all cube-y.

      Edit: Ah, “Construction Without Limits” section. It’s Minecraft, but doing slope generation between verticies, like Transport Tycoon etc. did long, long ago when all this were isometric heightmaps.

      They, uh. Should probably be a bit more honest about how derivative they are on that page. Being inspired by Infiniminer/Minecraft/Starbound/etc.? Fine, run with it, enhance and iterate. Bold statements about building your own stuff as a feature when quite blatantly being inspired by Minecraft etc.? We’ve, uh. We’ve kind of already done that, you know. And I’m sure at least one of these games has remembered octrees exist, too. (Sauerbraten did, Minetest might.)

    • Sam says:

      The problem with marching cubes is that it reduces the easy predictability of building with blocks.
      Put a Minecraft block on top of another one, and you know exactly what you’ll get. Fill a voxel position in a field that’s fed into a marching cubes algorithm and the change that happens in the displayed mesh is dependent on surroundings, so less easily predicted by the user.

  9. SuicideKing says:

    I want a Rust type of “Survive and Explore the Universe” type of game.

    It’ll work like this:
    You start off as a part of a tribe, people play coop/vs, and you have to work your way up till the space age from the stone age.

    Basically, Rust set in a AoE type Stone Age, through to the Imperial Age, where a Rise of Nations type transition takes over, finally ending up in FreeSpace/Star Wars/Elite/Star Citizen type world.

    It’ll be an multiplayer FPS survival game that will combine all games EVAR except the more fantastical ones involving magic and zombies. It ends with Inter-Galactic civilizations and space dogfights and planet capturing and my god can someone make this please?

  10. cafeoh says:

    The problem with designing “spherical” planet in cube-voxel based game, is that even if you make a sphere out of voxel (which isn’t a problem at all), gravity will be a bitch, and you’ll eventually be sitting on cube’s edges. You can make the whole thing flat and not allow the user to reach the center of the planet (like done in Starbound).
    Using cube planets is another alternative. You don’t have to use a spherical gravity, instead of using atan to calculate the gravity vector, you simply take max(x,y), and set the gravity accordingly.

    This seems like a hack to use voxel with planets where you can go to the center. Why am I telling all that? Because this trailer, and therefore probably the game, to me, goes way beyond that. THEY DIDN’T EVEN USE CUBE VOXELS?!?! W-Wait square orbits? This looks god damn amazing, straight out of a Perry Pratchett book, I LOVE IT, because it’s NOT a game based on a gameplay hack of the boring most popular indie game of this decade, it looks fantastic and breath out pure freshness.

    I don’t even care what kind of gameplay it’s gonna have, be a fucking point’n click if you wish, I’ll watch this project with much interest.

    • Lemming says:

      Is Perry Pratchett, Terry Pratchett’s evil twin?

      • jonahcutter says:

        No, Terry Pratchett’s evil twin is Perry Tratchett.

        Perry Pratchett is his grocer. No relation.

  11. BTAxis says:

    Yep, I like it. I hope the game will generate objectives and challenges for the player to busy themselves with though, because I always get bored really fast if a sandbox is all there is.

  12. TheIronSky says:

    I wish I could say that this looked like more than another MINECRAFT IN SPACE, but the trailer doesn’t really leave a lot of room for interpretation.

  13. Hypnotron says:

    There is a game called VGA Planets 3.0.

  14. Tei says:

    My own way to describe this would be StarMade with Zynga graphics. But thats unfair, because this graphics are really good in a really good way. I must watch more of this before judging.

  15. jorjordandan says:

    Starbound 3D!!! The most important question is – What happens to gravity in the center of the planets?

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Many gamers died in lava trying to find out on Earth, and now you want to repeat the experiment on other worlds? Madness, I say.

      • c-Row says:

        Just send in the Bothans – they are used to it.

        • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          That’s your answer to everything. We have reached Peak Bothan, and from here we have to be more careful with our Bothan resources. We can’t just throw Bothans at a situation any more.

          • Geebs says:

            I have a solution to prevent excessive wastage of Bothans. Simply name every Bothan “Manny” and send in one at a time.

  16. P-Dazzle says:

    Someone quickly email the devs and inform them that this has already been made and is called “Minecraft”.
    It was looking interesting until it zoomed in on the planet, and then …… yawn.

  17. Randomer says:

    If Planets^3 doesn’t work out for them, I suppose they could call it Cube Worlds.

  18. sinister agent says:

    open Character Map

    Heh. John grew up without Google.

  19. Waldkoenig says:

    Character Map?! Dude, just press AltGRRR (the one on the right) + 3

    There, magic!

  20. racccoon says:

    A smart cookie who put map plains together into cubes and created a cubiverse.

  21. frightlever says:

    Meanwhile Planet Explorers should be on Steam Early Access soon. They’re hoping for last week of this month.

    link to steamcommunity.com

  22. wr0ng1 says:

    Planets^3 – what’s the problem?

  23. reymantha says:

    Hey guys! The video doesn’t exist anymore, there is a new trailer and much more infos on the website.
    Take a look. You won’t be disappointed.