Planetoid Pioneers Touches Down On Early Access

Wobbly physics crafting game Planetoid Pioneers [official site] makes perfect sense when you see it, but it takes a lot of words to explain fully. Here are those words: it’s a 2D physics building game set upon and inside planetoids in which you must survive, gather resources, fight enemies and craft vehicles, with a creative mode in which you can make your own sprites, construct your own planets and creatures, and share them with others via PNG image files. It’s on Steam Early Access now as a ‘Contributor Edition’ designed for those who want to make things for the game, but there’s more you need to know below.

That’s not all that needs explaining. There’s also that the items you create for the game can be shared via the Steam Workshop (or anywhere online and then dragged and dropped into game), but that developers Data Realms are also operating their own Steam Item Workshop which will offer a curated selection of user-created work. The creators get a cut of those sales.

Planetoid Pioneers is being made by folks who made Cortex Command, and therefore they’re pretty familiar with the early access mode. That game was similarly 2D, physicsy, unfinished at launch and, in the eyes of some, unfinished still when finished. I never played it enough to diagnose its problems, but I liked Data Realms’ first game for many of the same reasons I like the look of this one. Mainly that they both have robots and the robots fall and tumble in a comical way. I wrote more about the game after last year’s Gamescom, if you’re looking for more examples of what it can do.

The last thing you absolutely need to know before you consider buying this version of the game, however, is that it currently costs more than the final game will. “At the beginning of our Early Access period following our launch on April 15th this year, we will be asking for significantly more than what the ‘full’ game that leaves Early Access will cost,” says the game’s Steam page, before explaining that the higher price is because the Contributor Edition offers the “opportunity to use the included Crush2D tools to make and contribute to the official game during the Early Access period (and be in the game credits for it).” That doesn’t make sense to me, though I can see the benefit in scaring off anyone who’d hope for a polished experience.

The game is currently $40/£30. Here’s the shouty trailer compelling you to buy the game:

And here’s the talky-developer trailer telling you not to buy the game, unless you want to make stuff for the game:


  1. Syt says:

    A survival sandbox in Early Access? Thank Hod, at last! It’s been ages since we’ve had one of those!

    • Spacewalk says:

      I am getting pumped, pumped as fuck to be punching some fucking trees.

    • Zankman says:

      Personally I look forward to those more than I do to read hipsterish cynical comments.

      • int says:

        I don’t know, I’d say it’s hard to pick between cynical hipsterish comments and early access survival sandbox games.

        Both are things I can’t imagine living without.

    • Marr says:

      It doesn’t read as a survival sandbox to me, I think they’re going for something more like Blaster Master meets Exile. (The 1988 BBC Micro space adventure, not Jeff Vogel’s 1995 RPG) This release isn’t so much a sandbox as a stand alone modding toolkit.

      Check out their lead artist’s websites, I think it shows where these guys are coming from. I’m hoping they do well enough this time around to start a Star Control inspired passion project next.

    • Marr says:

      Here’s the first video they posted of this engine, it’s really not something we’ve seen before. link to

  2. stoopiduk says:

    Supply and demand, if people like them then other will keep making them. It quite appeals to me, and I’d probably buy it if it weren’t so expensive.

  3. BathroomCitizen says:

    I quite liked Cortex Command too, and yes, it was quite unfinished.

    Anyway, I’d love to buy this one when we get the “user edition”.

  4. pennywyz says:

    Cortex Command was the first game I bought in “early access” and is the reason I almost never buy early access anymore… hopefully Data Realms also learned something from the experience and have a better showing this time.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Cortex Command was, similarly, the first time I ever bought an officially unfinished game, and it nearly put me off for good.

      Emphasis on “nearly”.

      I came back to it semi-recently, years after my original purchase, and honestly? It’s so much fun. Granted, it’s only fun because of the amount of effort that the community have put into it, but fun is still fun. I’ve had dozens upon dozens of hours of honest-to-god enjoyment out of it now, so I feel like, retroactively, I can’t begrudge paying what I did for it. Even if, possibly, some of that money should have gone to the community instead.

    • Razumen says:

      I bought CC way before it was “done” as well. The game becomes much more fun once you view it as a sort of battle sandbox, making bases for you to either defend or attack, and taking advantage of the maaaany different mods the community has made for the game-it’s possible to sink many, mannnnny hours into it this way.

      Now, the ‘campaign’ mode is rather disappointing, I’d have preferred a more traditional mission based structure, with varying objectives and such, but it’s at least serviceable, I guess. Again, not that mods should be the answer, but there are a bunch of fun user made missions people have made as well.

  5. Artist says:

    Daniel “Data” Tabar is a thief!
    Anybody whos slapping a “1.0” on his unfinished junk-ware (Cortex Command) should be considered a thief!

    • Razumen says:

      Your comment is junkware. I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of Cortex Command than a lot of AAA games.

    • Hogans heroes says:

      That sounds really serious, you better quickly go to the police or maybe even Interpol. Tell them about the theft. I am sure they will give your accusations the attention they deserve.