You know what game I’ve been secretly hankering for after playing so much Palworld recently? It’s Lightyear Frontier, the upcoming farming/crafting mech adventure game from Frame Break and Amplifier Studios, and happily, we now know when it’s finally coming out. Lightyear Frontier will be launching into early access on both Steam and Game Pass on March 19th, and you can go and play a demo of it right now, too. The demo is technically part of Steam Next Fest next week, but it’s live now for all to enjoy (just like every other Steam Next Fest demo, it seems).
I had a lovely time getting to grips with Lightyear Frontier’s laidback mech-based farming and crafting loops when I played a small chunk of it back at Gamescom last year, and I was also very taken with its strangely PowerWash Sim-like hosing tools, too, which you’ll need to banish a horrible-looking ooze that’s plaguing the land. Unlike Palworld, this is an alien world that simply begs to be explored, if not to clean it and encourage its local wildlife to return, then to simply see the sights and gather the resources you’ll need to create your new home. And there isn’t a poor cute monster creature in sight to exploit in the process, either.
It’s the way Frame Break and Amplifier Studios have repurposed traditional mech weapons for farming that really tickles me the most, though. You can use a machinegun to ‘plant’ seeds, and a vacuum to harvest crops from your vegetable patches. Then there’s that aforementioned hose, too, which is like a giant Supersoaker to scrub the world clean again. You still have your pickaxe to mine rock and chainsaw to cut down trees, of course – that farm isn’t going to build itself, after all – but rather than have resources simply respawning, you’ll also need to plant new trees to replace the ones you cut down. Taking care of the environment is clearly a big theme for the developers here, and honestly, it’s very welcome and refreshing after the dirge of stripping Palworld for everything it’s got.
The devs say Lightyear Frontier will likely spend around a year and a half in early access, according to the Steam page, and that they’ll be adding new environments, plants, resources, animals, hazards, upgrade tiers and mech modules over time. It will also only have the first act of its story to begin with, but again, the plan is to keep adding to the game as it goes through its early access gestation.
I’m certainly quite pumped for it – it’s one of my most anticipated games of 2024, after all – so why not go and give its demo a go while we wait for its release on March 19th?