A new game from the developers of Puzzle Forge 2 [Free] hit the App Store this morning, and it has so thoroughly knocked my socks off I had to peel myself away from playing to write something about it. Ever since I got totally sucked into Civilization VI on my PC, I've been looking for something similar to play on my iPhone. There's games like Civilization Revolution 2 [$9.99] and other similar titles, but they never really clicked with me for one reason another. A Planet of Mine [Free] is pushing all of my buttons.

First off, the game is totally free to try. You can play through both a super basic tutorial as well as a shockingly in-depth but eventually limited game mode that serves as the perfect teaser to pay $4.99 to unlock the rest of the game. (You can also buy individual $1.99 packs to unlock things piecemeal.) This is my favorite way to buy games these days, but it does seem a bit like the developers are giving a bit too much away for free, which I suppose is a good thing for us.

Anyway, the best way to describe A Planet of Mine is imagine GodFinger 2 [Free], but replace all the freemium shenanigans with shockingly complex 4X gameplay that still retains all the ease of playing that comes from a well designed mobile game that's made to play on a small touchscreen. For instance, instead of manipulating a complicated 3D map, the game is spread across easy to manipulate 2D planets. Buildings and resource collection take place on individual slices of these 2D planets. The whole UI works incredibly well.

Around the time you run out of slots to build on on your home planet, you'll likely also have advanced enough to head to the stars to find neighboring civilizations which you can either decide to become friends or foes with. There's a ton of different races, each with their own slightly different play style through various unique perks and starting bonuses, and the sky seriously seems to be the limit with how much you can expand if you pay the five bucks to unlock the infinite gameplay mode.

I'm not much more than a few hours into the game so far, but I absolutely love everything I've seen. Folks on our forums seem to dig it, and all signs are pointing to A Planet of Mine being the ultimate sleeper hit of the week. If the idea of a pocket-sized 4X game that totally works and costs you nothing to try out is at all appealing to you, download this game immediately.

  • Milo

    Looks interesting ! Trying this out tonight !

  • Jamesrooney27

    When an article ends with download immediately I know I have to haha 😉 🙂

  • Barrett Bear Baker

    I got through the first planet within 5 minutes. It was honestly amazing. Watching the planet orbit slowly as the workers did their thing, so peaceful. If you can visit your older planets or if there is an infinite amount of planets you can visit and if there is a mode where i can view the whole planet, then id love those BUT as it stands now, its still a purchase for me. 4.99 is cheap!

  • baconcow

    “A Planet of Mine is imagine GodFinger 2 [Free], but replace all the freemium shenanigans with shockingly complex 4X gameplay”

    This makes it sound like it is not a freemium game. Right from the official description: “ Planet of Mine is a freemium game”.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      It has a one-time unlock. Label that however you please.

    • dancj

      There are different definitions of "freemium". This game is free to download and pay once to unlock. What most people mean by Freemium is games like Clash of Clans which are free to play, but you can pay for an advantage in the game.

  • Bloodangel

    Be cool if this was also multiplayer

  • Dailon Huskey

    thanks Eli! Sold me 🙂

  • SolidSteve

    The game is great so far but man, the translations are rough

  • HelperMonkey

    Thanks for the heads up. I'll be giving this a try.
    I love my Civ, too.
    Must also point out: "If the idea of a pocket-sized 4X game that totally works and costs you nothing to try out is at all appealing to you..." one must also definitely download Battle of Polytopia. (Free, no ads, well-supported, near-perfect mini 4X)

    • Craig Grannell

      Polytopia is astonishingly good. Weird TA review, although it at least got the score right.

      • korossyl

        Right; that's the only time I've ever argued with a review, which got basic things about the game wrong -- I wouldn't enjoy the game they reviewed!

        But as singularly amazing as Polytopia is, if your issue with (even MORE amazing) Civ Rev is that it was too simple (as I assume Eli's was), Polytopia's definitely not the answer! I started playing "A Planet" and got turned off by the complexity. 😀

      • Craig Grannell

        I like the stripped-back nature of Polytopia, although do find the 'Crazy' AI a bit irritating at times. (They seem to gang up on the player too often, rather than duff each other up. But any level lower than that is now no challenge for me.)

        Civ Rev never really clicked with me, in part for the same reason. It was always a rush to get tanks, rather than the more laid-back and exploratory desktop game.

      • korossyl

        I hear you. I think Civ Rev is best thought of as "Civ I - 2," and Civ I had notoriously warmongering AI. So that actually didn't bother me much, even though I tend to play as a pacifist. For what it's worth, Civ Rev 2 actially has an option to turn off AI aggression completely, if that appeals to you.

    • BohemianCoast

      I came here to say Polytopia

  • jin choung

    holy crap... to break the planets up into a circular disk that has all spaces and resources visible at a glance is fucking brilliant....