By Michael "Magic Mike" Dumee on March 20, 2018
How long have the leaders of the world been talking about researching Mars and preparing this planet for human inhabitants? Developer Haemimont Games and publisher Paradox Interactive are done with all the talking and decided that it was about time for action!
So they came up with a game in which you can immediately start researching and colonizing the red planet. In their latest game, Surviving Mars, you can find out whether we have a chance to see whether David Bowie was right and there really is life on Mars. I, for one, couldn't agree more with this approach; I'm more of an action type than a thinker anyway. So, I got my wife searching for my astronaut suite (was it at the attic or in the basement? I can't quite remember.) and as soon as she's got it washed and ironed and I got my space shuttle ready, I am good to go.
Surviving Mars is a city building game. Before you can start the actual game, there are some choices to make. First you'll need to choose your Mission Sponsor or, in other words, choose the mission perks you want. Each perk has its own difficulty and funding, apart from the commander profile. You can choose a commander profile, which grants you a couple of nice benefits. Making the right decision here is mostly a matter of choosing the one that you like best. The default is Rocket Scientist, which is an easy character to start with.
Almost done; let's choose a logo. This doesn't do anything special, but I personally think it's important. Any space-exploring team needs a logo right? I'm sure it boosts the morale of your team and besides, can you imagine all the explorers walking on Mars without any means as to tell them apart? I mean, without any logos, it's going to be hard to tell who your team members are, right? You can go for one of the logo's in the menu, so you don't need to design one of your own.
And last but not least, let's put some mystery to this mission. Choosing a mystery adds or subtracts from the mission's difficulty level. This way you can make an easy mission a bit harder, or a hard mission a bit easier. You get the picture right? Before you enter the planet you can check your payload and make some changes if you like. Do you want to have more drones, transport or prefabs? No problem! You can go for the standard settings, or change them if you want to. Provided you have the money to pay for all these items!
So, are all dials set? Everybody went to the bathroom? Okay, here we go! First, we'll need to make a proper landing on Mars. You can choose your landing spot and check out the environment there, before actually setting down your lander. Things like temperature and resources are shown, but also the threats. So it's a bit of a gamble, but also a matter of comparing the traits of the environment with the stuff in your inventory and make an educated guess as to how good your chances of survival are.
When you land on Mars, the real work starts. There's a lot of research that needs to be done. For instance, where can I find water and how can I make concrete? What is a good place to build a factory? And how will you get your daily materials, needed to make it further into your journey? You can resupply your settlement, but you'll need rockets to do so. These rockets can carry cargo or passengers. And, like everything else, the will have to be acquired first.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. If you're doing a good job, you can eventually get people to travel to Mars. You can put in a request for several kinds of people. Scientist, for example, can come in very handy, because the can speed up the research that needs to be done. Your visitors can have all kinds of quirks and flaws, so inviting them can be tricky. You never know what you might get. You need to take good care of them, or else they'll get home sick and will take the first rocket back to Earth, leaving you with less crew members to do the jobs that need to be done, and you don't want that, now do you?
The possibilities in Surviving Mars are close to endless; there is a lot to be done. The good news is that you'll have everything you need. The difficult (and fun, of course) part of this game is to make the most out of the resources at your disposal. I'm a big fan of Paradox's previous building game, City Skylines and I'm sure I'm going to enjoy Surviving Mars just as much. If you're into building/strategy games or you just curious to know what the chances are that mankind can live on mars, please give Surviving Mars a try. I'm sure you won't regret it!
And now, if you'd excuse me; I have to see a man about a triple-vacuum-warp-deflector-core doohickey. So I wish you all a lot of building fun and hope to see you again soon!