With Space Travel becoming more and more efficient by the day, we can look forward to one day travelling in space. Not to mention, with so much data and information about Mars that we possess today we can really use that to create more accurate and realistic fictional media. And so comes in Surviving Mars, a game quite literally about surviving on Mars. Developed by Bulgarian Haemimont Games and published by Paradox Interactive, Surviving Mars is a survival based simulation and resource management game that is out now on Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Surviving Mars is a game that has you play as an overseer of a colony of mars whose job is to create a colony on Mars and ensure its stability and growth while also taking care of the survival and well-being of the colonists. Now the game has a very interesting way of selecting difficulty and choosing what route you’re going to go with your colony. Your colony location decides how difficult it is going to be due to the rarity or abundance of natural resources near your base. Each colony has a rating which showcases this along with the potential for various natural disasters and their frequency. Once you choose this you get to choose your mission sponsor.
Your mission sponsor has a couple of goals for you to achieve and they also provide you with funding and supplies for a mission. The game has this thing called “Mysteries” which are a choice of semi-linear choice based stories that unfold as your colony progresses. At the start of each game, a random Mystery is chosen from a pool of about a dozen “Mysteries” which adds a lot of replayability and variance since you’ll never know what you’re going to get.
Now the game doesn’t have the best tutorial system. The first few hours were really frustrating since the game really doesn’t give you much information on what you need to do and what buildings or machinery are important for the long term viability of your colony which led to a lot of failure and watching all of my colonists die. If you can find a guide of some sort to help you get started that would be the best way to start the game and get a feel of how to do things because otherwise it’s just going to lead to a lot of frustration. You can also choose what type of colonists you approve to get on the planet from a huge variety of descriptions.
From geniuses and sexy colonists to drunks and extremely flawed people who would just bring down society. But other than that, I never really felt like I cared about these people since there was not much happening in terms of watching these colonists evolve or grow or develop. It just felt dull to me and I would have liked a bit more depth to my colonists. Now the game does have moments where you’re frantically trying to stop the cascading catastrophe of the failure of a certain system and it has moments where you’re waiting around for the next funding session so you can do new stuff which really breaks the flow of the game.
Surviving Mars is a decent survival sim which has some great elements in it but also has moments where the game is just dull. However, some frustrations aside, this is a great city builder with unique survival challenges.