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Review

Mars is a rather hostile planet: very cold, hardly any water, the atmosphere is thin and unbreathable. Nevertheless: We want to colonize this planet in Surviving Mars! The building strategy game offers us everything we need to fill our neighboring planet with all kinds of pipelines and technical buildings. And, of course, with nicely planted domes,...

Surviving Mars

  • Greg Burn
  • May 28, 2021

Mars is a rather hostile planet: very cold, hardly any water, the atmosphere is thin and unbreathable. Nevertheless: We want to colonize this planet in Surviving Mars! The building strategy game offers us everything we need to fill our neighboring planet with all kinds of pipelines and technical buildings. And, of course, with nicely planted domes, in which our colonists should make themselves comfortable.

With the construction strategy, it is not done! The colonists have quite some demands on their new home. If they don't like it, they will leave Mars, and no amount of begging will keep them from hopping back through the thin atmosphere to the rocket. But it's still better than if they die of cold, hunger, or lack of oxygen - that would be very bad publicity! And that keeps new colonists on Earth from applying for the little trip to Mars.

Surviving Mars doesn't have sparkling premium graphics - but that's not necessary. Mars is just barren. You can zoom more or less continuously from the satellite view down to the grippers of the drones (which, by the way, look pretty cute from close up) and pan the camera around as you like. The illuminated domes amidst all the cables, pipes, and buildings on the red planet look the part.

And if you look at them more closely, you can see individual water fountains in the fountains and casino lettering running around them. It's also nice that the ubiquitous red Martian sand gradually covers everything. The buildings take on a rusty red color and have to be cleaned by drones after a while to keep them functioning.

To make sure you can wow non-Martians with your beautiful Mars colony, a special photo mode is built-in, where we can tinker with the colors and cropping. Of course, the UI is also hidden in the process. Super!

The background music - it's atmospheric sounds, but not at all annoying. There is also the possibility to change the background music (other "radio stations").

Conclusion about Surviving Mars
If you like settling and colonizing: Try it out, the game has a high addiction factor! The lovingly designed buildings (especially in the domes) and drones, the atmospheric environment of the red planet, as well as the appropriate background music contribute a lot to the fact that you can hardly put an end to the game. Just quickly launch a new rocket! Just quickly build an important building! Just quickly check the factories!

Surviving Mars is quite complex because of the many necessary resources and their fragile balance, but it only develops a certain difficulty relatively late, at least in the easy mode. When the capital suddenly becomes scarce and the Martian inhabitants don't produce enough, when pipes start leaking and meteorite showers start raining down on the colony, you'll have your work cut out for you.

For long-term motivation, the mod support and the sandbox playground are there. As usual with games of this kind, numerous modders will rub their hands and create more buildings or optics, or perhaps even add more scenarios.

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