Thursday, March 15, 2018

Surviving Mars Gameplay Review

I'm playing Surviving Mars, a space colony management simulation by Haemimont Games and Paradox Interactive.

Difficulty options are determined by choosing a mission sponsor; these grant varied attributes like funding, the number of rockets available, and the customizable initial payload. The number of resources to collect is pleasingly limited (for easier management): power, water, oxygen, food, concrete, metal, rare metal, polymers, electronics, machine parts, and fuel. These are either extracted from the environment at exhaustible locations or manufactured from other goods. Drones will automatically carry resources within their range and repair broken structures; transports can also be told to shuttle resources between bases. Sectors on Mars must be scanned for resources and anomalies, which then can be surveyed for a research boost. The research tree is quite extensive and comes with interesting unlocks and bonuses. Eventually, humans can be brought to the planet, living in domes and manning the more complex factories. Needs (such as social, medical, gambling, relaxation) can be met by constructing the appropriate support facility. Random events (cable faults, dust storms, meteor showers) break up the potential monotony of a smoothly-running base. Rockets must be refueled (making fuel, and thus water, a very important resource to focus on) and sent back to Earth for new supplies and colonists. Surviving Mars focuses on the fun aspects of resource management (larger-scale production and supply chains, not micromanagment), delivering a very enjoyable space colony management game set in a compelling environment.