Space Colony Management Game : Surviving Mars
It’s time for another awesome Space Colony Management game!
Surviving Mars: “Building a sustainable colony in space”
First of all, it’s available on STEAM (I’m playing on PC, but I’m thrilled to discover that it’s available on PS4 and XBox One!), and its made by the company that brought us ‘Cities Skylines’ Paradox Interactive, and the style of gameplay is very similar, but OMG IN SPACE!
As space colony management games go, the visuals on this one are exceptional.
Surviving Mars: Beautiful touches of this space colony management game;
- Lighting that changes depending on the time of day (shadows move accordingly)
- When rockets take off/land, things get covered in red martian dust and will affect your game play (items covered in dust will require maintenance and cost resources sooner).
- When colonists move outside of ships and domes, their walk adjusts to Martian gravity (38% of Earth’s, so they’re a little bouncier)
- Rotating buildings for placement is a cinch, just hit the middle mousebutton. Easy and intuitive.
- You can adjust the size of your UI! This is a genius move! I recently upgraded from a 21″ monitor, to a curved 34″ – and being able to reduce the size of the UI allows me to bask in the glory of my generous monitor and see everything.
- The sheer beauty of each item, is rather awe inspiring. Items, buildings, drones, shuttles, are all slick and cool looking (remember the Tom Cruise movie Oblivion? That amazing residence with the glass bottom pool, and slick white shuttlecraft?)
- It’s not just about colony management, there are mysteries to decipher, that impact your gameplay in a meaningful way. This reminded me of another space colony management game called Aven Colony. In Aven colony it doesn’t affect your individual missions that greatly, it’s more like a dialogue that takes place at the start and end of missions, but the mysteries in Surviving Mars can determine the direction you choose to take in managing and expanding your colony.
- The musical score is exceptional! The default music is zen like, and you can easily be engrossed for 8hrs straight, and suddenly realise it’s light outside. The First Colony Edition offers a choice of ‘radio stations’ and while these may become slightly repetitive after extended play, it’s nice to be given the choice.
- If you like Micro-Management – then you’re in for a real treat. Every colonist has a personality that is taken from a set of randomly generated stereotypes. They can have various combinations (Fit, Lazy, Nerd, Gamer, Alcoholic, Loner, Glutton, Vegan etc) and this has an effect on how they function in their job and also how much morale they regain whilst resting at home.
- Researching techs has a significant impact on your colony right from the get-go, it’s randomised and each game is a new experience.
Surviving Mars: What I find challenging in this space colony management game;
- Hexagons…the maps is series of hexagons (think Civilization VI). It is challenging to place powerlines and pipes in a specific shape. If you want a neat double row of storage facilities, you have to space them out and ‘skip a row’ to have them line up.
- The game speeds feel a little odd…the regular speed (although probably the most realistic if you were to imagine that mankind were already at this stage), is WAY to slow for me to enjoy it properly (personal taste). The fastest speed is too fast to avoid disaster unless you’re watching every tiny facet of your map like a hawk. The middle speed feels like it should be the standard speed – with slower and faster modes available.
- Resources on the map are extremely spread out, and you have to be quite aggressive-expansion minded to prevent disaster. If you have one Rare Metals resource, and the next one is across the map? Good luck getting to it before you’ve run out of Electronics to maintain your budding colony, and funds to rescue yourself with supply missions. This space colony management game is called ‘SURVIVING Mars’ for a reason!
- There’s a photo mode, that allows you to remove the UI, and add effects to your shot, which on the surface seems like a cool feature. But sometimes you just want to hit alt-printscreen and be done with it, but you’re forced to use the photo mode.
Surviving Mars: In Summary
It’s fun. It’s engaging. It’s challenging. It looks amazing. It’s endlessly replayable. IT’S IN SPACE GUYS.
There are some fun updates incoming, including different habitat options (new dome shapes!) and other cool features.
100% would buy again if given the choice.
The First Colony Edition (think, super deluxe version) is totally worth it.
If you like space colony management games? Give this one a try. You will be glad that you did.