TL;DR – We have a remarkable base with an adorable presentation. It is just missing a hook to make it excel.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for this game; the game was in Early Access when reviewed
The Wandering Village Review –
There is a growing joke in my friend circle that if you want to get me involved in a game, then it better have some kind of farming mode. This stems from my early years growing up on city builders, and to this day, I am always ready to dive into a video game that presents a new twist on the city-building formula. The last one to do so was Surviving Mars, where you built a colony in space, and today we look at a game where you build a city on, checks notes, the back of a giant tortoise.
So to set the scene, you were part of a people that had lived their lives in peace in a small fertile valley full of wonder, but eventually, the same toxic spore that had collapsed the rest of the society found you and you were forced to flee. It was a perilous journey, and just when all seemed lost, you stumbled across a miracle, the last of its kind, a giant Onbu, woken by those same spores. Now you have to build a village on its back, and hopefully, together, you can survive the calamity.
TL;DR – A DLC that is full of exciting ideas but also some missed opportunities and frustrations.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for this DLC
Surviving Mars: Below and Beyond Review –
Over the years, one of the games I come back to once in a while has been Surviving Mars. This is a strategy game/ city builder about constructing the first human colony on Mars with drones, domes, and danger, oh my. While it was full of promise, it hit its stride with the Green Planet DLC, allowing you to terraform Mars into an oasis gradually. For a long time, this looked like it would be the final stop for the game, but recently there was a surprise announcement of a new DLC Below and Beyond, which we will look at today.
The essential overview of this new DLC is that while exploring the surface of Mars, you have come across these vents under the surface. Here there are large tunnels, old lava tubes, so large that you could both explore and even colonise them. The one big drawback is that they are very dangerous as cave falls can crush rovers and cut off passageways. You can use technologies found in the new Recon and Expansion tech tree to make exploring safer. Still, if you want to colonise down below, you will need sturdier materials, which is good because it just so happens that several asteroids are coming close to Mars’ orbit with Exotic Minerals just perfect for the new task.
TL;DR – As a game it is a really interesting puzzle to get right, mimicking real life in some ways, but it would be good to take it a step further.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
When it comes to settings for films, TV, books, or games nothing is an easier sell for me than setting something on Mars. Whether it is your Red Mars trilogy, your Total Recall, your The Martian, whatever it may be, I am just engrossed with our red neighbour floating out in the void. So with this in mind, we are looking at a game today that simulates what it would be like potentially to create a colony on the red planet and well be prepared going in that you probably going to kill your colony a couple of times.