Is Surviving Mars Good?
A resounding yes! Surviving Mars is a City Builder akin to City Skylines or SimCity. If you’re a detective, you may have inferred Surviving Mars puts you in control of colonizing the Red Planet, but not before sending drones and rovers up first to set up the infrastructure.
What does Surviving Mars do well?
I love that Surviving Mars starts with the player in control of only drones and rovers. This adds an entirely new element to the genre, by introducing different builder types and demanding infrastructure that is good enough to support human life before you build society anew. Some Rovers explore, while others build, but none can complete the challenging tasks or advanced occupations meant for Human beings. After power, water, and atmosphere up and running, it’s time to transition into the Biospheres.
The BioDomes, Spheres or Habitation Bubbles, are the next big win for Surviving Mars. The Bubbles have multiple build slots inside allowing Mars’ new Dictator (you) to fully customize the daily life of what goes on inside. Occupation, Entertainment, Faith, Housing, and Parks are just a few of the things you can mix and match, as well as connect to other BioDomes. Hopefully, none of which have Pauly Shore inside.
Before you launch the mission to Mars, you’ll be given choices as to what faction from Earth your mission will be funded or represented by. This allows players to access different passive abilities, adding more replay. It also allows the ability to Surviving Mars where other Sims could become stale. Speaking of replay-ability, strange things are happening on Mars and along with every mission comes with a different mystery.
What does it do poorly?
If Surviving Mars was the first city builder video game I had ever played, I think I would despise the entire genre. Finding water is a pain, plus there are lots of tabs, actions, and robots to manage. Once I finally felt like I got a hold of what I was doing, I was granted a sprinkling gift from the Heavens, a meteor shower. The meteors promptly knocked out half of my infrastructure. I lost my air and power, and since humans need air and power to survive on Mars, I went straight to bed.
I did not pass go, I did not collect $200, I straight up turned off my Xbox and walked away. This exact type of random event is why you play Surviving Mars instead of City Skylines. Surviving Mars is harder than traditional City Sims, but that’s exactly what to like, setting up a new Civilization on Mars is fun, but certainly challenging.
Should you buy it?
Surviving Mars is currently Free on Game Pass, and if you don’t have Game Pass yet, what are you waiting for?! It’s truly in a class of its own as far as City Builders are concerned and while you might struggle with the difficulty, Surviving is the name of the game.
Check out more video games on Nerdtropolis.