The game Surviving Mars is one that is both addictive and can be hard as hell at the same time. You would think building a colony on Mars would be easier than what you have to do in this game. Even the easy start part of the game can become quite challenging rather quickly. Making sure you have metals, oxygen, water and more will keep you looking for more. Even with the slow pace of the game you can quickly become overwhelmed with what happens in the game.
Surviving Mars is somewhat unique to other RTS type games that I have played in the past. It has some elements from greats like Civilization and elements from Colonization and others where you are able to get supplies and people from Earth. It blends all of these elements together quite well as you research and build your way to a successful colony on Mars.
What sets this apart is that you also have to manage the different elements from bots to that of domes and the various breakdowns that can happen to them along the way. I will be honest, I had to restart the training map a few times as I got used to how the game mechanics work. The single player portion of this game is fascinating to play and when you look at the clock you will see more time has passed then you might have wanted to. It really grabs your attention in many ways. Not only do you have to research and build but you have to explore the surface around you for resources and anomalies that will help you ro research even more for your colony
Your goal as Colony Mission Controller, thats what I call it at least, is to first get a site ready for the colonists that are going to be coming to mars. In Easy Start you have ample resources to be able to get a colony up and running fairly fast. The key is not to build too fast. Make sure that you leave yourself a good storage supply of oxygen, water and even electric. These are vary important to the survival of your colony. Having too little means that when something quits working you will have some supplies to be able to things fixed. Things will break down so keep a good supply of things to fix those as well.
One of the better parts of the game is actually the ability and usually need to micromanage your colony. Each building, pipe, line, drones and equipment have their own needs as well as what is needed to keep them up and running. Some use concrete, some electronics and most things need metal to keep things running. You will want to keep track of these in your resources window. It will show you everything that you have, but not where it is stored. Because of this make sure you have areas all over the place for the storage of all the things that you need to keep your colony up and running as well as producing resources that can be shipped back to earth for a profit.
Having resources stored all over as well as a shuttle facility will make it easier to keep your colony alive. With those storage areas make sure to have a Drone Hub cover 2 different storage areas. That way the resources will be able to be moved around where they will be needed most. At least you wont have to micromanage the drones. The Drone Hubs will do that automatically. I would also recommend that you research to the point of getting the upgrade of the Drone Hubs so they no longer need electricity supplied by you. This will make things much easier in the long run.
Just playing the quick start you don’t see all of the options that are available when you choose start a new game. When you do that you can choose what kind of commander you are, what company is sponsoring your mission, the graphic to use for your mission as well as what kind of mystery your colony will have to try and figure out. Each choice has different advantages and effects for your game. Some can be very rewarding while others will make your mission to colonize Mars a bit harder. The game gives you great choice in what you do and how you play. The game Surviving Mars even has mod support, though with the GOG version you have to manually install the mods. It even comes with the tools so that you can make your own mods.
The graphics enhance the game in so many ways. You can zoom in close enough to even see the individual colonists faces and even what the inside of their dwellings look at. What else would you expect from a Haemimont Games production. They have always had great visuals. Even at lower graphic settings the game still looks great. It adds so much to the game and its replayability. Still wish the zoom was smoother from ground to map view but I am sure the community will make a mod for that soon.
When it is time to actually get colonists to your newly built dome and resource exploiting buildings you are treated with not just numbers but actually colonists to choose from. The colonists themselves have a wide range that you are able to choose from. You can even get very specific as the the sex, gender, age and other factors that you might want to have with you on Mars. Be warned though, the more restriction you put on the colonists, the fewer there will be to choose from. Keep this in mind as you will need to have certain professionals needed to be able to manage and service the furious buildings that you have built on mars. Examples are Botanists for farms and hydroponics, Scientists for research, Geologists for ore processing, Medics for clinics and hospitals and more. You also can decide if you want certain flaws to be allowed or not like a colonist who is alcoholic, of if one is lazy, a hypochondriac, a gambler and more. You can even have ones with certain perks like being sexy, a nerd, party animal and others. You can truly build a colony with the exact type of people you want.
This game is one that I know I will be coming back to play many times. Be warned though, it is not a fast game to play but you will loose track of time while you play it. So keep a clock near by if you have to be someplace or go to bed at a certain time.
Below you will find screen shots that I personally took from the game so that you can see how it might look on your own system when you play Surviving Mars.