Astronomy Gaming

Surviving ‘Surviving Mars’

This month for me in PC games, the city-builder Surviving Mars by Haemimont Games via the mighty Paradox Interactive is undisputed royalty, but this recommendation comes with a health warning.

I picked the game up a while back and got around to giving it a go this month, intending one of my quick tests to see if it was worthy of retaining its disk space on the machine. Three weeks later, I’m onto my second attempt at a successful colony after numerous sessions into the ungodly hours of the morning, which have prompted me to embargo myself from playing it in the evenings.

Surviving Mars in-game
Dome is where the heart is

At heart, it’s a pretty straightforward city builder. You start off with nothing but some cute robotic drones and basic resources and have to build upwards to domes full of colonists with their much more complex needs and preferences. As such, the game falls somewhere between the classic Sim Cities of old and Offworld Trading Company, and of course it can’t possibly avoid leading the mind of a sci-fi fan to Andy Weir’s The Martian, if at whole-colony scale.

Martian city
Tech trees

Surviving Mars is the best game I’ve found for chilling out of an afternoon for a long time, but I guarantee you’ll have to exercise some willpower to stop it becoming the evening and the early hours of the morning, too.

As with any Paradox game, there’s a plethora of DLC bolt-ons, too, and I’ve just noticed the Laika Pack that allows you add space dogs to your colony, so there goes my weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get your free eBook copy of Conversations With Droids, a book of 12 sci-fi short stories.