Mars Horizon, a unique space simulator, is launching on November 17. We are delighted to share its launch trailer to showcase the game.
The Mars Horizon clip reveals a strategy simulator where you take control of a space agency.
So far, the game looks like Civilization-meets-space. We don’t know about pricing just yet, but there’s a free demo available on Steam. The demo is only ready for Windows 10 PC.
It’s an indie game, though. Graphics are nowhere near mindblowing. Still, there’s plenty of systems to learn and many layers of complexity to master.
The game’s highlight is how the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Space Agency both gave the indie developers support and input. Despite its cartoony looks, the activities, challenges, and missions are inspired by real space agencies worldwide.
Because of its authentic feel and for some of the most reputed scientific agencies participated in the game, I’m diving deep into the indie title.
Mars Scape Info
“Lead a major space agency as you guide humanity to Mars in this strategy simulation game. Construct a base, design and build rockets, conduct missions throughout the Solar System, and write your own history of Space exploration. Created with support from the European Space Agency.”
|Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows 10 PC||November 17, 2020|
|Auroch Digital||The Irregular Corporation|
Mars Horizon puts you in charge of a NASA-inspired space agency. We’re at the dawn of the space era, and anything is possible.
Humanity’s sight is set on conquering the stars. You, though, only aim to assemble a mission to put the first astronaut on Mars.
To do so, you control finances, time, science, public support, missions, and more. In essence, the game is about building a space station, recruiting astronauts, and launching a successful mission to Mars.
The game makes you choose between several agency factions, each boasting their own advantages. The key is to take advantage of what the different agencies have to offer in terms of spacecraft and science.
You can also customize the appearance and flag of your agency, as well as your location.
As far a realism goes, Mars Horizon is an easy-going cartoony title. The focus is a scientific exploration in the forms of various mini-games built into the core gameplay.
Still, the developers collaborated with space exploration from ESA to create Mars Horizon. Engineers create the game’s technology, missions, rockets, and such. That means the game gives you the authentic space-science experience.
What can you do on Mars Horizon?
You’re the Flight Director of mission control. As such, your job is managing your ship’s resources, solving challenges, creating alliances, and gaining public support.
Here’s a rundown of the activities the game has to offer:
- Create your space base with research labs, launch pads, rocket crafting facilities, astronaut training facilities, and more.
- Build custom rockets and space-ships from hundreds of possible combinations.
- Launch satellites to the stars, as well as crewed ships to explore the Solar System
- Explore a tech three, which works as Mars Horizon’s RPG system.
- Collaborate with other agencies to accomplish your goals. You talk to other agencies via diplomatic menus. You can convince them to share the rewards of your possible alliance. Keep in mind that you can choose between five different factions.
Other agencies are competing against you as you play. Yet, you must ensure your astronaut is the first to reach Mars. And every choice, every investment matters in the end.
Turn-based space exploration
You also control turn-based missions and resolve the different challenges of space exploration. Each accomplishment rewards public support for additional financing, as well as scientific progress.
The missions force you to decide on each turn. Because space is dangerous and unforgiving, your choices can save the mission, save the crew, both, or neither.
For example, will you risk resources to fix a malfunctioning antenna? Or will you save those resources for the return journey, however, making it longer than need be?
The crucial part of the game is reaching Mars. It would help if you designed the right spacecraft for the job, as well as hiring a stand-out crew.
Then, there’s plenty of decisions you’ll need to take on mission control so the crew and the ship survive the journey.
The developers also created a free podcast to dig deeper into the game. European Space Agency and UK Space Agency staff are part of the show.
Getting public support is equally important. How people perceive your agency influences how much money you got from governments and private contractors.
You must handle PR, then. Lie to them about investigating UFOs if you want, if that’s what it takes to get some money. Or, if you’re going, to be honest, launch weather balloons as part of the progress and the results you’re showcasing.
Definitely, though, don’t tell the public about the dog you just sent out to space on a rocket. Fifi is…not coming back.
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Overall, Mars Horizon features excellent levels of realism and legitimacy. Every scenario, technology, and mission seems authentic. If you wanted to be an astronaut as a kid, here’s your chance
The game will become available on November 17 for Windows, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
The Demo on Steam covers the first portion of the game. It runs from launching your first satellite to putting the first human in space orbit.