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If you've been looking for an excuse to colonize the Red Planet again, these latest changes to the strategy title adds challenges and some quality-of-life improvements.

Surviving Mars released earlier this year and though it was beautiful and ran well, it had its fair share of issues. There was a little too much micromanagement in places and multiple playthroughs could feel repetitive. Subsequent patches have done much for the game, reacting to feedback by fans and adding new content and changing some of the more tedious aspects of the game. There’s a mix of both in this latest patch as well and here are some highlights of what you can expect:

  • Challenges are a new game mode where you have to accomplish a specific objective within a time limit. Mission parameters, game rules and colony coordinates are predetermined and unique for each challenge. A total of 24 challenges are now available.
  • Due to the changes in concrete deposits, as well as other fixes to the random map generator, all maps have been generated again and will look different than previous versions. Environmental variety of maps has been improved.
  • The randomization of research (both order of techs in the research tree and breakthroughs discovered from anomalies) is now tied to the random seed of the individual map. This means that techs are always the same on the same map but different between different maps. This change allows players to compete for score on even terms on the same map coordinates and to have the same experience with techs when attempting Challenges.
  • We have reworked the Concrete Extractor to work more in line with other extractors. Concrete Extractors have to be placed in the vicinity of the concrete deposit marker and no longer take into account the specific patch of terrain they cover. This way concrete deposits can be fully exploited even with a single extract

There’s also balance changes and bugfixes aplenty. You can read the full patchnotes here.

I haven’t played much since close to launch but I’ve been meaning to get back into Surviving Mars. Some of the big changes of previous updates have piqued my interest as well. The game has a healthy mod community as well so it might be well worth looking into it for any you would-be space colonizers. You may also wish to read up on Liam's thoughts when the game launched.

Also, it just had a permanent price drop! You can grab Surviving Mars on GOG, the Humble Store or Steam.

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History, sci-fi, technology, cooking, writing and playing games are things I enjoy very much. I'm always keen to try different genres of games and discover all the gems out there.

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The comments on this article are closed.

Avehicle7887 26 September 2018 at 7:08 pm UTC
Kudos to Haemimont for the support, one of the few games I'm happy to have pre-ordered.
Patola 27 September 2018 at 12:04 am UTC
I wishlisted this game to buy at some sales. It seems amazing. But even after reading two dozen reviews, I can't understand why its steam ratings are so low. Is it being review-bombed or something? Can anyone explain that?
Cyba.Cowboy 30 September 2018 at 5:46 am UTC
PatolaI wishlisted this game to buy at some sales. It seems amazing. But even after reading two dozen reviews, I can't understand why its steam ratings are so low. Is it being review-bombed or something? Can anyone explain that?

I find the game a little confusing, though this is largely because of the context of the game and the fact that things work differently to how they would in a "typical" city-simulator (i.e. on Earth)... Furthermore, Surviving Mars still lacks a "freeplay" mode as found in most other city-simulators (including Cities: Skylines, from the same developer), plus the developers have repeatedly neglected to address a bug disabling mod support in the Linux version (they're aware of this bug, too - it has been extensively discussed in their official forums and some users have even technical filed bug reports).

In their defence, the developers have introduced a tutorial mode in recent updates, but the game still feels a little like a beta... It's not a bad game and I prefer to concept of Mars over a typical city (space nerd here), but those rough edges are a bit of a let-down for me.

I'd still recommend others purchase Surviving Mars, as it's lots of fun... But if you're expecting something to the same standard as Cities: Skylines, you've got unrealistic expectations.

Last edited by Cyba.Cowboy on 30 September 2018 at 5:53 am UTC
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