Bring Mars to life

Waking Mars
Developed by Tiger Style Games (2012), for PC, Mac and LinuxiPhone and iPad and Android devices

This review was originally published in COSMOS Magazine, issue 50.

It’s a refreshing change to play a game that doesn’t involve killing things.

In Waking Mars, the objective is just the opposite – instead of slaying everything you come across, you must bring an ecosystem to life in order to progress.

Players control Liang, a softly spoken jet-packing scientist (aided remotely by ART, an AI unit, and tech expert Amani) as he explores a cavern on Mars where signs of life have been discovered. To safely exit the caves and do his research, Liang must help the ecosystem along. Each lifeform has an encyclopaedia entry in the game journal that is filled in as discoveries are made.

The soundtrack and graphics, while not flashy (this is an indie game, after all), fit the story perfectly. The mechanics of the game are easy to master and the interface is simple (even on computer, there’s only a slot for one saved game). As such, seasoned gamers may find this offering too simple at first – but they may still enjoy the delightful premise and unfolding science-based story, and strategy becomes more important as you progress. Casual gamers and those playing on phones and tablets will find little to complain about with Waking Mars.

Waking Mars from Tiger Style on Vimeo.

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