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Surviving Mars - Mars base building game and my current addiction


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I was looking through the games available through Gamepass Ultimate and stumbled across Surviving Mars and it's quickly become one of those games that holds your mind captive. It's a mars base builder from the creators of Tropico 4 that released in 2018, with the most significant DLC that includes terraforming having just released. It's primarily a game of resource management. You start with a bunch of drones and build up a small base with basic life support (air, power, water), bring over some colonists so you can get more resources, research new techs, and build better stuff, so you can build a bigger colony; rinse and repeat.


I seems that the games that have captured my mind and time the most lately have been these kind of mild simulation games. Two Point Hospital and Theme Parkitect being the most recent two. I've been really enjoying Surviving Mars in part because it does away with the aesthetic necessities that a lot of sim games seem to value, instead the game is entirely interested in function. There are decorations you can put in the domes, but they're extremely limited and serve a specific purpose. There also isn't any question of transportation. For the most part people live and work in their domes and you don't have to create roads or subways or anything to move them around. You can connect domes and have people live in one and work in another, but it tends not to be particularly functional to do so until late in the game, if ever.


Something else I enjoy about it is there tends to be relatively little extreme micromanagement. You have drones that move resources around build things, and you have colonists that need a place to live and work (as well as access to leisure activities), but by and large you don't need to tell this person to live here and work there or that drone to pick that up and put it there. You can if you want, but instead you can just rely on dome filters and building priorities to get things done when you want them. 


There are just enough little systems in the game to keep it consistently interesting and sufficiently challenging, and mods are available to make certain quality of life improvements. I have a few quibbles with the game, but nothing that has prevented me from putting in a bunch of hours.


The base game is on Gamepass for PC and Xbox, and it's available on Steam and the PS4. The new DLC Green Planet allows terraforming, and I've just recently bought it, so I can't say too much about it as yet.


Anyone else play this one or others like it?

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