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If you like Tears of the Kingdom’s vehicle building, check out this awesome indie

Although The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a massive open-world action-adventure game, some players have spent most of their time pushing the limits of its Ultrahand mechanic. The system lets players create contraptions with most of the items or pieces of wood and stone that they find on their journey. The most skilled players have built things like mechs, but anyone can still have a ton of fun using Ultrahand to torture Koroks or solve puzzles in unique, unintended ways. If building vehicles and other weird creations with Ultrahand is your favorite part of Tears of the Kingdom, then there’s a new indie game hitting early access this week that you will probably enjoy: Mars First Logistics.

Players lift a steal beam in Mars First Logistics
Shape Shop

Instead of being just one system in the game, building vehicles is the main hook of this game from developer Shape Shop, which was released into early access on Steam today. It forces players into an engineering mindset like Tears of the Kingdom does, as they must design and then use rovers to ship items across the surface of Mars. If you enjoy games that put an emphasis on player creativity, then Mars First Logistics needs to be the next indie game that you check out.

Emboldening creativity

Mars First Logistics is all about building rovers to transport cargo across the colorful surface of Mars, and it wastes almost no time in getting players into the action. There are some blueprints for things like the basic rover, watering can lifter, and crate carrier, but Mars First Logistics is almost completely hands-off outside of the contracts that tell players where to pick an object up and where to drop that cargo off. Players are free to design and attach parts on their rover to each other as they see fit.

While the process of determining what kind of vehicle build is best for a mission is more similar to Tears of the Kingdom, actually putting the rover together works more like vehicle customization in Lego 2K Drive. That works for the best, though, as this Lego-like setup really allows players to have complete control over customizing, painting, and setting up the controls for every single part of their rover. I stayed fairly safe in what I built, only using the basic blueprints or slight variations that did things such as making a mechanical arm tilt in order to solve certain delivery challenges. Still, the creative way I found to do things, like knocking a box off a ledge or tilting a steel beam up into the exact position I needed to finish a delivery, made each mission feel wholly unique to my experience.

The building menu in Mars First Logistics
Shape Shop

Like with Tears of the Kingdom, though, I can see the best players going wild and creating some truly astonishing things in Mars First Logistics just to get a box of fruit from one part of a map to another. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for what the community makes now that this game is available to the public. Of course, it’s currently in early access, so things like tutorials aren’t as helpful as they should be when it comes to learning how motors work or what certain parts do best. Still, all the tools and pieces to make some extremely creative stuff are present here. As long as you get an item to its destination, the game doesn’t really care how you get things done.

Mars First Logistics gives players a sense of freedom that very few games share; Tears of the Kingdom just so happens to be a recent AAA game it shares that engineering-focused, creative DNA with. II definitely recommend Mars First Logistics to players who connected with Tears of the Kingdom on that level. 

Mars First Logistics launches on June 22 for PC. According to the game’s Steam page, Shape Shop plans on keeping the game in early access for about 12 months. 

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Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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