'Surviving Mars' is a city-building sim for science-fiction enthusiasts

If you’re intrigued by living on Mars but don’t want to put your life in the hands of Elon Musk, Haemimont Games, the studio behind the Tropico franchise, has an alternative solution for you — Surviving Mars. The space-colonization sim was announced in an Xbox Wire post by the game’s project manager Jakob Munthe.

“Since we started working on Surviving Mars, the overall goal has been to create a plausible story about humans settling the ‘Red Planet’ as told through the lens of science. Players will need to find ways to overcome the extreme environmental challenges of Mars all while exploring new mysteries and experiencing their own unique sci-fi stories,” Munthe wrote.

Munthe claimed that the game will be scientifically accurate, in that it borrows research from NASA and SpaceX about Mars, but that it is also influenced by science-fiction writers such as Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.

Unlike typical management builders, Surviving Mars will be, as the title suggests, a game centered around survival. Munthe described it as a “hardcore survival city-builder where players will be tasked with creating an actual livable homestead on a frozen, barren rock, floating millions and millions of kilometers from any help.”

Surviving Mars will be published by Paradox Interactive, the studio that published the excellent city building sim Cities: Skylines. Surviving Mars‘ listing over at Paradox Interactive details some of the games main features.

First and foremost, you are tasked to build a sustainable space colony, which includes unique challenges due to its setting. If you make a mistake, it could mean death for your colonists. The game is said to have “individually simulated colonists,” which have their own unique identity and struggles. Your goal is to keep your colonists working toward building a thriving community but if you work your scientists too hard, they can develop negative habits from stress, such as alcoholism.

Since we are exploring uncharted territory, players have the opportunity to discover secrets. The secrets and the game’s “research tree” — which lets players concoct new methods for a prosperous colonization — are randomized, making each playthrough unique. The game will also feature extensive mod support, with modding tools included. The title was designed with a modernized take on 1960s futurism.

No timetable for release has been detailed but when Surviving Mars lands, it will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.