Curiouser And Curiouser: Lunar Flight Goes To Mars

By Adam Smith on August 28th, 2012 at 8:00 am.

WarPlanet

There might be a robot roving around on Mars but Lunar Flight has done what so many dream of and sent men to the nowhere-near-as-red-as-I-was-led-to-believe planet. They are men who pilot lander modules, collecting cargo and data, spinning gracefully through the sky and plunging into the planet’s surface. I found the odd mixture of tranquility and panic rather splendid when dallying on The Moon, and the free Mars update adds a decent chunk of content. New physics, a dynamic dust storm system, crosswind forces and new routes and locations to drift around. The game is also a mere £1.75 on Steam for the next ten hours or so. Less than two pounds for both Moon and Mars! Trailer and dust storms below.

This next bit is the Martian equivalent of driving down the M62 and being blinded by Biblical downpours.

Only the Steam version of the game has been updated with Mars at the moment, but copies bought elsewhere will receive the new content soon.

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26 Comments »

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  1. Spacewalk says:

    Not only is Mars not red there are no naked people. Total let-down.

      • Eophasmus says:

        Your link describes Mars’ sky colour, which is only red at sunrise and sunset, and even then it’s described as “pinkish-red”.

        According to a more appropriate Wikipedia article:

        The Mars surface color looks red from a distance because of rusty dust kicked up in the atmosphere. From close up it is more of a butterscotch, and other common surface colors include golden, brown, tan, and greenish, depending on minerals.

        • Mrs Columbo says:

          The pictures posted in the Guardian and other news sources are usually contrast-altered to make the surface look as it would under Earth light conditions. It’s a bit dimmer and duskier (reddier?) in real life, apparently.

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            sonofsanta says:

            They’re altered so that geologists – trained to recognise rock types under earth light – can work effectively without having to relearn geology under an alien atmosphere.

        • DodgyG33za says:

          How depressing. The closest planet to us is beige. A beige planet. I may as well go and kill myself now…

          • Ginger Yellow says:

            “What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?”

          • SilentBoy741 says:

            “Behold the Great Stone Face of Mars; the only entrance to the Martian Reservation.”
            “What about the Great Stone Ass of Mars?”
            “Well yeah, but that’s way on the other side of the planet.”

  2. MaXimillion says:

    But does it control better than the Mako?

  3. dE says:

    Well it only takes 30 seconds per trip to find out if there is life on mars…

  4. El Mariachi says:

    Why are they using a two-stage LEM if they’re going to be wackily incorrect about it? The part with the feet doesn’t take off from the surface, which is why it’s called the Descent Stage. The part on top of it where the crew sits — the Ascent Stage — detaches and returns to orbit. None of it would be capable of carrying enough fuel to joyride around in Martian gravity (twice that of the moon’s) at full burn for several minutes.

    • herschel says:

      Because it´s science fiction, dude. There are no people on mars.

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      Henke says:

      The LEM was modeled for the original game which takes place on the moon. I guess he couldn’t be bothered making a new lander for the added Mars content. But seeing as it’s a free addon I wouldn’t complain about it too much. Just imagine it’s charged with some sort of superfuel or something.

    • adonf says:

      It made some sense on the Moon but Mars has an atmosphere so planes would be much more efficient than these lunar-like modules. Anyways, free add-on!

      • Zenicetus says:

        Planes actually don’t work that well on Mars. The previous version 9 of X-Plane had a Mars terrain/physics option (sadly missing from the current version). People made lots of different plane models for that version of X-Plane, and it was interesting to fly under those conditions. Although, very tricky. The air is so thin that you need huge thin wings for lift (think gargantuan U2), and runways need to be incredibly long. Once you’re airborne it’s okay, but takeoff takes forever, and landing needs lots of room to slow down, even with a drogue chute.

        So it’s possible to build viable Mars planes, but maybe no the most efficient use or resources. If rocket fuel can be manufactured locally, it might be more efficient to do suborbital hops in something like this lander…. although the physics don’t look quite right in those videos (not enough gravity pull?).

        The most efficient way to get around might actually be huge blimps for lift, with giant prop spinners for propulsion, but you’d have to tie ‘em down good during the seasonal windstorms.

        • sh0v0r says:

          The gravity constant is estimated, if you compare the effect against the moons gravity you can see that it is much stronger. To fly on Mars you really need to get the Thrust power upgrades. On the moon the base level engine lift off power requirement is %36, on Mars it is %86. The Mars map also has some atmospheric pressure in the form of linear and rotational drag. There are also wind forces to contend with.

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    Henke says:

    New free content? Nice. I played through most of the moon missions a while back, especially enjoyed the Lost Cargo ones. :)

  6. sophof says:

    Just fyi that is a color-corrected picture of mars that you link. It has been altered with something akin to “auto colour” in photoshop, to remove the slight haze in the atmosphere (mars is usually dusty) and increase contrast. The white sky is a dead give-away since Mars usually has a distinct lack of clouds ;)

    However, previous rovers also send back corrected pictures, but these were usually too red.

  7. Zeewolf says:

    Bought this earlier, never really got into it but want to pick it up again. So this is good news.

  8. Shortwave says:

    I’m so very glad I bought this the second I seen it.
    I really wanted to support this project as I knew it’d keep getting worked on.
    I’m freakin’ excited to suck on mars!

    • Mrs Columbo says:

      Yeah it’s a great wee game. I picked it up for pennies in a Steam sale a few months ago and have only played a few hours of it (it’s HAAAARD), but a recommended purchase.

  9. Mrs Columbo says:

    PS: well done to the developer for keeping it up-to-date, not only with goodies like this, but for making several really effective performance enhancements too.

  10. grundus says:

    I played it for the first time not a week ago and loved it. Somehow managed to survive my first landing but the one after that went wrong oh so many times. I had just as much fun seeing how high/fast/spinny I could make the lander go as I did trying to work out how to work the missions. Finally figured out how to pick up cargo an made millions in an instant. Great game, can’t wait to try it with my X52. I bet that’s a world of crashing and tears.

  11. bad guy says:

    I love this game.
    Great XBox360 controller support.

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    Joshua says:

    Is that Bowie Base One on the picture?