Freeware Garden: Naut

Is there life on Mars? Well, my theory of a billion fully evolved micro-universes under each Martian rock may have yet to be proved, but one can always form brand new theories by downloading Naut and driving around the sandy plateaus of the planet in a brightly and randomly coloured ’50s convertible.

Naut is a rather unexpected Mars exploration sim that starts off with you leaving your suburban, low gravity house and embarking on a road trip to the tunes of a jolly piano soundtrack. It will be a magnificent trip indeed.

There are no goals here, only aimless wandering of the highest caliber through a vast, surreal and very colourful desert. It’s a place filled with McMansions and their odd residents, alien flora, sneaky rocks, wild topography and cars. Lots of cars. Cars you can drive around in even if they get flipped upside down, which will inevitably happen.

The driving physics are appropriately odd and the draw distance irritatingly short and thus Naut’s cars are quite strange to control, though you can always pointlessly honk or even decide you’d rather stroll through the landscape and enjoy the day-night cycles, the weather and all those majestic things the game has to offer on foot.

Better yet, ask a friend to join you in split-screen co-op and frolic together in a world that’s definitely worth exploring.


  1. Henke says:

    I don’t get why they made the driving so unpleasant. Couldn’t they reduce the number of objects instead and up the draw distance? As it is you just have to edge forward lest you drive into something that flips your car over, meaning you have to get out and flip it back over and then accidentally sit in the backseat when you try to get behind the wheel, curse, change seat, and drive over to some house where someone is saying something in French that you don’t understand. And what’s up with the aspect ratio? Pretty game, but so very unpleasant to play.

  2. robby5566 says:

    Naut is classic “style over function”.
    It’s a beautiful game, hell the reason I installed it to begin with is that I saw the screenshots and thought “Wow, this must be really good, look how pretty it is!”
    But the gameplay is completely unenjoyable. What this reviewer is passing off as “lol quirky driving physics” is code for “broken game design”.
    Want to speed across the martian plains, leaving a wake of dust behind you as you explore the stylish unknown? Sorry, nope, that’s actually not what this game is. Someone saw all those glitch videos of people running into invisible props in GTA and thought, “man, wouldn’t that be fun if it was a whole game on it’s own?”

    • Ross Angus says:

      I think it bears repeating. Naut is the Far Cry 3 of walking simulators.

      Plus I really like the Phillip Glass style soundtrack.

    • April March says:

      I’ll repeat myself as well, then: it’s a loss they didn’t name it Cars of Mars.