Take On Mars Goes Electric With Power Update

In what can only be described as a Mars-a-thon week, we’ve witnessed not only the release of Ridley Scott’s book-to-film interpretation of The Martian, but also the news that science boffins have discovered evidence of water up there on the Red Planet. On the ball as ever, Arma makers Bohemia Interactive have now added to the Mars Madness by releasing a Power Update to their Early Access-residing space exploration and survival sim Take On Mars [official site].

The update looks to pull from Hollywood groundings, less real-life science news – because, unfortunately, we may’ve jumped the gun a wee bit with that – as players are now offered electricity, or ‘power simulation’ as it’s known in Take On Mars. This means that your martians can generate power via solar arrays and can plot an electric grid to bring buildings and machinery to life.

The update adds:

Machinery, such as the drilling rig, and buildings can be connected to the electric grid via a newly added cable spool, which holds up to 50m worth of cables. These cables can be connected to special wall panels that contain power sockets and/or the power connection points on equipment. The cables are also physically simulated, meaning you can print a spool of 5 cables, and then unwind them from the spool, and physically drag them across the floor, connecting the ends.

Besides making sense from financial and practical perspectives, I love the fact that Take On Mars is in Early Access. With every update, it feels like humans have pushed the boundaries of technology and discovery – just as the process is portrayed in the movies. In reality, Mars is probably a barren, monotonous, atmosphere-less wasteland where none of this is ever possible; but the former is obviously more exciting.

Here’s the Power Update trailer:

Take On Mars is on Steam Early Access for £15.99.


  1. Bugamn says:

    How does Mars being a wasteland stop solar panels from working?

    • aleander says:

      Using dust.

      No, really: solar powered vehicles on Mars are dependant on the (really weak — remember the barely-there atmosphere) winds to clean them. AFAIR that’s one of the major reasons why Curiosity went with an RTG instead of panels.

      • aleander says:

        Oh, and before you think that’s bad: at least they’re not on the moon, with dust everywhere, but no wind. Also, the dust is composed of millions of tiny super-sharp knives.

      • Bugamn says:

        My point is, the way this post is written it sounds like solar power doesn’t work in Mars, but even with the Martian dust solar panels are used.

        • aleander says:

          Well, I did cut from my answer the part where I wrote that I don’t think the article suggests what you’re saying it does. It’s comparing the general feeling of the game to what reality would be (i.e. replacing spare parts and showeling dust while trying to balance the greenhouse atmosphere between “unbreathable” and “combustible”). But I’d agree that the last paragraph is a tiny bit awkward (but I think it’s still pretty obvious what it’s about).

        • Hedgeclipper says:

          It is pretty silly though. Mars is further from the sun and gets less solar energy, powering a rover isn’t so bad but you’d need really huge panels to power something like a drilling rig.

          • Wisq says:

            Well, technically you can power anything with a modest solar array, a big enough battery / capacitor, and varying levels of patience (depending on the size of said solar array). :)

          • Hedgeclipper says:

            That can be tricky too, Mars is cold so you probably need to provide some sort of heating for your battery which needs energy… its not insolvable but I don’t think the tiny panels on that video are going to cut it.

          • aleander says:

            There are some nice and light ways of having large solar panels if you’re not too worried about taking up space — essentially unfolding panels that would lie on the ground, or even thin-film, which could easily produce enough power. And having to dust them once in a while would be one way of justifying sending meat sacks to Mars.

            Of course I suspect having panels spanning an area 100m on each side wouldn’t be something the game’s engine would like.

      • 0positivo says:

        which makes the fact that the fissile supplies for RTG are basically dry all the more critical

  2. racccoon says:

    My best space game thus far is “Empyrion Galactic Survival” This game out wits & out class’s games in my forgotten library of the kickstart/hands out doom n glooms, like ED n crappy SC.
    I got Empyrion in my anticipation of the yet to be tested but still very impressive.. No Man’s Sky. Empyrion is a good game, to await No Mans Sky, so..go buy it.

    • Perjoss says:

      Thanks for the suggestion, after watching a couple of videos I think I will be checking Empyrion tonight.

      • Jay Load says:

        I’d wait a little before buying. At this point Empyrion is more of a tech-demo than a game.

  3. Cik says:

    I was eyeing this game, but backed away because the forums just seem dead.