Meteors rain on the Red Planet in Surviving Mars trailer

surviving mars

Surviving Mars [official site] looks like it’s shaping up nicely, if you ask me. Made by Tropico 3 developers Haemimont, it’s a base-building game set on the Red Planet in which you hunt for resources to power settlements housed in giant glass domes.

Judging by the new trailer, featuring the first in-game footage, it’s one to keep an eye on: there’s the snappy animations of games like Cities: Skyline (which shares a publisher – Paradox Interactive) when you place a structure down, be that a twirling generator or a solar panel. And those domes are full of colour and provide a real contrast to the red around them. But, as the trailer suggests, it’s not simply an idyllic space holiday because there will be disasters like meteor strikes to try and get through.

Those WALL-E style robots that appear to be your initial scouts are adorable, aren’t they?

The thing that really interests me is the way that population are individually simulated, and if an important citizen – your chief scientist, say – has an off day then it could be curtains for hundreds of others. Here’s developer Haemimont:

“Each colonist is a unique individual with problems and strengths that influence the needs and behavior of the other colonists. Things can get really interesting if your chief scientists develops alcoholism after one too many long nights in the lab.”

It’s worth reading through Adam’s thoughts on some alpha footage he saw back in May. Surviving Mars is definitely on the methodical side of the base-building spectrum, and you can expect its first few hours to be purely dedicated to building up the infrastructure you’ll need to support those domes.


  1. RED says:

    “Made by Tropico 3 developers Haemimont”

    It is very telling that you name exactly Tropico 3. Game where development of this series froze in time. We will get Tropico 3 for the third time pretty soon.

    Back to Surviving Mars. Game looks splendid and I like their hardish Sci-Fi approach. Hopefully it won’t stuck as Tropico did.

    It is not the first glimpse of gameplay though. There is almost 1h material from Gamescom.
    link to

    • BlackeyeVuk says:

      They also created Victor Vran, which was pretty gooooood. And they be my neighbors from Bulgaria. (Im Serbian). Which is pretty niiiiice. Im looking forward for this game.

  2. Unsheep says:

    This might just be what I hoped Planetbase would be like. Planetbase was fun overall, and quite unique, … but it was very limited with what you could build and manage.

    If Surviving Mars has the concept of Planetbase but the complexity of Skylines, I think the game would really suit me.

    I like the games Haemimont has made so far, even The First Templar and Omerta (the pre-patched version). Tropico being one of my favourite franchises of all. Their games have a nice balance of complexity and accessibility.

  3. Zenicetus says:

    That looks rather good! I’ll keep an eye on it.

    One nitpick if this is supposed to be somewhat hard sciencey though, about that meteor strike. Way too slow-moving, and I doubt it would have a huge flame trail like that. Very thin atmosphere ‘ya know (0.6% of Earth pressure), and almost no oxygen for an oxidizing flame trail. Probably makes Mars a safer place to get bombarded. Bad luck if you’re directly in the meteor path, but no big air burst and shock wave like the Tunguska event.

    • Solrax says:

      Agreed, and for the same reasons not practical for wind power either, which seemed to feature quite prominently.

      But it’s a game and looks neat so I’m looking forward to it!

      • Zenicetus says:

        Good spot, I forgot about those wind turbines. Mars does have occasional dust storms with 60mph winds, but very little actual pressure behind that. It’s interesting to try designing aircraft that work on Mars (an earlier version of X-Plane supported that). You need HUGE wings and a very high takeoff speed to get enough atmosphere over the wings to support flight.

        A helix wind turbine would have to be enormous, probably with much more surface area. Solar power would be far better (if you can clean the dust off).

    • trooperwally says:

      Couldn’t the atmosphere in the video be different to Mars’ current atmosphere as a result of (pre-colonisation) terraforming? Seems possible to me within the realms of reasonably sober sci-fi.

  4. FuzzyPuffin says:

    It’s a bit too retro-cartoonish for my liking. What I really want is something more near-future like SimMars: link to

  5. empty_other says:

    Her? When did Mars switch gender? :'(