Surviving Mars’ new, free DLC tries harder to stop you surviving


You can go a whole game of Surviving Mars without triggering one of its ‘Mysteries’, though that’s as much to do with a slightly dodgy interface as it is personal choice. But when you do the flip the switch and welcome uncertainty into your citizens’ delicate lives, everything gets upended. I won’t soon forget the legion of floating orbs that sucked all the heat out of my colony, killing hundreds. They’re one giant leap into the fantastical from a game that is otherwise fairly sedate about its sci-fi, but I dig the option to wilfully remix things once your base-building turns staid – it reminds me of triggering a disaster in SimCity 2000, just to sadistically mix things up.

So I’m glad to hear that the latest round of free DLC for Haemimont’s mostly great red planet management sim introduces three more ‘Mysteries’ with which to optionally traumatise your off-world colonists. As well as meaning you won’t just run into the same few scenarios in a new playthrough, they give you new things to deal with in your current one.

A ‘Mystery’ happens in Surviving Mars when you send a rover to scan anomalies on the map, at which point you can choose whether or not head to the next clue. After a couple of playthroughs, you’ll learn to recognise early signs of which Mystery is which, and often steer clear if you already know what kind of carnage will result – or rush headlong in if you know what kind of ultimate rewards will result. Or maybe you just love the spectacle of all this 60s sci-fi novel stuff. In any case, it’s going to be hard to resist finding out what the deal is with the three new ones, even if the almost certain consequence is mass graves.

Here’s the tease for each:

  • St. Elmo’s Fire – Colonists find it hard to get a good night’s sleep, especially when mysterious lights begin appearing where they have no reason to be. What is causing these unexpected apparitions and is it connected to the confusing changes in the water supply?
  • The Philosopher’s Stone – Encounter beings that are a far cry from the fleshy bags we call carbon-based life when the colony stumbles upon entirely crystalline entities. Are they here to be of assistance or only out to protect the family jewels?
  • Metatron – Colonists look to the sky agape as a great floating monolith has parked itself directly above your fledgling colony. Does it come in peace or is it even sentient? Either way, it is certainly blocking the views from the dome!

A lot of pages pulled from the vintage sci-fi playbook there, and I am just fine with that. I’ll have a Metatron, please, Bob.

The Surviving Mars: Mysteries Resupply Pack is out now, costing precisely no-pennies – nab it from Steam or GOG.


  1. Cinek says:

    They plan some proper expansions, or is it still more shallow than the infamous Elite: Dangerous?

  2. rustic says:

    …I was expecting the Paradox DLC hate brigade to be here in full force. Sleeping on their post, are they!?

    • Retorrent says:

      Maybe because its free? Really can’t complain when they don’t charge anything for the DLC.

      I never understood the crying over paid DLC in most paradox games you don’t really miss out anything if you don’t own it. I have cities skylines and only pay for what interest me and I skip the rest.

    • satsui says:

      Not enough minerals.

  3. Captain Narol says:

    I wonder what Hate Brigade could say against a Free DLC…

    Complaining that this content should have been in the base game, maybe ?

    I just say, free new content is good !

    • Artist says:

      Do you even notice that your post makes you part of what you called the “Hate Brigade”? How about growing up? Just asking..

  4. emorphien says:

    So is this game worth getting yet? I see it’s 30% of on Steam, probably a little more than I want to pay for it still, especially based on early reviews. I would hope it’s better now but I just don’t know. It continues to call to me and I continue to resist its marsy simulatory survivaly charms.

    • Retorrent says:

      I will say this its in much better shape then it was when the game first came out. It never had technical problems but there was just some things that it lacked. They have addressed many of those issues plus added in some extras that were nice. I would say it worth catching it on sale.

      The nice thing is that they added ways to make the game as easy or as hard as you want. They made it so now you can have interconnecting domes and managing colonist is much better.

      • emorphien says:

        That seems to be the trend I’m picking up on. I think if I could get it for 50% off then I’d go for it. Any more than $20 and I get itchy given the history of the game to date.

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