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Meteors rain on the Red Planet in Surviving Mars trailer

Red alert

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.

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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.

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