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Surviving Mars overhauls tourism, kicking off renewed support

Time to drive tourists round on a rock-seeing safari

After 17 months without a notable patch or new content, Surviving Mars today got back to work with a free update expanding the colony-building sim's tourism systems. As they announced over the weekend, publishers Paradox Interactive have handed Haemimont's game over to another studio to resume development. A new full-on expansion is due later this year, but they started the return small today with the Tourism Update and a wee paid DLC. You can send tourists on sightseeing spacecar tours, for one.

As the name suggests, the Tourism Update is focused on people coming to your colony to coo over how curious spacelife is. Rather than slap down their cash upon arrival, Tourists now have a Satisfaction stat which tracks how much they are enjoying their spacehols, then they pay based on pleasure at the end. This system seems incredibly prone to scamming ("Oh I had just the worst time, I hated seeing another planet, here's a one-star review and five moonbucks") but hey, maybe humanity have become more honest in the future. I'm sure the people currently planning to go to Mars are just swell.

To better entertain the gawkers, you can now build hotels and low-gravity amusement parks, as well as set up an RC Safari. That puts tourists in remote-controlled rovers, which will drive between the waypoints you set to best show off the sights of your colony and Martian landmarks. Or torture them with endless tedium, if you want. Oh look, another rock!

As for the In-Dome Buildings Pack, that's one of those wee content packs made by modders drafted by Paradox to add a little variety, as they've often done with Cities: Skylines. Here "Silva", who's made dozens of Surviving Mars mods, has made some new buildings to make your domes look snazzier. These include a TV studio, smart apartments, a medical post, and a school spire.

See the patch notes for more details on what's in the patch and the DLC. Both are out now.

The DLC is available from Steam and the Epic Games Store for £4/€5/$5. You've still got until Thursday to grab a copy of Surviving Mars free for keepsies from Epic too.

Surviving Mars is now in the hands of Abstraction. They've mostly worked on other people's games, including porting Hotline Miami 1 & 2 to Switch and Xbone and optimising the upcoming Mass Effect trilogy remaster. Paradox have done handovers before, like when they bought Prison Architect. Or on a grander scale, I suppose, when the Surviving series continued with Surviving The Aftermath. The big plan for Abstraction now is to release "a fully-featured Surviving Mars expansion" later this year.

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