Mars is an isometric colony-building game set on the red planet. Players are tasked with setting up a working colony and terraforming the planet. You will need to generate water, air, and electricity, grow and harvest grows and create housing for the growing population.
The gameplay is an idle tap builder. you set in motion various buildings and enhancements to your colony and leave for a while. Upon return, your colony has grown and earned you money through exports. The money is used to grow your colony further. Outside of your base is a world of exploration. Using drones you can scan the surface and look for new zones to explore. Each zone has mountains, cliffs, craters, plains, and ravines to explore. Using a growing number of rovers you explore these regions to bring back minerals, rocks, and relics. As you collect certain elements you can terraform the local area turning it green and unlocking new and different elements.
The game is highly addictive and is very easy and generous, to begin with. Progress is quick and the game is quick to give you money and supplies. Adverts are non-intrusive and are entirely optional to increase the size of your haul or as extra goodies by your colonists.
The lack of any Martian army trying to destroy you is a welcome change as it’s good to simply grow your colony without the contrast need to battle an army every day. Growth is organic and stress-free.
The graphics are simplistic and use beautifully toned polygon graphics. The muted color tone is gentle on the eye and the menus are clear and simplistic with big buttons for my fat fingers. As clicking the various food, water, and power icons, there are satisfying bursts of animation, and each time your shuttle takes off or returns you are treated to fanfare and cut scene which is a nice touch. Sounds and music fit nicely and the usual ‘kerching’ is music to your ears.
My only niggles would be the inability to move buildings as the OCD in me would like to keep the farms, industrial and vehicle buildings in neat little neighborhoods. Another issue I found was sometimes the ads didn’t reward me and I even tried watching it three times. However, this was very rare.
Overall, Mars: Colony Survival is a fun and addictive game that is simple to pick up and play but has an extensive roadmap of growth that will take many hours to complete. The unobtrusive ads are amazing and should act as a benchmark to other games on managing ads in-game. It would be great to move buildings in the future but it is not a deal-breaker. I can see this living on my phone for a very long time.