Occupy Mars is developed by Pyramid Games, the same folks that are working on Dinosaur Fossil Hunter. The two games share a similar approach in that both games focus more on melding realism and edutainment with a survival crafting gameplay loop.
Speaking of the core gameplay loop, the game does a fantastic job of creating the feeling of living in isolation in a space habitation on Mars. There’s a bit of loneliness, monotony, and the constant need to repeat tedious tasks just to stay alive out in the harsh environs of an unforgiving planet.
Occupy Mars does a great job of creating the feeling of actually living on Mars. You have to do everyday monotonous tasks such as carefully managing your power usage. The frequent dust storms make that difficult as most of your power comes from solar panels.
Growing food, managing water, and habitat temperature also take up much of your daily routine on Mars. The game also borrows from the movie “The Martian” where you are growing potatoes in space, thankfully not in your own fecal matter. Any game with pootatoes are alright by me.
The demo does have some bugs, unpolished sections, and the tutorial is rather obtuse and inept at teaching the player how to master the mechanics and survive. However, once you manage to get past that, the game starts to open up and provide a rather enjoyable experience, albeit it probably won’t be for everyone.
Overall, Occupy Mars is a rather laid back game where you can experience what it may be like to be one of the first settlers on Mars. It won’t appeal to everyone but hopefully people will give it a chance because some may be pleasantly surprised at what they find. The game could also work in a educational environment, like Dinosaur Fossil Hunter, to inspire future young astronauts and explorers of the final frontier.