Just about everyone knows about the International Space Station, the large technological base floating out in space, or NASA. But few people understand the logistics needed to keep such a place running smoothly.
While Mars Horizon may not be a perfect example of what it’s like, it’s certainly a more entertaining one. Mars Horizon is a recently released space RTS game developed for PC and consoles. And one of their main goals is to help clear up some misconceptions about organizing space agencies.
In Mars Horizon, the player has to research and develop every important step in creating a space colony. This includes creating new rockets, sending supplies off earth, and even keeping the government happy enough to continue providing funding.
But a game is a game, so they sought for authenticity over accuracy. Rockets don’t take 10 years to develop, but key steps in rocket science are still present in the development cycle. And the anxiety of performing the first test launch is still there.
Developer Auroch Digital’s CEO Tomas Rawlings spoke with Space.com about their inspiration for the game.
“I have a long-running interest in space, so as a game developer and as a game designer, the natural way I express that interest is through games.”
He continued to explain that the rise of corporate space programs (like SpaceX) particularly sparked his interest in developing the game. Further inspiration was taken from the hit book-turned-film The Martian, which told the story of one astronaut being abandoned on Mars and having to learn to survive long enough for help to be sent his way.
This is hardly Rawlings’ first effort in games, either. He previously worked on Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land (2011) and Dark Future: Blood Red States (2019). With each project, Rowling was sure to consult scientists and relevant experts to ensure that the challenges his games faced were accurately portrayed.
Mars Horizon is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch for $19.99. If you’re interested in a non-combat oriented space RTS, we definitely recommend giving this one a shot.