Waking Mars – A Mystery Of Extraterrestrial Botany

4.0 Overall Score
Gameplay: 4/5
Design: 4/5
Duration: 4.5/5

Such an interesting storyline | Unique and engaging gameplay | Outstanding design

There's a bit of a repetitive feel | Introduces new elements at a relatively slow pace

There’s so much unknown on Mars, and there’s so many potential exploration avenues. In the new game Waking Mars, from the makers of Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, you are in the year 2097 setting foot on Mars. In the game, you first discover life on Mars, and you’re busy exploring the underground caves away from the harsh planet surface. There’s a cave-in, and now you need to explore deeper down in never before seen caves to find a way out, and discover all kinds of information along the way. The main goal is to uncover and build an ecosystem with various extraterrestrial plants through different seeds and fertile soil.

Each stretch of cave introduces new plant life forms to interact with, and all of the plant lifeforms interact differently with each other. In each cave section you need to build up the biomass number by planting various plants, all in an attempt to clear the blockage. It’s a gaming experience unlike any other in the App Store as you cultivate Mars underground, and all of your actions have a direct impact on the planet. The game is really well set-up so that each interaction with different lifeforms lets you learn information about how the ecosystems react with one another which you will use to advance later on.

There’s an intricate storyline included, and plenty of mystery involved in the chapter based adventure that will make you want to keep going. There is so much to explore, and the overall gameplay style is a bit reminiscent of Aquaria. You never know what’s coming next, and every section of each cave can be very important to progressing. There are also plenty of dangers including acid leaks, attacking plants, and falling rocks, and the game never feels slow moving. There’s an excellent design as well from the background visuals to the smooth touch controls.

Waking Mars ($4.99, Universal) is a should buy that is a brilliantly designed futuristic mystery that will keep you thoroughly engaged throughout.


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