Parents' Guide to

Deliver Us Mars

By Angelica Guarino, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Sci-fi adventure has strong story, some clunky gameplay.

Deliver Us Mars Product Image: Kathy uses her ice picks to scale uneven Martian terrain.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Interactive, story-rich drama is difficult to pull off well in video games, and this adventure unfortunately reminds players why. Though the storytelling in Deliver Us Mars is full of emotion and compelling to watch, some stretches feel like they're tedious breaks between cutscenes instead of bridges between them. Though the graphics are beautiful, many of the environments don't encourage free exploration. Kathy starts in one place, and has to get to another before the next cutscene triggers, and that's really it. There are puzzles and platforming sections, but they end up feeling like a way to kill time instead of seamless transitions. This makes the game feel disjointed and difficult to get through when players come to a long platforming section or a puzzle that's tedious. It's not game-ruining, but it's easy to see how the game may struggle to hold players' attention all the way from beginning to end.

It's a mixed bag, though. While many puzzles feel like a drag to complete, there are a few truly outstanding gameplay sequences. The lift-off sequence is impeccably designed. Though players are essentially just responding to a few simple commands from Claire to get the ship ready for take-off, the suspense and excitement builds at a steady rate. Moreover, it pays off once the ship does take off. It's a deeply immersive scene that begs to be ported over to VR. The second standout sequence takes place when Kathy performs a space walk to fix some damage outside of the ship. The zero-gravity mechanic can take a second to figure out, but it's very effective in getting players to feel the stress and excitement of space travel that most people will never actually experience. These two sequences alone may be able to redeem the so-so gameplay for players who are interested in them, but it's a disappointment that they come fairly early in the game and aren't followed by many more first-person scenes.

Game Details

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