Parents' Guide to

Surviving Mars: Space Race

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Mars colonization gets competitive in strategy expansion.

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They say that space can be a very lonely place, but it's about to get a little less so with this strategy expansion set on the Red Planet. Surviving Mars: Space Race brings a new sense of urgency to the colonization of Mars, as you're no longer the only fish in the proverbial pond. The other AI-controlled colonies are also looking to blaze their own trails and reach the same milestones as you. Get beat to the punch, and you're locked out -- after all, you can't be first if you come in second place. It's a fun new mechanic that injects a competitive spin on the single-player game. It also adds a new level of complexity (and a touch of added anxiety); not only are you trying to balance the needs and desires of your own growing colony, but you're racing against other colonies to prove your mettle. It's that extra shot of adrenaline that the game needs to help keep it from getting stale.

New rivals aren't the only thing Surviving Mars: Space Race expands on. Each sponsor, including the two new additions of Japan and Brazil, has added its own unique vehicle and building to the mix, as well as its own unique set of Challenges to overcome. This gives players a reason to try out the other factions, testing out new abilities while using new tactics and strategies to meet the sponsors' goals. And just when you think everything is running like a well-oiled machine, new special events pop up to toss a monkey wrench in the works. The choices players make to resolve these situations not only have an immediate effect on the colony but can also have ramifications later down the road. Some may be positive, like an increase in skilled workers or income, while others can be negative, resulting in low morale among the colonists or worse. These unexpected plot twists keep things fresh and add a little more background to the lives of your settlers. It all comes together to make Surviving Mars: Space Race a great reason to revisit the Red Planet and to make the planet home once more.

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