Three, two, one and get ready to take off on our Xbox: Mars Horizon! This game is a creation of Digital auroch published by The Irregular Corporation and developed in collaboration with ESA, the European Space Agency. The latter can give us an idea of what realistic which is and here is its strong point and at the same time its biggest problem, as we will see later.
A space racing simulator
We are faced with a strategy game that puts us at the beginning of the interest in man’s exit into space. Our objective will first be to carry out the missions that a real space race offers us. But it will not be easy, because we will have competition and we will have to master a large number of factors. This includes budgets, personnel, research, materials, tools, joint missions with other agencies …
The game goes from the first steps of the space age to the arrival of humans on Mars and it all begins with the creation of a space agency.
The principle: design your own agency
We can choose between European Space Agency, NASA, USSR / Russia Space Agency, China and Japan at the dawn of the space race, as in reality, from 1957.
It is possible to create our own agency by changing the flags and the name, if we do not want to bring one of the original five agencies. But the reality is that everything else is the same as if we tampered with the original. Each has its advantages and disadvantages
We will start the first mission with the launch of a space probe, to build a rocket later, to send animals later, then the crew Human and thus, gradually increase the difficulty and risk of the missions and complete the stages.
Missions are divided into two general categories: Milestone missions they become real achievements, How to be the first to orbit the Earth or take someone to the moon. Other missions they can provide us Look for rewards, political support, or even new rockets to unlock.
For all this we will have to start from manage the buildings and facilities of our base and take into account the space they occupy, the cost of the area (if it is cleared or before it will have to be conditioned …). To improve everything gradually, integrate more technologies, laboratories and progress.
To navigate in space!
In the different production phases, this is where the classy to define our style of play. We can bet on material savings and shorten the investigation at the risk of failing our project but the benefits are maximum. If, on the other hand, we prefer some stability, we can invest resources in design and materials to be on the safe side, but with the risk of being outbid by other riskier agencies.
This is where you have to decide between different missions, budgets and characteristics of the same to juggle time and resources. At this point we will have to choose between options such as “I want to get to Mars” or “I want to have better rockets” or “If I don’t launch a mission soon, I won’t get a budget increase” And so on.
This is all very interesting, but …
Reading all of the above, we can assume that it all sounds very realistic, but at the same time complex and, in reality, it is so. In reality, the first mission is a complete tutorial with help texts at each step and at each point. They tell you what’s next, what you need to consider during construction, economic investment, research, etc. With this, you will be the first to send a probe into space. Although some things are already somewhat technical, like the take into account the loads so that the launch is not a failure. This first mission takes about 20 minutes of reading the tooltips.
It is at this point that the tutorial begins to go up and, at the important moment of the continuous reading of the texts, and without claiming to teach us space engineering, yes that there are notions of physics. And that’s it, it’s not appropriate that some points require a minimum of training in a field like physics. This can be an insurmountable point and can lead us to dismiss the title at the first opportunity..
From the second mission the tutorial is no longer present continuously, but it will appear on all new points. Therefore, if it turns out that you missed or forgot a base point from the first mission and you no longer remember the step, you will be lost or stuck.
Added to this is the fact that the game is to go clickando on the different options. In other words, it’s a game in its almost all text, with virtually no graphics, let alone cutscenes.. All of this gives us a feeling of jThe perfect game to play on a mobile, but not to sit in front of a screen. Fortunately, there is something positive about this point and that is Mars Horizon It’s entirely in Spanish. Also note that it is only at the end of the mission that we can see an animation that represents the success or failure of our creation.
The music does not vary either, although it is soft and accompanies the game very well.. Although it is true that an effort should have been made to at least vary the music depending on the menu we are in. The same goes for FX, they are almost nonexistent except those that come out in cutscenes.
Mars Horizon it is a well made simulator. You can see that it is very realistic and very well documented in their desire to take us to a historic moment as attractive as the conquest of space.
His educational interest in knowing how a space agency works and the inclusion of Spacepedia. This kind of the virtual encyclopedia will include informationAs we progress through the game on the solar system and space problems in general.
The big flaw is that some points are too technical, even with the help of an ongoing tutorial. Therefore, we cannot recommend this title to the general public. Mars Horizon is dedicated to space fans which benefit not only from spatial aesthetics, but also from the entire financial, political and structural framework thereof.