(Review)39 Days to Mars

Have you ever found yourself sitting down with a friend and having a very real conversation about building a spaceship and traveling to Mars with it? Well, whichever way you lean on that situation, 39 Days to Mars cuts out the middle man and does all of the leg-work for you. Does it get you to Mars? Well, not literally, but at least you won’t have any accidents like in the original Total Recall. As for the game’s worth, let me break it down for you.

By far, the “bicycle in space” puzzle was the most difficult puzzle in the game for me. There was one with some electrical plugs that we failed at a few times, but once we understood the premise it was cake. Even after my buddy and I got the gist of this puzzle, we still barely finished it.

Played either by one’s self or with a buddy, 39 Days to Mars is complicatedly simplistic. The gameplay is a series of puzzles that you’ll need to conquer in order to proceed. As I stated, there is nothing super complicated about them, but you’ll need to follow the visual clues to figure out how to solve what is in front of you. (“A description of every puzzle game ever!” you say? Well, that’s fair.) The snag is that the game requires two sets of controls going at the same time. Solo is possible, but the game comes off as a lot more fun with another human rather than the cat you control with your other hand. Your mileage may vary, but that was definitely the case in my book. That being said, with two people solving the puzzles at the same time you’ll probably run into each other as you try to complete a task. Communication is definitely key. I might even throw in a warning to people thinking they’d play with someone who likes to commonly sabotage things for fun and how that might be a bad idea. Go your own way though. Also, I’m not sure if it was a glitch, but the game seemed to randomly switch which player controls which character on death at times. That was kind of confusing.

Space has everything! Who knew you could get a baby space-kraken on your way to Mars. Honestly, I think more people would make the trip if this were more well known.

The story is quick, simple and unapologeticaly fiction. You decide that today will be the day you fly your air-ship (with balloons keeping it afloat) to Mars. You know… as you would. You also get there in record time. The nice thing about 39 Days to Mars is that the humor is dry and laid out for you to trip over. It’s wonderful. There are multiple times, while on your journey, where your ship will break down and something needs to be done about it. Quickly too I might add, but it’s a fairly difficult fix and you need to compose yourself first. Time to make a cup of tea. This is also done with two players together.  Well played It’s Anecdotal, well played. This game is simply charming.

39 Days to Mars is a game that is short and sweet. The experience may not be one you will remember for years to come, but it will be one of those indie gems you’ll no doubt enjoy either by yourself or with a friend. Maybe you’ll enjoy trying to complete it faster as a challenge to yourself, maybe not. However, this game should be experienced. The humor, the puzzles and mechanics all worked so well together to create something newish. After this, I would easily look forward to whatever It’s Anecdotal comes up with next.

Further Reading on 39 Days to Mars: Official Page / Steam / Twitter

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