Posted by Evolve on Apr 7, 2018 | In: General News
39 Days to Mars is an upcoming puzzle-adventure couch co-op game that will be available for Linux later this month. Players inhabit a 19th-century spaceship and begin an unreliable journey towards the red planet. Both players contain important roles that are unique and pivotal for the expedition. Those who want to experience the game solo have nothing to worry about given that they will be aided by the computer-controlled spaceship's signature cat.
Beginning on Kickstarter, 39 Days to Mars has been four years in the making. To celebrate, they've unveiled a new gameplay trailer that gives potential players a better feel for the unorthodox voyage they are about to embark on. Players control either Sir Albert Wickes or The Right Honourable Clarence Baxter, who devise building a spaceship out of curiosity. At first glance, their newly built spaceship seems to be running smoothly but eventually begins to dishevel before their voyage even begins. Nonetheless, the two continue on in the bit of scraps left in an explosion and make do with what they have at their disposal. Players solve various puzzles, take a gander at blueprints, and fix themselves some tea in between sessions of salvaging what's left of their ship. During co-op, both players will be equally accountable if they screw up mending the ship, so a running dialogue and strategy regarding how to go about each step are paramount to a successful outcome. While both Albert and Baxter have already established themselves as some of the most worthy explorers of their century, their skills don't necessarily align with piloting, which is the majority of work players will find themselves struggling with.
Mayhem begins to unfold for the crew as soon as the steam engine runs out of coal. If this occurs, the spaceship's cat will shred the navigation chart, leading players floating in space without much of a clue regarding where to turn next, and backtracking their progress thus far. The tea begins to get cold, and the realization that interstellar transportation is a difficult adventure becomes evident. The players curious and diligent enough to give this journey a whirl will quickly realize that making it to Mars in one piece isn't a walk in the park, but certainly worth tackling as a possibility. The adventures that piece together the trip as a whole are bite-sized and made especially palatable to play in short sessions. The thoughtful puzzles and bouts of action were designed with short playthroughs in mind, so players can expect to reach Mars in one sitting, so long as they play all their cards right. Given that so much can go wrong, fitting a successful adventure into one evening means going through quite a bit of learning and mistakes before amounting to legendary explorer status.
This space adventure is coupled with a steampunk and Victorian aesthetic that is emulated through the two protagonists. The game is equipped with a vibrant sound-scape and a piano score that begins during times of occasional disaster. This creates an atmosphere that encapsulates both the soundlessness of space and the familiarity of a home planet that is now far off in the distance. Although the spaceship is the pinnacle of Victorian design during its time, the explorers are a first of their kind. Just like the player, they are treading new ground, and while inexperienced in space travel, have a worthy amount of determination fueling their journey. Although the voyage is painted as a monumental feat, players will still be constantly reminded that they are playing as humans that require various needs be met to ensure a happy crew. Of course, whether the spaceship survives or not, the two explorers must arrive to Mars alive in order to complete the mission. Albert and Baxter must be at pique performance, meaning they need to eat regularly, sleep a sound amount, and amuse themselves, otherwise they can die of boredom. This means a lot of juggling between repairs, tending to the needs of the crew, and being an expert problem solver. 39 Days to Mars will be released on Steam April 25, with the donors of the Kickstarter to thank for raising the extra money needed for a Linux build. Given that this is a single-screen experience, the developers over at It's Anecdotal recommend picking up a couple of gamepads for optimal play.