It’s only in the indie community will you find a game that sees players traversing the great expanse of the solar system on the way to Mars using 19th century technology. Yes, back in 1876 two inventive engineers decided to use coal-powered steam engine to traverse to Mars in the comedic, cooperative puzzle-game, 39 Days To Mars.
Development outfit It’s Anecdotal is actually a one-man indie operation headed up by Philip Buchanan, a game industry veteran who has worked on mobile games such as Lara Croft GO and Hitman GO. Buchanan decided to step outside the box and create the sort of game you would never see from an AAA studio.
In 39 Days to Mars one or two players can manage the inventive but structurally unstable space ship on the way to Mars. Players will have to keep the steam engines fed and powered with coal, they’ll have to flip switches, use pulleys, and pull levers to keep the whole thing operational. The trailer below will give you an idea of what the gameplay is like.
Most interesting here is the art-style… it’s a design that mirrors pencil sketches, which is a very unique way to artistically build a game. The light scribblings in some of the sequences makes it seem like players are always in a phase of prototyping this unique but horribly unreliable set of technology from the Victorian age.
Players assume the roles of Sir Albert Wickes and the Right Honourable Clarence Baxter. The two explorers take on the role of piloting the exceptionally dangerous and properly named HMS Fearful.
Puzzle-solving antics will ensue and the two must attempt to reach Mars in just 39 days.
Buchanan decided to build the puzzles and challenges around bite-sized play times, so you’re effectively capable of progressing through the game with a buddy (or solo) without worrying about having to devote six to eight hours of playing per session.
39 Days to Mars will be available for $14.99. You can look for the game to go live on Steam starting April 25th. For more info feel free to visit the Steam store page.