Each week, the Epic Games Store puts up a free game, which you can add to your library no strings attached. This week’s offering is Surviving Mars, the space-faring city-builder game about...surviving on Mars. It’ll be available until March 18.
Surviving Mars, if you haven’t played it, is more or less exactly what you picture when you think Cities: Skylines Goes To Space. Your goal is to create a sustainable human outpost on Mars. You do so by sourcing resources (metal, concrete, etc.) to build structures for life-support (food, water, oxygen, energy) to support domes of various sizes that can house human life. If you liked Cities, you’ll like Surviving Mars, too. (Both games are published by Paradox Interactive.)
Unlike Cities, though, Surviving Mars puts an additional focus on people, rather than structures. You can curate the manifest for every rocket you send from Earth to Mars. Every person you can choose from is randomly generated, right down to their traits and vocations. Want a bunch of alcoholic botanists who love playing video games? Or how about some hypochondriac party animals who work out 25 hours a day? On your version of Mars, anything is possible.
At its core, Surviving Mars understands that good city-planning isn’t just about roads and buildings and budget cuts. It’s about people. Funny that one has to go to space to learn that lesson.
In other “games you can get for free” news, Metro 2033 is currently available at a 100-percent discount on the other PC storefront, the one that’s named after a 19th-century energy source. It’ll remain at that price point until March 15.