In 2097, life is discovered on Mars. When your mission of first contact becomes trapped by a cave-in, you must master the alien ecosystem to survive. Soon you stumble upon more than anyone expected, and with time running out, you will make a decision that determines the fate of a lost planet.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (803 reviews) - 91% of the 803 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 13, 2012

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Reviews

"Surprisingly thoughtful, delightfully atmospheric, smartly written, carefully designed...it gradually unfolds its secrets without holding your hand."
5/5 – Quarter to Three

A science-fiction epic that's a delight to explore, and rewarding to play
9/10 – Pocket Gamer

The game grows around you...deep and rich, like ivy
Rock Paper Shotgun

Thousands of video games ask you to take life, but very few ask you to create it
9.1/10 – Paste Magazine

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About This Game

In 2097, life is discovered on Mars. When your mission of first contact becomes trapped by a cave-in, you must master the alien ecosystem to survive. Soon you stumble upon more than anyone expected, and with time running out, you will make a decision that determines the fate of a lost planet.

Waking Mars is a one-of-a-kind adventure in which you jetpack through subterranean Mars encountering a host of extraordinary alien lifeforms that operate as a living, breathing ecosystem. Learn and master the behaviors of these creatures to create ecosystems of your own design if you are to survive and discover the secrets of Mars’ past.

Key Features

  • Explore an open-ended network of exotic caverns.
  • Decode mysterious signals and discover long lost ruins.
  • Survive an unearthly world of strange creatures and hazardous terrain.
  • Grow a vibrant, interconnected ecosystem of exotic plants and alien creatures.
  • Cultivate one species to feed another, eliminate unwanted infestations, and research unique behaviors.
  • 2012 IGF Nominee: Excellence in Audio. Features nearly two hours of critically acclaimed original music.
  • A fully PC native control scheme, designed for both mouse+keyboard and for gamepads.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X

    Minimum:

    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:x86-compatible, 2-Ghz or faster
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:OpenGL 3.0, or OpenGL 2.1 with framebuffer extensions
    • Hard Drive:400 MB HD space

    Minimum:

    • OS:MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or higher
    • Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:OpenGL 3.0, or OpenGL 2.1 with framebuffer extensions
    • Hard Drive:400 MB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
Incredible game... for 10 hours I was on and inside Mars.

-Immersive exploration
-Unique game mechanics
-Great, thoughtful main character : Liang (& voice acting)
-Amazing soundtrack
-The more you progress, the more the ecosystem & all you discover make sense.

When I left the game, I felt I had really been on Mars.

Loved it so much.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2015
Simple, relaxed game 7/10

Pros:
1. Nice atmosphere
2. Unique gameplay
3. Nice sci-fi feel overall
4. Easy and smooth controls

Cons:
1. Odd transition screens
2. Gameplay is lacking
3. Dialogue and voice acting is only ok
4. Boring soundtrack

Overall, it was an easy enough game that I found relaxing. Not a lot of depth here but that's not always needed.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 2, 2015
I had fun with this. A good puzzle game with a story and some interesting game mechanics.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2015
Great game, all around. The art took me some time to get used to. The environments get more interesting as things go. Great soundtrack, good dialogue, and really interesting mechanics to the world that are satisfying to observe and manipulate.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
This is a game that provides an original experience - it's about growing and sustaining an ecosystem (I don't know why it's tagged as a platformer. You can fly, so there's no platforming element whatsoever). As you explore you'll encounter a number of different plant-like creatures, each with its own behaviors and method of reproduction. You have to figure out how each plant works on your own; there's not a lot of direct explanation, and this discovery aspect is the main draw of the game. Once you've got an idea of how things work, you can decide which plants to grow where in order to revive each area of the cave.

The downside is that it's not all that well designed. The interactions between the lifeforms aren't very complicated, and growing the plants requires too much manual interaction, rather than organizing the environment so that it works on its own, like an ecosystem should. Still, it's worth checking out if you're interested in an experience that you haven't had before.
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