Waking Mars is an exploration platformer where your primary direct game mechanics are picking up and throwing seeds. Really. And it is quite good.
Basically, life has been discovered on Mars. You are one of the astronauts who has been sent to explore said life on Mars. You make first contact with them and discover that they are these plant-like lifeforms, that produce seeds, which you can use to plant more of them. There are also, conveniently, barriers that open when you have enough of them growing.
That last bit might seem like a convenient gameplay mechanic, but it actually ties into the story. Yes, a surprisingly intriguing story follows from all this. The whole game took me about 11 hours to complete, and I can vouch that the story is interesting.
The game is an exploration-heavy metroidvania, consisting of interconnected areas to explore and grow things in. There is a certain depth of strategy to how to grow things, since different things have different biomass values, and you need to exceed a certain biomass value to proceed, or to unlock other features. Also, you can pick up some seeds, but not others, and not all terrain is suited for planting all things. And then there are more complex mysteries that lie deeper within...
Your exploration is punctuated by your contact with your fellow crew members -- one person back at base, and one AI who is a little annoying (and the other characters lampshade this). These characters are okay -- if anything, their voice acting is better than their actual scripts, which are a little redundant. That said, the characters are (needless to say) part of the plot. And there are even multiple endings.
In fact, you could actually make this game more like a silent-protagonist Metroid-like game with a strong element of the player learning game mechanics without being told -- I mean, heck, that's basically what happens anyway, except for the "I wonder how you might be able to do such-and-such" that the characters sometimes say. I strongly recommend this if this game ever gets remade.
Aside from the somewhat chatty NPCs and the occasionally irritating physics (the player-character insists on taking a moment to get his footing very often), this is an excellent game, so I definitely recommend it.