Incredibly engrossing, with great voice work and an art style all its own, Waking Mars caught me completely by surprise. Although it borrows heavily from many other games, most noticeably Metroid/Castlevania, it nonetheless feels very unique and is a refreshing change from the usual shooter heavy gameplay of other contemporaries.
It's not however without any problems. The controls are far from ideal, with keyboard and mouse suffering being too imprecise, and controller support feeling tacked on do to a lack of full implementation. There are also times when the game just doesn't give you enough direction, instead forcing you to wander around until you stumble upon a path to the next area.
In the end though Waking Mars is an absolute triumph despite its flaws. The presentation is superb, and I couldn't help getting sucked into the game for hours at a time. It definitely isn't for everyone, but those that let it sink its roots into them will find an experience unlike anything else, and a world simply begging to be explored.