2097년, 화성에서 생명체가 발견되었습니다. 이들과의 최초의 접촉을 위한 탐사 도중 동굴이 무너져 버렸고, 당신은 그 안에서 살아남기 위해 외계의 생태계에 통달해야만 합니다. 아무도 예상하지 못했던 대발견을 하고, 시간이 다가오면 이를 통해 잃어버린 행성의 운명을 결정지을 선택을 내리게 될 것입니다. Waking Mars는 제트팩을 써서 화성의 지하를 날아다니며 외계 생명체들을 지배하는 살아 숨쉬는 생태계와 접하게 되는 독특한 어드벤쳐 게임입니다. 이곳에서 살아남아 화성의 과거에 대한 비밀을 밝혀내려면, 생물들의 특성을 배우고 통달하여 당신만의 설계를 적용한 생태계를 만드세요.
사용자 평가:
Overall:
매우 긍정적 (평가 808 개) - 이 게임에 대한 사용자 평가 808개 중 91% 가 긍정적입니다.
출시 날짜: 2012년 12월 13일

로그인하셔서 게임을 찜 목록에 추가하거나, 팔로우하거나, 관심 없음으로 표시하세요.

Waking Mars 구매

이 게임의 다운로드할 수 있는 콘텐츠

 

평가

"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

Steam Greenlight

게임에 대해

2097년, 화성에서 생명체가 발견되었습니다. 이들과의 최초의 접촉을 위한 탐사 도중 동굴이 무너져 버렸고, 당신은 그 안에서 살아남기 위해 외계의 생태계에 통달해야만 합니다. 아무도 예상하지 못했던 대발견을 하고, 시간이 다가오면 이를 통해 잃어버린 행성의 운명을 결정지을 선택을 내리게 될 것입니다.

Waking Mars는 제트팩을 써서 화성의 지하를 날아다니며 외계 생명체들을 지배하는 살아 숨쉬는 생태계와 접하게 되는 독특한 어드벤쳐 게임입니다. 이곳에서 살아남아 화성의 과거에 대한 비밀을 밝혀내려면, 생물들의 특성을 배우고 통달하여 당신만의 설계를 적용한 생태계를 만드세요.

주요 특징

  • 자유롭게 얽혀있는 이색적인 동굴들을 탐험하세요.
  • 알 수 없는 신호를 해독하고 오래 전에 잊혀진 유적을 발견하세요.
  • 이상한 생물들과 위험한 지형들로 이루어진 기이한 세계에서 살아남으세요.
  • 이색적인 식물들과 외계 생명체들이 상호 작용하는 활기 넘치는 생태계를 만드세요.
  • 한 종을 번식시켜 다른 종을 먹이고, 원치않는 오염을 막고, 독특한 습성을 조사하세요.
  • 2012 IGF 후보: 음향 부문 우수작. 비평가들의 극찬을 받은 2시간에 달하는 음악이 수록되어 있습니다.
  • 마우스+키보드와 게임패드 모두를 고려해 만든 완전한 PC 기반의 조작 체계.

시스템 요구 사항

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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
매우 긍정적 (평가 808 개)
Recently Posted
Ata
( 7.2 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 5월 29일
A neat little puzzle game, good for exploring over a few hours and enjoying the atmosphere. The voice acting isn't perfect but it's alright, the music is forgettable but makes for appropriate ambiance, and the methods of meeting the biomass goals are completely up to you. Of course, altering the terrain and farming your favorite zoa species will mean fast traveling back and forth a lot, which can break the immersion a little.
I'd give it a solid 7/10.
Arric
( 12.9 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 5월 16일
A good, indie, environmental puzzle/explorer. Overall, a nice, (mostly) relaxing change of pace from blowing everything up to death and stuff.
lewrker
( 0.3 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 5월 15일
I don't think this is a game for me, very thinly-veiled excuse for uninspiring puzzle mechanics.
ColorLock
( 11.5 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 5월 1일
Terrible game design where if you make some small mistakes earlier in the game, you can't finish the game and have to play the entire thing from the beginning. Uhm, why?
Blakelocke
( 8.7 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 4월 30일
Unique and fun. I look forward to seeing more from this developer
><(((°> Tilapia Slender
( 12.5 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 4월 26일
Excelent game. Found it very interesting and entertaining. Voice of ART sounds just like CL4PTR4P from Borderlands.
brnsstnk
( 6.0 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 4월 18일
Best extraterrestrial gardening sim I've ever played.
Mightyelk
( 5.7 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 4월 7일
Good exploration game with decent story. Nothing more, nothing less.
[508] Yaso
( 0.4 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 31일
이연걸이 원예하는 게임

먼저 게임의 컨셉이 독특합니다. 화성의 동굴을 탐사 중 미지의 생명체(식물의 일종)를 조우하게 되는 주인공.
스팀 상점 페이지의 스샷만 보셔도 독침을 발사하고 사람을 집어삼키는 그런 생명체들입니다. 무너진 동굴 안에서 이 식물들을 피해 살아남아야 하는 서바이벌 퍼즐게임의 느낌입니다.

하지만 실상은 전혀 다릅니다. 오랜 기간동안 일종의 비활성화 상태로 있던 이 생명체들을 씨앗, 물 등을 잘 활용해 다시 살아 숨쉬게 만드는 것이 이 게임의 본 목적입니다. 이 식물들을 연구하기 위해서, 그리고 무너진 동굴 안을 헤쳐나가기 위해서 다양한 식물들을 심어나가며 이들이 어떠한 습성을 가지고 있는지 파악해나갑니다. 각 스테이지는 일종의 줄기식물 같은걸로 진로가 막혀있어 일정 이상의 생태 활동을 구현해야 (특정 수 이상의 식물이 자라야) 그 막이 걷혀 앞으로 나아갈 수 있는데, 위에 언급했듯이 식물마다 각기 다른 습성이 있기 떄문에 이들을 잘 조합해야 요구되는 생태 활동수치를 충족할 수 있는 퍼즐 형식의 전개를 보여줍니다. 일종의 작은 생태계를 꾸리는 셈입니다.

그래서 흔히 이런 우주 생명체 조우가 주제인 게임들은 주로 파괴하고 생명을 앗아가는 것과 달리, 이 게임은 점점 화성에 생기를 불어넣게 됩니다. 대단한 반전이나 흑막 같은 것 없이 내내 이런 잔잔한 분위기임에도 진행할 수록 게임하는 이로 하여금 은근한 성취감을 느끼게 해 주는건 이 때문이라고 생각이 됩니다.

같은 이유로 이러한 잔잔함을 빼면 게임플레이 면에서 크게 다양할 것이 없다는 점은 단점이 될 수도 있겠으나, 편한 마음으로 편한 분위기를 즐기는 목적으로 플레이하시면 만족할 만한 경험이 되리라 믿습니다.


p.s. 참고로 저는 모바일 환경에서 이 게임을 했었기 때문에 PC버전의 언터페이스적인 측면은 평가가 어렵군요. PC버전은 리뷰를 쓰려고 30분 틀어놓기만 했습니다.
p.s.2 주인공이 0.5초 이연걸 안 닮았다면 사과드리는 바 입니다. 안면인식장애가 있어서 혜리하고 황정음도 헷갈렸던 사람이니 양해를 구합니다.
ScyAnide
( 0.2 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 30일
Was unable to fix terrible game stuttering that seemed to build up over time.
Cyril
( 7.5 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 27일
This is an... okay game. It starts out pretty strong, there's a solid story throughout, the visuals are decent, the planting mechanics seem pretty interesting. For the first three chapters the game is quite linear, and the fourth (and longest chapter) opens up a little though I would never say it's that exploration-heavy, or much of a metroidvania.

But the game really starts to drag around chapter 4, with increasingly tedious work needing to be done to hit 4 and 5 level biomasses for the rooms. Thankfully there's an event that doubles the effectiveness of these right near the end, so if you hit 30 you're basically done. But it still takes a lot of work and some of the rooms can be really tedious and frustrating, the AI on the moving lifeforms is not very good.

There's also a number of glitches, stuff getting stuck in walls etc. but also game-breaking bugs that can ruin your file; thankfully I did not encounter this but I did get a kind of buggy ending the first time via skipping a large chunk of the endgame sequence by having enough core power to trigger the normal ending. It's a really weird oversight, honestly.

But yeah, this game is... solid. I've wrung about as much enjoyment out of it as I think I'll ever get though and I doubt I'll ever go back and replay it. Get it on sale, not full price.
sylenius
( 11.2 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 23일
I didn't know what to expect from this game, so it really came as a surprise to have so much fun.
So, this is mostly a story-driven exploration game, with a part of action/platform which is not crucial to the game but very well done and quite enjoyable.
The real thing here is the atmosphere, especially if you like science-fiction, and I don't mean Hollywood action movies, I mean novels about space and planet exploration, science and discovering ancient civilizations. While this is not a Ray Bradbury novel, the story and voice acting are quite good, creating a very nice background for the game. Discovering and re-building the mars ecosystem is original in itself, but the developers have made it quite enjoyable too.
Nosferath
( 11.2 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 16일
This game really deserves being more popular. It has great soundtrack, beautiful visuals, fascinating lore, and captivating story. This is all done so well in a science-fiction fashion, it all seems very believable. If we ever find life in Mars, I'll be very disappointed of the real world if it's not like the one in this game.
razorclaw0000
( 8.7 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 13일
This game features a fairly unique premise, combining simulation and platforming in an entertaining exploration game. The voice acting is well done, the score beautiful, and the game play requires a reasonable amount of thought in deeper levels. Controls are excellent using a wireless Xbox 360 Controller.
David Blast
( 13.1 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 12일
I really enjoyed this game. It's a nice mixture of casual gaming and mild strategy as you explore and uncover the secrets of Mars. Who knew gardening could be this much fun?

The only thing I didn't particularly like was the soundtrack.
Blatherwock
( 10.4 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 8일
Although it isn't a incredibly long game I really enjoyed the 10 hours of play it provided.
Emmer
( 11.3 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 6일
Casual and fun. Surprised they had a bit of a story going on in there, which made me want to finish the game. You basically try to get things to grow in the caves to reach a certain level of biomass. (Pretty much a puzzle sort of way of growing things). You can also explore the caves and try to research and discover hidden secrets.

Finished the game without referring to a walkthrough, so yay it's not too hard. Gets a bit repetitive towards the end, but hopefully by then you've already finished the game lol.
ShXIII
( 10.0 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 2월 26일
Finished this around 6-7 hours. Pretty cool indie game, all exploration and story telling with some nice art design/music. Not much to say about this game really but the title said "Mars" and it peeked my interest, I enjoyed it.
Jet Jaguar
( 13.0 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 2월 17일
its so relaxing it made me wanna be a interplanitary gardener

also: infinite jetpack

10/10
Ariandel
( 5.5 시간 기록 )
게시 일시: 2016년 2월 11일
Waking Mars is a 2D platformer with gorgeous art, pretty good voice acting, and an interesting (if not-so-original) story. You play as a scientist exploring some of Mars' underground caverns when you're trapped by a cave-in. In order to escape, you must cultivate the local wildlife to reach deeper into the caves, where you encounter even more bizarre lifeforms, and uncover some of Mars' past.

The story is intriguing enough to drive you to play to the end, even though the gameplay itself gets a little grindy. All of the Mars flora and fauna are well designed and fleshed out, with your research on them helping you make your way through the various puzzles.

The game is pretty enjoyable, but $9.99 is pretty expensive for the maybe 6 hours you'll get out of it. Buy it on sale to enjoy it the most.
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5명 중 3명(60%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
비추천
0.3 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2016년 5월 15일
I don't think this is a game for me, very thinly-veiled excuse for uninspiring puzzle mechanics.
이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
2명 중 1명(50%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
비추천
0.2 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2016년 3월 30일
Was unable to fix terrible game stuttering that seemed to build up over time.
이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
1명 중 1명(100%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
추천
4.3 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2015년 12월 26일
꽤 독특한 컨셉의 퍼즐게임 입니다

외계행성에 존재하는 다양한 식물들의 특성을 파악하고

서로 상호작용해나가나는 원리 즉 생태계를 만들어 나감으로써 진행이 이루어지는데

탐험이라는 주제랑 맞물려서 퍼즐에 당위성을 제공합니다.


하지만 제가 스크린샷만 보고 생각했던 이 게임의 이미지와는 다른 게임 (저는 일종의 외계 식물 키우기 인줄 알았습니다)

이라 끝까지 플레이 해보지는 못했네요 반전이 있을것 같은 뉘앙스는 풀풀 풍기는데

스토리가 그렇게 까지 흥미를 돋구지는 못해서..





이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
13명 중 13명(100%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
2명이 이 평가가 재미있다고 함
추천
11.6 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2016년 1월 11일
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.
이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
5명 중 5명(100%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
추천
10.9 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2015년 12월 1일
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.
이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
4명 중 4명(100%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
추천
6.6 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2015년 12월 2일
I had fun with this. A good puzzle game with a story and some interesting game mechanics.
이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
4명 중 4명(100%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
추천
10.0 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2015년 12월 20일
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.
이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
4명 중 4명(100%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
추천
12.5 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2016년 1월 2일
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.
이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
2명 중 2명(100%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
추천
12.9 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2015년 12월 30일
Very fun 2D Metroid feeling game but with more story and modern graphics.

in Waking Mars you are seperated and must use alien plants and creatures as tools to progress and terraform the areas. while doing this you uncover the mystery of the ecosystem and how the whole biosphere works as a system. by the end of the game you have escaped and taken a bare and empty system of caverns and have turning it into a thriving living biosphere of interacing plants and creatures.

offers about 8-14 hours of gameplay to totally finish and is very enjoyable along the way.
이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
2명 중 2명(100%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
추천
5.6 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2016년 2월 11일
This has been quite a fine distraction. The story is heartfelt, and the aesthetics of the game is pleasing. Martian caverns make for an interesting backdrop. 7.5/10. Worth the price and beyond.
이 평가가 유용한가요? 아니요 재미있음
2명 중 2명(100%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
추천
8.7 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2016년 2월 11일
As the terrain evolves around you, so does your arsenal. You become the master of an underground living, breathing environment while discovering lost secrets of this mysterious place.
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7.6 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2016년 1월 12일
I recommend. awesome platformer.
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13.0 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2016년 2월 17일
its so relaxing it made me wanna be a interplanitary gardener

also: infinite jetpack

10/10
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3.8 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2015년 12월 27일
Very fun and amazing. Makes you think and wonder, maybe wait for sale, like 10-20%, but is pretty much worth it. I haven't finished the game, so i have no idea how long it is, but so far it is one of the best games i've ever played.

Great visuals
Great music
Side goals
little side areas to explore
collection
highly recommened
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10.1 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2015년 12월 30일
This is an excellent exploration & puzzle game. Great story line and smooth playability really make me want a sequel.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
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2.0 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2014년 3월 30일
게임 룰을 잘 몰라서인지, 아니면 나누는 대화를 해석할 수 없어 세계관에 빠져들지 못하는 탓 때문인지.
웨이킹 마스는 생태계 퍼즐치곤 지나치게 퍼즐적인 즐거움이 적다.
항상 사용하는 식물들, 항상 사용하는 생태계 라인을 맵마다 반복할 뿐이다.

여러가지 씨앗을 던져 반응을 살펴본다곤 하지만 대게 정말로 즐거움을 주는 반응은 1~2종으로 극히 적고, 아무리 봐도 생태계 체험으로까지 느낄만큼 풍부한 반응을 돌려주진 않는다.
좀 더 컨텐츠가 풍부하고 유기적인 생태계를 느낄 수 있었다면 즐거웠을 것 같은데, 아쉽게도 독특하 장르치고는 큰 인상을 주지 않는 게임인듯 하다.
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7.9 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2013년 11월 21일
화성은 아름다워.

화성에서 외계인들 땅땅땅빵 하는 게임인 줄 알았는데, 그 정반대라 놀랐고,
생태계 재조립 한다는게 어려워 보였는데, 막상 해보니 생각보다 훨씬 쉬워서 놀랐고,진엔딩이 상상 이상으로 허무했던 것에서 또 놀랐고.

하여간 나름의 재미는 분명한 게임. 취향은 조금 타겠지만,
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74명 중 72명(97%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
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15.9 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2013년 8월 29일
For far too long have sci-fi games been centered around violence and killing.

Thankfully this game is not one of those games. Waking Mars is a game about life and growth, not death and destruction.

Instead of some space soldier, you play as an astrobiologist on a quest of knowledge and discovery. Along the way the game gives some educational facts about Earth and Mars as well as insight on possible interactions within an ecosystems.

So if you desire games that are about growth or exploration, this contains both and should be on your wishlist or cart.
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68명 중 67명(99%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
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18.2 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2014년 10월 31일
Platform games aren't at the top of my list - mainly because of their limited world, low replayability and (many of them) being highly linear - however, Waking Mars is one of the most enjoyable games I've been playing lately, and for me, one of the best platform games to date. Its sci-fi/ Mars setting and artwork caught my attention; but it was the goal of creating and encouraging an ecosystem within the Red Planet that sold me on it.

The story is simple and straightforward, but it is intelligently executed and really intriguing. Character development is little, but just right. There are no enemies, only yourself, the 'flauna' and the environment - but you might be surprised at just how much of a threat you can pose to yourself. The goals are laid out before you in a no-nonsense manner: you are exploring, searching, gathering, manipulating, creating, and de-constructing to create, in a more favourable way to the environment's (and your) needs. There is something to be said for balance, and you learn by trial and error; but don't worry, there is nothing that you can't undo - though it may require a measure of patience.

The game mechanics are superbly fluid - the game runs without a hitch (it's enough for me to say that if I can run this on my present setup, anyone can - trust me). The time, work and research that went into this game is incredible. Overall gameplay is relaxing with adequate moments of doubt, constant wonder and dashes of uncertainty. It is a wonder to me that I do feel a sense of real isolation while playing - I think this is thanks to the beauty of the graphical style and the great music - but this is exactly what I would expect, it's the lonely and mysterious Red Planet, after all. The time it will take you to complete this game? It depends on you. I completed it at the listed time played.

One of the best features of this game for me was the ability to revisit any area at any time without limit. This alone makes this platformer just so non-linear. As well as being vital - you will have to travel around to resupply your seeds, revisit some areas dependant on other areas' progress, or just to re-balance an area if need be - it is a real treat to be able to return and see how the caverns have been thriving (or not) in your absence.

IMPORTANT: If non-stop action, mayhem and destruction - i.e. death-n-glory - are your bread-and-butter, you will fast become bored with Waking Mars. BUT...

...If you enjoy platform games, I believe this is a must for your collection and many will undoubtedly enjoy it. If you are a wary platformer like me, it may blow you away and you won't regret this purchase (reg. price is reasonable; on sale price, you'd be crazy not to try it).

Happily jet-packing (and occasionally bouncing) around in the ever-deepening caverns of Mars to re-awaken it... 11/10
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69명 중 63명(91%)이 이 평가가 유용하다고 함
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13.5 시간 기록
게시 일시: 2014년 5월 24일
Hard science fiction is a rare guest in video games. Not having any evil aliens or cool laser-shooting guns isn’t a good premise for dynamic action. Luckily, Waking Mars isn’t actually aiming at cheap thrills or fast-paced shooting, but rather prefers to be a meditative journey and succeeds at it.
The year is 2093, player takes the role of Liang, chinese astronaut, taking part in international planetary mission to Mars, studying life that was discovered in an underground cavern system. If the thought of some green evil aliens pointing their death-ray guns had crossed your mind at this point, shoo it away. Or maybe you’ve thought of some ancient ruins, secure vaults,containing secrets of advanced precursors? You’re wrong again. Life that has been discovered is rather primitive. It is a strange kind of hybrid between plants and animals. It’s called Zoa. Not much is known about these species; you will be the first and only human to make contact with it and observe it in its natural habitat.
And that is the game: travelling and observing, filling built in-game encyclopedia with articles describing behaviour and features of all types of these “plants”. Yes, there’s actually quite a lot of them. Some stay in place, some move around; some feel good on regular soil, some require acidic loam for growing. There are even those whose spores are exploding, killing all other Zoa around. There you have it, this is as much brutality as you can get in Waking Mars. While this is not the first video game declining use of violence as the main plot progression device and problem solver, not even the first among metroidvanias, it’s still an admirable feat. You wander around the caves, first on foot, later using jetpack, unveiling the beauty of an enclosed ecosystem, where various types of Zoa form a perfect cycle of life and death.
Most common obstacles on the player’s path are Cerebranes, gigantic membranes covering passages between caverns. In order to open them you’ll have to increase biomass. Picking up spores and placing them on fertile ground sounds easy enough, and it actually is… at the beginning. Increasing variety of species requires careful planning to achieve that sweet spot when that number is finally high enough. You’ll have to make everything work together with maximum “profit”. At its heart the game is nearly a city-builder where you connect houses with roads, provide appliances, keeping in mind the energy, waste and communications. Being a space “gardener” is a rather soothing process if you let it be so. This game doesn’t like those who are in a hurry, who can tip off balance so easily and want some obvious solutions. Eventually they will stumble upon a cave, where just picking up seeds and placing them on all the green spots won’t be enough. I can’t really say that Waking Mars requires out-of-the-box thinking, it’s not actually that hard, but there is space for creativity here. You can try different solutions, experiment with Zoa proportions.
The pace of the game is emphasized with main hero’s loneliness. Not in some metaphorical way, but in actual one. Liang is the only human here. His colleague Amani safely stays on the base and contacts him on the radio. This distant voice coming somewhere from above is as much company as you can get here. If you don’t count OCTO, mission’s AI, of course. It’s sci-fi after all. Dialogues being rare are wonderfully written, perfectly voiced and are presented in the right amount, are enough to keep the player’s head in the story progression, but not ruining that desolation mood.
Distinctive art-style inspired by 60s and 70s illustrations of popular science magazines glues all of that together, making this truly unique. This is a niché game, sure. But it stands out even among other metroidvanias. Being slow-paced and reflective it never becomes boring. It has that long-lost sense of intergalactic adventure and discovery, which we lost decades ago, surrendering it to Lucas’ space fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against that. And shooting can be fun too. But can we have more games like Waking Mars as well, please?
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