Mars Colony: Challenger is a 3D first / third person game that offers you the challenge of setting up a remote base on the surface of Mars. At its core, the game was derived from a simulator where everything is interactively tied together.
User reviews:
Mixed (103 reviews) - 64% of the 103 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 4, 2014

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About This Game

Mars Colony: Challenger is a 3D first / third person game that offers you the challenge of setting up a remote base on the surface of Mars. At its core, the game was derived from a simulator where everything is interactively tied together. You will have to setup and maintain the equipment that supplies pressure and a breathable atmosphere to the base. You are also tasked with growing food, setting up communications and extracting resources in order to make the base self-sufficient. The game offers three zones, each with their unique challenges. There are 7 phases to each mission. Each of the phases expands the base and offers a new set of orders for you to complete. You advance through the ranks as you score points for your performance.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 275 MB available space
    • OS: Windows XP or Windows 7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 275 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Mixed (103 reviews)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
331 of 442 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 4, 2014
I love games like this concept. Building, space, technical complexity. Sounds awesome right?

So Ya, I took a look expecting that old NASA one where you repair a moonbase (Moonbase Alpha I think?). So I wasn't expecting anything stellar... But, this game really looks like it was developed in 2001 one like others have said, then not finished, and uploaded on steam for a cash grab... after playing it for 30 min I'm feeling like an idiot for not trying the demo first.

It's a very promising idea, that looks like someone a long time ago really tried. And then gave up.

> Graphics are poor, and creative style is dated. Interaction very point and click. Thing just appear and vanish - NO physics.

> Sound is poor, repetitive. Phone dialing constantly?

> Instructions are poorly written and unclear. (Ie. supposed to set up atmosphere, pumps and other gear... But where? I go in the base and there's already gear setup? Where I am putting things? I click on un-setup gear and get options to configure it... There's a set button, it really means set-down... why can I get the gear that's here running... and on and on...)

> What finally did it in for me? Lag. I have a newer GPU with 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of system RAM on an i7 (system was built last october), this game was obviously written for a system much, much older.

I really wanted this to be awesome, but in the end, I screwed up... shoulda tried the demo. Oh well. Lesson learned. Let my example save you $10.
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199 of 275 people (72%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 4, 2014
Short vid of gameplay, no review, just how it looks.

This is more of a 1st impressions report, rather than a full review.

The mission in this game to to harness all the equipment you are given to make your habitat self sufficient, easyer said than done, You grow food, harvest minerals and basically survive, this is what i have found so far......

Ok.... Hmmmm, this game. I Really didn't know what i was getting into buying this game, after playing for 10 minutes i feel i have had a twisted pile of video game thrown at my feet, The visuals are not great, the doors make the door activation noise from doom ( the old ones) the movement is slow and the footfall noise is annoyingly fast, so it kinda makes you feel like an elf or something.

The interface is like one of a game from 2001 and the sound needs completely re-done ( the footstep sound whilst walking on a metal surface is going to send me into fits of rage)

Yet.... I feel intrigued to play this game for some odd reason, normally i would turn my nose up at this kind of game, but there is just something about it, like it wants you to figure what goes there and how that thing works, it is interesting ill give it that, and due to the fact i have only played it 10 minutes, i say give this game a go, it could have some awesome content ( somewhere)

This game has no real tutorial. and just throws you in the deep end, im 32 mins ingame and have no idea what the hell im supposed to do.

I read promises of growing ones own food, and mineral extraction, and making this tin box into a totally self sustained environment, so il keep going.... For now....

Ok getting the hang of it now, This is actually starting to become enjoyable, no other game has ever giving me a feeling of satisfaction when i finally manage to create a breathable atmosphere in my tin can.

The textures are crap, the player model is hilariously bad, But there is a good foundation here for something that might actually be a pretty damn good game. That is.... if they are even going to add more. SO im still going to recommend this as it has the groundwork done, and its a wild stab in a new direction for survival games.
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41 of 44 people (93%) found this review helpful
31.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 5, 2014
Note: Please send me a message if you want to try multiplayer.

Gameplay: At first I thought this game is a base building game but in actuality it is a task oriented game and very little in terms of bulding. You can make items and food but they are limited in variety. It's all about survival in it's simplest sense so don't expect a lot customability. In fact, base modules are added automatically every mission phase so you don't even get to build your modules. In terms of completeing missions, the game litterally throw you to the deepest end of the pool because you WILL be confused with what to do. However, in reality, the first 4 phases are actually pretty easy to pass that is if you spend the time reading the mission tutorial thoroughly and run through it a couple times. In fact the mission work orders don't need to be followed step-by-step as long as you know what has to be completed. Once you are at the fifth phase, things get a bit more interesting and you'll find yourself swamp with work while you are trying to keep yourself alive.

Critisim: Just as others have said with others interactions with objects is not very comprehensive such that it's purely point and click and you are done (although the work sequence does matters in terms of efficiency). The graphics are not top notch and there is no music (except ones you played yourself) but then again we all have seen worst. There are some game breaking bugs though like being unable to move if you didn't close a work screen before walking away, work stations disappear after a game reload, or unable to set an object if you have it on your hand while taking on or off your suit. If you figured out how to backup save states, then please tell me.

What I like: Despite getting the feeling that the game didn't achieve it's full potential, I do enjoy certain concepts of the game like farming and making the compartments livable. Also hidden amongst the simplicity of the gameplay is the complexity of survival as you constantly have to check your vital signs, the stats on your farm, your mining operations and your base life support system. If and when version 2 comes out which according to the developer would include some sandbox features, then this game would be a whole lot better.

Overall feeling: If you like task oriented game or generally want to get a feel of what a Mars would be like, I think this game is for you. If you want a sandbox game, then I probably wouldn't recommend this game.
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70 of 90 people (78%) found this review helpful
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 5, 2014
The negative reviews very nearly put me off buying this game. But i thought "it's pretty cheap, i'll give it a whirl". I'm glad i did! Fans of minecraft and any kind of simulation game will LOVE this game. Seems hard at first, but once you get into it it's actually quite easy and enjoyable. Yes the graphics are a bit dated and yes I have seen one or two very slight bugs, but neither should put you off buying this game. I've been playing for the last 4 hours and every phase just gets more interesting. I also disagree with the comment "it will get boring if you are solo playing". I think this is absolutely fine for solo play, especially if you are the type of person that likes to do everything themselves :P highly recommend, 4 stars!
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26 of 29 people (90%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
27.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2015
The Dev released an updated version of this. However, instead of updating THIS, he gave it a new name and released it separately to try and slime more money. Thus, this is officially abandoned.


That's a big F-you to all that bought this game.
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27 of 31 people (87%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
59.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2015
I have spent a few days playing the game and I enjoyed. It has a number of issues that many people have already documented. See the following post:

I have also found the ELS Module will sometimes have the buttons to enter it disappear in later phases of the game. While I have not needed the ELS it would be nice to have it function properly.

I have not figured out how to create additional nutrients for worms and mushrooms. It would also be very nice to be able to freeze and store meals for future use - kind of like MRE's. It would also be useuful to have someplace to store algae.

But it is clear since they moved on to a new Mars game that this game is now abandonded by Hyperkat. I can't in good concience recommend it. What a shame - it had real potential.
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64 of 97 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 4, 2014
This game is NOT for people who want something to just jump into. Mars Colony: Challenger is a complex space station simulator that relies on a lot of knowledge to get the hang of things. You aren't given much to go on when they drop you into the first area, and it feels good to just experiment and try different things. This game is also NOT for people who just play single-player games. This game gets boring fast when you don't have people to interact with. Definitely a good game if you and a few friends all grab it and figure out how to do things together. This game screams cooperation, not competition, which is something that I really enjoy.

Being a new game, Mars Colony is very buggy. It was almost impossible for me to activate some consoles because you had to click on a very specific spot to activate it. The controls are a little messy and take a while to get used to. You don't have automatic free-look, and you must hold down the right-click mouse button or you'll be stuck in a static camera view. It's such a minor inconvenience, but it gets annoying fast and it's a pointless mechanic. The graphics, while not bad, are very outdated. This game looks like it came out in the early 2000s, not 2014, updating the graphics a bit would really make the game feel more alive.

Overall, not in the least a bad game, but it really needs a community to be fun. Again, the game looks very complicated in the beginning, but figuring out how to accomplish tasks is very rewarding. Anyone who buys this should play it with friends or find a group online.

My Rating: 7/10
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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 15, 2015
I am playing around 10 hours by now. (Mostly offline.) The game is exactly what I wished for: Slowly-paced realistic simulator of survival on a hostile planet without plasma guns, evil aliens and warp-engines. I love the system of devices, where each of them has some internal parts that have to be put together and can fail, and where every such device has its real unique function. The basic idea of the game is setting up the base, so do not be surprised there is not much objectives beyond that. The graphics is quite old-style and there are few bugs, but honestly, I am one of the guys who would play the game maybe even in text-mode if the idea was good. I definitely can recommend the game to space exploration geeks like myself, who do not look only for cool graphics and can appreciate the small well thought of details present in the game. The overall playability is very good, if you enjoy this style of games.
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 26, 2014
Most of the reviews here would have you believe that this game is an absolute pile of garbage and should be skipped at all costs.
I recommend looking at a youtube video of some gameplay before making a descision.

When I saw this game at first, I was instantly interested, but severely discouraged by the negative reviews, and after watching a youtube video decided to buy the game.

The game is fun, challenging and engaging. Almost every aspect of the base itself is interactable in some way, and the emergent gameplay coming from environmental hazards, your friend eating all the rations, or perhaps even another player depressurizing the base make it a fun experience. You will complete many tasks during the setup of the base, including fixing comm towers, mining resources and eventually becoming completely self sufficient. The gameplay itself is solid, and very enjoyable. It is also quite realistic, and great for anybody interested in an RP game.

The only downside (for me at least) is that even though the graphics look like they were made before even Doom3, the game begins running horribly at around stage 4, making further progression impossible. Whilst this is likely due to my computer than the game itself, an update providing optimization would be great, or focusing on performance with your next game.

Gameplay: 9/10
Cost: 10/10
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 9, 2015
This is not a game that everyone will like. There is no debating that, really. It is slow and requires you to really think about what you are doing.
But for people willing to put some work in, and have patience, this can be fun. Its mainly a "pick this up take it there" type game with a bit of micromanagment of health, oxygen and heat. There are little mini game type things which, once again, with attention are pretty easy. Oddly, though, this game can be really engrossing if you are not a person who craves fast paced type games, you may find that you become engrossed too.
What makes this game even more fun is the fact that there are basically three challenges (three different martian bases) each one harder than the other, providing new challenges.
I would also recommend this to anyone who played "Moon Base Alpha" and enjoyed it. It is along the same simulation lines as that. (With a fair bit more complexity)
Advice: Play a little single player, just to get an idea of how to do things. And then get a buddy and play together.
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2015
I really, really, REALLY want to like this game. I just cannot.

It's not the slow pace. That's fine. I like games that take a while to pick up steam. It's not the graphics. Yes, they're dated, but so be it, there's games from 10 years ago that I like to pick up and play.

It's the lack of a GAME. There is none. You are supposed to build a Mars base. So far, so good. Interesting, one would assume. But what it comes down to is "take this bunch of containers one by one and carry them inside", that means pick one up, walk (walk. What did you expect, running?) over to the airlock, find a place to put it down, walk back out to the hangard, pick another container up ... and repeat that 20 times). Then you have to put the right container in the right slot at the machines. They are labeled, don't worry, it's not like you have to think or anything. Then watch a progress bar move like a snail. From time to time it may "fail" and you get to click a button, but in general you sit there and watch a progress bar.

Thinking about it, you watch progress bars a lot in this game... it's like they made a game out of installing a game.

There is no decision making, no strategy, nothing you could possibly make "better" next time you try it. There simply is no room for any kind of, you know, PLAYING the game.

You work down a list of chores. And you don't even get paid for it.
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 18, 2015
It's 10 bucks. it's something different. no monsters, no shooting. no flying. no magic. this game is for the times when you want something simple with a cool idea. like being the first poor chump to land on mars and set up everything useful for the guys that come on the next bus. I like this game.
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
34.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
I enjoyed this game way more than I thought I would. The graphics are not too fancy but the way the systems all seem to interconnect is very cool and there is something very peaceful and relaxing about being out there on Mars by yourself setting everything up. The learning curve is a little steep at first but once you accidentally suffocate or over expose yourself to radiation a few times you start to get the hang of things. I would highly recommend this game if you enjoy survival sims.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2015
I recommend it but only if you can get it at a low enough price as there are still a few annoying bugs. It's a borderline recommendation though as the crafting mechanics and rover repairs become tedious quite quickly .

Also it will probably only appeal to a certain type of person so you should play the demo first.

The good:
It's a slow paced survival game that does a reasonable job of capturing some of what it would be like to live and try and survive on Mars. A very unique survival experience that doesn't rely on zombies/dinos or some other form of being horribly murdered to create the survival expereience.

The Bad:
There are some bugs, the most annoying I encountered was when my dirt sample and drill samples stopped being recorded.
The gameplay is a little dry. Most of the time it consists of waiting for a green bar to fill. Which mostly works accept for the fabrication benches and the constant rover repairs. Which push it too far and it feels like needless time wasting instead of a gameplay abstraction.
The science is a little iffy in places. I'm not sure what's the point of the worms or mushrooms as you can only grow them once and I presume the worms would be part of the compost system and not kept seperately. Then there are the fish which seem to be the food eqivalent of a perpetual motion machine. I don't know if the worms, mushrooms, and fish were meant to be more fleshed out, but the gamedev ran out of time or what.

Processing of minerals seems out of place to the rest of the game in that it magically happens inside a machine. When all the other machines use equipment modules and are based on reality. In fact along with crafting chemical extraction/seperation could of made for interesting gameplay if it was more fleshed out, maybe with a puzzle element.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 29, 2014
After only 2 hours or so I have fallen in love with this game. Although I'm not a 100% fan of the rover controls (only because you have to click to switch between forward and reverse instead of just pressing F/S when you want to go forwards/backwards respectively) the rest of the game is designed very well. The graphics seem a tad behind the times (maybe 2005-2008) but do not take away from the 3D aspect or the gameplay.

The lack of a video on the store page initially took me to youtube to find out whether or not this was worth it. I watched a couple people play (and the audio was really distracting, since the in-game volume seems very low - I have to turn my speakers up higher than any other game to hear anything) and decided to give it a try myself. I'm so glad I did.

I admittedly have not played much to give a great description of later gameplay, but the initial setup of the base has been the best simulator experience I've ever had. The lack of a "run" function actually adds to the gameplay (in my opinion) since the gravity is less and you're wearing a heavy suit.

If you're having trouble with food/water, remember that there is a room in the base you can shut the door to and turn on an emergency oxygen feed so you can take off your helmet (Ctrl+T) and eat/drink. That threw me off my first play-through.

If you have not played this game, I highly recommend giving it a shot. Well worth the normal $10.00, but especially worth the $4 during the Steam Summer Sale. I do hope they expand upon this in the future, but am very happy with what is available now. Very stable, no glitches so far, and the flow of resources seems very refined from what I've played so far.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 10, 2014
This is a fun little game detailing the realistic challenges of setting up a colony on Mars. It you enjoy sim games and games about colonizing and expanding, give this a try. I'd say, think Civ from the perspective of a worker, just not on a massive empire building scale.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
35.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 20, 2014
This game is fun if you are into simulations. The only people complaining about graphics are the FPS kiddies. Of course this game doesn't have AAA graphics but they are more than good enough for a sub $10 simulation, especially if you crank it up to max settings.

There are a ton of things to do here like installing parts for the various equipment, repairing stuff, tweaking equipment settings, making sure everything is running properly, deploying weather beacons, growing plants, and much more. You are tasked with making a self sustaining martian base and let me tell you that requires quite a bit of time and work.

There are several phases and all of them keep adding more and more things for you to do and take care of. My advice is to ignore the "Score" for each phase and take your own time with things. It has some minor RPG elements as well since your character can earn skill points in several different categories like Engineering, Agriculture, and more.

It also has multiplayer which is a real nice touch.

This game is definitely worth it and I can't wait for the sequel or version 2.0 as the developer calls it.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 15, 2015
I have a love / hate relationship with this game. I love the concept but it could have been so much better if HyperKat games would get some help. The assets scream "one-man-job" with the sounds that you would mistake from something from 1995. So why do I still recommend it? Well its the only option out there of its kind. People that like sims and space, you might get your 10 dollars worth.

>Unique experience

>Poor asset quality

Not much to say other than that.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 28, 2014
Look at how long the people who wrote negative reviews played. These people spent more time writing the review then playing. These people probably looking for a FPS. This is a game about survival.

Mars Colony challenger is a great game. The graphics are just fine.
THe missions start you off getting to know the ropes of the game, before finally trying to manage your base by yourself.
You have to first get your life support going inside your base, then the power and heat. You have to travel far in your rover to hook up radio and weather stations. You have to manage your power and keeps things maintained and repaired. All of this you have to do while keeping yourself heathy from radiation. You have to eat and drink and also urinate. You can not take your helmet off to do these things unless your base's life support is functioning. IF you are a mile away from base and you start to need food you have to go back.

I have 60 games on steam and most I never play. This is one of the best I have, I give it 5 out 5 stars. A very entertaining game. The only thing it needs is more content, you can expand this game so much. Maybe other moons or planets with alien life. BUt as it is it is good enough, especially for $10. I recommend this game for anyone who likes the trill to try to survive and manage a colony on mars. Everything is interactive.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 23, 2014
I am really glad I found this little gem of a game. While it's true that some of the graphics seem outdated, I found that's actually really only true for the HUD. Most of the other parts look pretty realistic. But the best part of the game is actually the realism. A lot of research went into the game and it almost feels like a training simulator. Step by step you are guided (with detailed instructions) on how to setup and develop your basic station module by module. You get the feeling that you are actually learning what basic machinery keeps the station running and how they all interact. You'll also find out various ways to die if you are not careful. After playing for a couple of hours, walking through the station carrying equipment and seeing the ambient light of a morning on Mars shine through the station or opening the airlock and stepping outside looking at your HUD and realizing what a "crisp" winter morning it is, you cannot avoid an eerie feeling that you are actually there.
I wish this game was open source though and would allow other developers to add even more functionality - maybe different tools and Mars base variations. It would also be great if some of the modules would consist of sub-systems so as to add some more layers of difficulty on top and to make it even more challenging. Either way, great game!
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