Have you ever wondered what it would be like to colonize Mars? In the early beta game Sol 0 you have the opportunity to set foot on Martian soil and build your own colony. Prepare your rocket ship with some needed supplies and then launch yourself to the red planet. Sol 0 is a game made by one man under the banner of Chondrite Games. It’s in the early beta stage of development and has recently been put up for voting on Steam’s Green Light service.
The game first of all looks absolutely amazing. The graphics look crisp and the animations are well done. The soundtrack is a collection of free songs available on the internet thanks to the great Incompetech aka Kevin MacLeod. I have always enjoyed his music and the creator of this game has chosen tracks that fit this game perfectly. The game is so expertly done that it’s difficult to believe it was created by a one man team.
The game play will look familiar if you have ever played SimCity. In my research for this article I discovered that Maxis had actually planned to make a Martian colony game back in 2000 but for whatever reason it was cancelled.
You start the game off by loading up your rocket with supplies that you will need to survive on Mars. On my first run I made it an unmanned mission with a rover, some water, and food (for my astronauts later), and several supply crates. The supply crates are used to build the infrastructure on the planet’s surface. I chose a place to land my landing pod and then released my rover onto the rocky Martian terrain. The rover is used in the game to find the essential ingredients you will need to sustain your colony. You can use your mouse to point the rover in the direction that you want it to go or you can set up a predetermined route system for it to follow. After a few minutes of searching I was able to find some ice that could be used to create water, a very essential commodity indeed.
Every 120 days you are given a new launch window to send more supplies, astronauts and colonists to Mars. On my second launch I included an astronaut and set to work on the initial stages of building my colony. the astronaut builds structures by picking up a supply crate from his landing craft and selecting the type of structure you intend to build. The first thing I built on my initial manned mission was a solar panel array. Electricity on Mars plays an integral part in the game. If you don’t have enough power bad things will happen like fires and pressure leaks. The second thing I built on Mars was a couple of four way hall ways and then a green house. Food runs out quickly in the game, but if you build a greenhouse you can sustain yourself, and with several more you can begin to store food for your future colonists. My water supplies were dwindling so I quickly set to work on building a cryotank to extract and convert the Martian ice to water.
Water is not only used for drinking, when combined with methane you can create rocket fuel to remove your landing pods from the surface. This becomes essential later in the game since you have a limited area in which to land your pods.
As of the beta version you have eight different maps to choose from in your Martian adventure. Each map adds different challenges to your colonial efforts.
Sol 0 is only in Beta at this point but it is definitely worth the $3.99 price tag. I have played the game for several days now and have found it incredibly addicting. The game is challenging and despite the fact that I killed several astronauts on my first couple of missions I found myself playing it over and over again. The game combines city building and RTS elements to create an intriguing game that has a lot of replay value.
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to colonize Mars then this is the game to get. So what do you think of this game? If this looks like a game for you please leave comments below.