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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Build wonky robots and throw them across Mars next year

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There are plenty of games out there that’ll let you build janky contraptions out of bits and bobs. But I don’t think any have done it with as much style as Aussie developer Ian MacLarty’s upcoming extra-terrestrial delivery sandbox Mars First Logistics.

Teased on Twitter this week, MacLarty’s next game is a sharp break from the eye-straining wonders of The Catacombs of Solaris. Using a toolbox of robot parts, you’ll have to cobble together your own rovers to transport cargo across the red planet—cargo that has been carefully designed to be as large and awkward to carry as possible.

Speaking to Screenhub, MacLarty describes Mars First Logistics as a blend of Besieged and Mudrunner (though I personally prefer to think of it as Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts meets Death Stranding).

“I’ve been really interested in making a big open-world game where the landscape itself is an adversary for some time,” said MacLarty, citing how Mars First is nicking the landscape tech from a previous free game of his, Red Desert Render.

There’s a real sharp look to Mars First Logistics, too. A desert painted in flat, bold palette with thick outlines immediately calls Sable to mind, but there’s a much more toy-like quality to your parts and colours. I adore how putting together your machine looks like flipping through Lego instructions.

Mars First Logistics is coming to Steam sometime next year.

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