REVIEW: Sol 0: Mars Colonization

REVIEW: Sol 0: Mars Colonization

Author: RockstarCRO

Steam: Released

Developer: Chondrite Games

Publisher: Chondrite Games

Genre:  Real Time Strategy

Release date: 15th January 2016

Type: Single-player

I was easily fooled by this game. The startup at first was a little slow and even got me to a point where I was ready to turn away. Then, I just happened to figure out the game and started diverging into it. If you’re a hardcore RTS person, this may not be for you. If you like a challenge and do enjoy space exploration/rockets/colony type games, this will definitely at the very minimum, interest you.

Sol 0: Mars Colonization is a real-time strategy game in which you attempt to establish a base on Mars. Initially, you are able to choose where to land on the surface (or additionally, may choose to start with the tutorial). Before even landing on Mars, you need to plan your trip! This first rocket you get can’t hold much, but it can get the necessities there. As you progress, you’ll get bigger rockets that have a much larger capacity to carry goods/machinery (even a digger/miner). You may want to start off with their recommendation first or make some modifications. Two rovers are more than enough but one can be sufficient to get the job done (just a bit slower)! Rovers explore the surface and upon clicking exploring, will scan the area they come across. They will find methane, ore, clay and even ice. Rovers may be assigned routes so you don’t have to manage them after every move. A methane extractor is a must until you get methane gas storage up and running. A methane extractor is meant to acquire a certain amount of gas before you can send your shuttle back to Earth. This is important as you can re-fill your rocket with cargo once this shuttle makes it back home. Shuttles also have the ability to land anywhere on the surface whereas other shuttles may need a landing pad. Beware though, methane extractors are only used one small shuttles and can be slowly fazed out as your mission progresses. Slowly but surely, you’ll need an astronaut to start building the colony.

Here’s a problem : astronauts need 240kg of food and 120L of water/year in order to stay alive. Make sure you send the poor guy (or girl) with some supplies so they do not start dying off. Food is stored on your shuttle until you start building facilities that produce or store food. Cargo is essentially used to build anything in the colony. It weighs a lot more than food or water does but is a real commodity. You need space to store this cargo somewhere. The solution? Build palettes! The more palettes you have, the more cargo you can store on the surface of Mars. Once you do this, you’re about ready to go to build a colony. Hopefully, you’ll launch a forklift machine to make your life a lot easier. These machines can be assigned to move cargo from place to place automatically. Or if you’d like, you can maximize your building time by having an astronaut carry one of their cargo to start the initial build, then have the forklift trail the astronaut so they do not have to walk all the way back to the pallet.

I should mention you’ll need a lot of power supply and maybe an extra astronaut to help maintain the colony. The solar panels do get dirty and need regular maintenance. To get started, you can build a hallway or a four-way hallway. You’ll need a good mix of both to get everything you need in place. A regular hallway will allow oxygen machines to connect directly to them. This does not work with four-way hallways. Upon placing a hallway (2 or 4 way), you may place a building of your choice. Some buildings include (and not limited to) habitats, green houses, refineries (that do not have to be connected) and refrigerators. Some of these buildings can be upgraded as well as the 4-way hallways. It’s a bit frustrating at first planning how your colony will look but it’ll come. It may take you a few trials and errors to figure out how everything properly fits. Just remember that the further you build, the more oxygen you’ll need pumping through the hallways. One of the biggest features is being able to launch multiple shuttles at one time. You may launch 2 smaller shuttles at first but as you launch them back, you’re able to launch more gear for your colony. This adds a dynamic to the game where this is always a bit of hope.

Graphics are at best decent and remind me of UFO after light (maybe slightly better). The animations themselves aren’t too bad but don’t seem complete. When the miner mines, there aren’t chips of rocks that come out and building is really quick/minimalist (more of a symbol that it’s being built than anything else). Sounds are okay. They do a decent job but aren’t too varied. Notifications may keep coming your way and may drive you nuts (these can be turned off).

Overall, not a bad game. If you’re really into space exploration and like the colony building RTS sort, I would highly recommend a purchase on sale. If you’re looking for RTS with a little martian action, it ain’t here. They introduced a “speed-up” or “slow-down” feature in-game which is really useful when there isn’t much going on.

This game was reviewed by RockstarCRO, go and check his other reviews.

RATING : 70/10

Written by
Dead Parrot
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April 2016

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