0%

Review

That's it, after dreaming about it, man has finally decided to go to Mars. Well, it's already been a bunch of times that he tries but each time something goes wrong. But this time, it's an AI that will lead the mission. How could it go wrong? Per Aspera puts you in the shoes of an AI's neural network (AMI) to offer you a global r...

Per Aspera

  • Greg Burn
  • Jun 15, 2021

That's it, after dreaming about it, man has finally decided to go to Mars. Well, it's already been a bunch of times that he tries but each time something goes wrong. But this time, it's an AI that will lead the mission. How could it go wrong?

Per Aspera puts you in the shoes of an AI's neural network (AMI) to offer you a global resource management game. Your goal: to prepare the ground for the arrival of humans and then, with the help of scientific research done on-site, realize the great dream of terraforming Mars into a habitable planet.

To do this, you'll find the classic resources scattered here and there that you'll have to discover by dint of geological radars scanning the surface of the planet. These resources will require mines to be extracted before being transported to factories to be converted into finished products needed to build more advanced buildings.

Where it gets more interesting is that the game is based on a bubble system. Indeed, since Mars is not hospitable, each building will have to be placed within reach of another building so that they are connected by a road, within reach of an energy source to be powered, and also be under the cover of a maintenance station to prevent Martian dust from jamming the gears of your high-tech factories and rovers.

This triple cover system is interesting because it often happens that you think of one or the other system and end up with a building just outside the limit of the third one, forcing you to add this one in an emergency. All this is brought to you step by step during the first half-hour, which serves as an introduction. It's after that that things start to go wrong.

You have to realize that everything can quickly turn against you and it will be enough that you did not anticipate the scarcity of a single resource for your whole empire to collapse like a house of cards. And the game is very poor in notifications to fight against this. No indication for example that a mine is depleted and your whole industry starts to choke. And all this is not helped by the game's AI, the real one.

Well, it was so abused that the developers realized it anyway and in their third patch on December 11th, they lowered the magnetic shield to 15 missions and auto-renewed the missions so that you don't have to constantly watch for the elevator, go back to space, select the same mission, select the elevator at the bottom of the selection box and restart the mission.

Per Aspera offers a management game on a planetary scale and its presentation is neat: a light but readable UI, a Mars represented in contour lines, background music neither irritating nor tiring, an interesting system of necessity bubbles. 

50%
50%
50%
50%