Mars First Logistics

Preview: Mars First Logistics

Building robotics in space!

If you’re reading this and have fond memories of playing and constructing with Lego, erector sets, K’nex, or various other creative-type toys, Mars First Logistics may be right up your alley!

Remember those weekends when you’d spend countless hours building whatever you wanted from various busted sets? Imagine, instead of just thinking your wild vehicle was in space, it was.

That’s where Mars First Logistics comes in. I had a chance to play this Early Access game on Steam and explored the first several hours of the experimentation and puzzle-like gameplay.

A Minimalistic Start to Mars First Logistics

There’s not much to build on in plot and story so far. You control a Mars rover, you’re given some essential tasks to get a feel for the physics and mechanics of the game with some tutorial queues, and you’re off!

I enjoyed the minimalistic approach and felt excited to get this rolling as simply and quickly as possible. The first few missions or contracts you have are simple A to B deliveries of items like a box. Despite this, Mars First Logistics doesn’t waste any time getting you to explore this somewhat barren red planet and landscape.

It’s a simple game on the surface: take item A to area B and build a rover body that will get the job done. No problem, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple. This is where the meat of the game and the natural creativity and experimentation kick in.

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Clicking Into Place

Mars First Logistics uses the Lego above and K’nex toy approach and turns it into a task-based video game. There are several items to deliver and take from place to place that will be easy to handle for most players. But quickly, these deliveries become far more complex than I anticipated.

They aren’t impossible and frustrating; they just took more brain power than I expected at first glance. For example, an early Mars First Logistics contract had me taking a steel beam to a construction site. What I didn’t anticipate coming into play was weight distribution on my rover and how I would get it utterly vertical to “install” it. Physics plays a big part in getting the job done.

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So how do you get this done, you might ask? This is where the puzzle elements and trial and error shine and where I found I spent most of my time. Mars First Logistics lets you construct and deconstruct your Mars rover however you’d like.

So be it if you need to grab something with a pneumatic arm or claw! But what about installing or delivering it to its final destination? The arm is too big. No problem; head into the menu and alter the vehicle as you see fit.

In the game’s early hours, there were new blueprints and unlockable pieces I could “click” into place, like poles, functional pistons, numerous wheels, and the opportunity to buy more pieces with the in-game earned currency.

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But it’s also easy to build and have an idea in your head, but it doesn’t work in practice. I had several ideas, but I realized my “genius” plan was a step in the wrong direction once I put them in motion. Back to the drawing board!

And while failing isn’t exactly my idea of “fun,” I was also learning from my mistakes. I never felt frustrated or believed the game was against my creativity or ideas. It was the opposite. Mars First Logistics is a fun way to return to the good old days of creative block building many of us experienced all those years ago.

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The game is also presented charmingly. With beautiful but effortless designs from the rover pieces to the astronauts, you’ll see them working on some construction sites. The music also sounds great as it bops you through some chill and sometimes upbeat tunes.

Mars First Logistics may be tricky at times, and the rover may not be as simple as a Lego set to build, but it’s still chill and fun to play with. Since launching the title in Early Access, the devs have already added some new content and made system tweaks.

I think this is one to watch. It’s a unique approach to the puzzle genre and lets you “click” with your creative side.