JCB Pioneer: Mars is due out on Steam Early Access in Summer 2017. And it looks pretty interesting. Games with brand names in the title are always a bit of a worry. But the space survival sandbox game has had advice from astrophysicist Dr Maggie Lieu (who also makes a cameo appearance in the game). And the team behind it are Atomicom, founded by ex-Psygnosis staff, and produced titles for Sega, Sony and Ubisoft. Development team members have previously worked on Skate, Resident Evil, WipEOut and Need for Speed.
As you’d imagine, the game is set on the red planet of Mars. And you’re tasked with successfully colonising it. To do it, you’ll need to use both hard science, and futuristic, ultra-rugged JCB vehicles. So you’ll have all sorts of tough heavy machinery to play with, which should be fun.
But obviously it’s not just going to be about playing with the construction and mining vehicles. To survive you’ll have to find oxygen supplies and establish an outpost. And building up a base will mean coping with fierce and hostile weather. That means meteor strikes, dust clouds, electical storms and more. So you’ll need to balance your efforts to build, mine and survive in equal measure.
“We want to provide players with a hardcore survival experience, one based on what an early human colonisation of Mars may actually look like,” said Andy Santos, Design Director of Atomicom. “We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that the game is as realistic as possible while retaining the sense of adventure an early explorer of Mars would feel.”
The thought of playing with massive JCB vehicles designed for space by actual engineers is fun enough. But throw in the challenge of colonising Mars and building a space colony, and it could definitely be entertaining. And also great to share with younger gamers interested in engineering or becoming an astronaut.
JCB Pioneer: Mars is out on Steam Early Access in Summer 2017. It’s developed by Liverpool-based Atomicom, and published by GamesCo.