PAX Aus 2022 Highlight – Mars First Logistics

Posted on October 16, 2022

Mars First Logistics is a lego inspired open-world physics simulation game where you create your very own custom martian rover. The aim of the game is to transport cargo from one location to another as you assist to establish a new colony on Mars. As you play through, you find blueprints to enhance your rover as well as earn credits to purchase new parts.

The creator, Ian Maclarty, is one of Australia’s most prolific and acclaimed video game makers. Based in Melbourne, he has released over 40 small non-commercial works as well as self-published numerous award-winning titles. These include Dissembler and Jumpgrid.

Once I got my hands on Mars First Logistics, the first thing I noticed is that the rover feels excellent to control, with the speed and control feeling spot on for this type of game. The second thing I noticed is that the unique art style of the title is great and fits the setting and concept perfectly. When you get into gameplay, it holds your hand for the first mission or two, introducing some key features, but from then you are on your own.

The lego inspiration here is pretty obvious, the Rover can be totally disassembled and rebuilt to your specifications. The blueprints you can find are handy because you can use them to create purpose-built vehicles, but for even some of the early missions, a little ingenuity is required. There is definitely a heavy puzzle-solving element to Mars First Logistics.

Mars First Logistics can require a lot of thinking. To be honest, even on the second mission (delivering a crate), I got a bit stuck. Looking around the booth, I was not the only person who just knocked the cargo off the shelf and pushed it along the ground to its destination. I also tried just dragging a steel beam along the ground in another mission. To my dismay, I found that I had to stand it up to finish the task, I just couldn’t figure out how.

Overall, Mars First Logistics sounds like a pretty simple game on paper. But alas, that is definitely not the case here. Despite the premise of a lego inspired mars rover delivery game, I can guarantee you will be spending equal amounts of time just trying to pre-plan how you will complete a task. So if you enjoy problem-solving in a unique setting, this could be for you!

You can check out the Mars First Logistics demo on Steam now!