After decades of dreaming, humans have finally landed on the harsh landscape of Mars. The lucky new arrivals have built a few small, scattered settlements. Your objective in Mars Power Industries: to keep energy flowing to those colonies at all costs.
Naturally, managing the Red Planet’s burgeoning electrical grid has its challenges. In this relaxing puzzle game, you’re given a limited number of power lines to connect the different outposts. And as you expand, obstacles like dense alien foliage block your construction.
Each level takes place during a single year. As you progress, settlements slowly increase in size and complexity, becoming large facilities with glass biodomes of growing plant life.
Around the two-decade mark, the puzzles become more complicated. Suddenly you have to provide water for certain facilities. Plus, dense red crystals appear, forming another environmental barrier.
Fortunately the game isn’t as unforgiving as real space travel. If you place an electrical junction in the wrong spot, just hit the undo button to recall your move.
There’s an enthralling story here, albeit one that unfolds in the margins. As your grid expands, you begin to see earlier settlements destroyed and abandoned. Near a few of them are space-rover tire treads, leading away to some unknown place. Later a computer virus begins to corrupt your grid. What’s going on?
Laid atop the stunning sound design is a contemplative ambient score. Ominous, soothing, and starkly beautiful, it’ll make you feel like you’re actually in an outpost in space—doing your best to keep the lights on.