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REVIEW: WAKING MARS

We love it when small game developers dream big and pull off something awesome. That’s exactly why Waking Mars has captured our attention this week. The objective in Waking Mars is to guide a little jet pack-equipped astronaut guy through the maze of caverns beneath the surface of Mars.

The game interaction is brilliant. You tap around the caves to guide your astronaut and you can throw stuff he picks up by slinging them around (Angry Birds-style). As you fly and run around these caves you start messing with the ecosystem mixing alien seeds with strange space spiders and turning rubble into water spouting hydra plants (it is enjoyably bizarre). At first I think I’m just doing things to see what happens, but it quickly becomes apparent that I’m not just having fun exploring and experimenting, I’m kind of terraforming the whole freaking planet. That’s what we call dreaming big. It’s an ambitiously epic story packed into a humble little adventure game.

Created by Tiger Style out of Austin, Waking Mars is designed for the iPad but apparently works well on the iPhone. Check out the Tiger Style blog, they share download numbers and all kinds of inside info.

The music and sound design is sharp and the game artwork is stunning. I found myself pushing forward to see what the next level would look like. The only exception to the high-quality design is the seriously janky-looking messages you get from the astronaut’s computer and human associates.

We encourage you to check it out. Turn down the lights, turn up the headphones and go wake up a freaking planet!

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