Tharsis

Earth's first Mars mission should have been 300 days to glory. But Mike only made it to 170, and we lost Erin after 105.

Turns out, life in space is just that: life, with moods and jealousies and infuriating little failures. Only you're a few million miles from civilization, so humanity's frailties also happen to be deadly.

Tharsis is a turn-based, perma-death, realistic space strategy game. With dice. And cannibalism. It puts you in control of the first manned mission to Mars, just as it’s struck by a hulking asteroid.

But some part of you knows this landing is possible. In fact, the more you think about those signals from the Tharsis region, the less you believe you'd be first to set foot there...

Defy the odds, make the difficult decisions, and embark on the most important rescue mission in all of mankind.

Internet, meet Tharsis

Dant Rambo

Posted on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 5:20pm

Look, we’re all unique people with differing tastes. Some of us think horseradish is delicious, for example, whereas the rest of us know better and think it’s disgusting. But no matter how our opinions may vary, I think we can all agree that space—and by extension, the exploration of space—is undeniably awesome. This is exactly why we’re making Tharsis.

Tharsis is a turn-based strategy game with high stakes, tenuous odds, and cannibalism. Players assume control of The Aporea, a ship embarking on the first-ever manned mission to Mars. It’s an extremely dangerous undertaking, rendered more so by the fact that the ship is struck by a hulking asteroid at the start of the game. Pretty unfair, I know.

Oh, and did we mention that the Aporea is traveling to Mars in a last-ditch attempt to save the Earth from an impending disaster? Your failure to reach everyone’s favorite red planet will result in not only your death, but possibly the death of every living thing on Earth. No pressure.

For those keeping track, Tharsis is a pretty significant departure from our previous work. These differences will be noticeable in nearly every facet of the game, including the visuals, the sound, the tone of the narrative, and the gameplay. But don’t be scared! Tharsis will have one very important thing in common with our previous releases: it will be a lot of fun. It won’t be easy, and those who can’t stay above water will be punished with perma-death, but we’ve been very careful to make the game as fair as possible, as well as enjoyable in even the most hopeless of circumstances. We do this because we care, and also probably because we don’t want to perpetuate the notion that a manned mission to Mars is something humanity should be afraid of.

Since we’ve only just announced the game, we haven’t talked a whole lot about specifics regarding platforms or a release date. Similarly, you may have noticed a lack of screenshots on the Internet. We’ll amend all of this in the near future, but in the meantime here’s what I can tell you: Tharsis will be coming to Steam and iOS. Other platforms are possible, but aren’t determined as of yet. If there’s a certain platform you’d like to see it on, definitely let us know!

 

Tharsis