I was sent Escape From the Red Planet as a review code, and while I am very grateful for the opportunity, I am not letting it sway my opinions. This will be my honest review of the game.
Escape From the Red Planet is a mars themed tower defense for PC. Take control of an astronaut stranded on a dusty red planet. Build up your defenses against the onslaught of hostile wildlife while you wait for rescue. Can you survive long enough to see another day?
As far as tower defense games go, the mechanics are simple. The resource management in this game is streamlined to timers. Your survival relies on how well you can manage your time and resources. If you aren’t efficient in managing your time and resources, this game can be punishing. Don’t let this game’s simplistic style fool you; it can get intense if you aren’t careful.
The game has you defend a single point that you bolster with defenses that slowly decompose with time. As the hordes become more diverse, the trick is finding a combination that doesn’t leave you broke and defenseless. To minimize the time you are waiting on timers, you will be switching between the top-down build mode and the first-person turret mode. There is still a bit of waiting, but it doesn’t feel as bad.
There is a story for this game, but it acts more like a tutorial. Each level introduces a new mechanic and enemy before leaving the player to fend for themselves. I thought this was a clever way of teaching players the game without having to sit through slow tutorial levels. This means the story is pretty basic and only serves to move a player to the next level. There is a last-stand mode that isn’t worth your time without meaningful gameplay changes and a survival mode that unlocks only after you beat the campaign. I wish the survival mode were available from the start, but maybe they wanted to have something players could work towards.
So is this game worth buying? I love the art, the music is nice, and the gameplay relaxing. My issue is that it is repetitive, and I found long sessions of this game impossible. Whether or not you should make the purchase will come down to pricing. $5-$10 is the range where I would consider the game worth the money. Anything more would be paying too much for a game that is essentially a mobile app. If you aren’t a fan of tower defense games, I don’t see you getting much value from it. If you are a fan of the genre, this is a relaxing change of pace that you can pick up when you don’t have the time to get into anything more meaningful. Escape from the Red Planet releases on March 14, 2023, but no pricing is available. Til then, you can wishlist it on Steam.
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