Mastering the Red Planet: A Comprehensive Review of the Surviving Mars Strategy Guide

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The “Surviving Mars” strategy guide serves as an indispensable companion to the complex and captivating simulation game developed by Haemimont Games and published by Paradox Interactive. Released alongside the game in 2018, this guide aims to equip players with the knowledge and strategies needed to successfully establish and maintain a thriving colony on the Red Planet. In this detailed review, we will explore the contents, effectiveness, and overall value of the strategy guide, delving into its strengths, weaknesses, and its impact on gameplay experience.

Introduction to “Surviving Mars”

“Surviving Mars” challenges players with the daunting task of colonizing Mars, managing resources, infrastructure, and the well-being of colonists in an inhospitable environment. The game combines elements of city-building, resource management, and strategic planning, offering a deep and engaging simulation experience where every decision can have far-reaching consequences.

Structure and Organization

The strategy guide is typically structured to provide a systematic approach to mastering the game mechanics and strategies. It begins with an introduction to the game’s premise and basic controls, ensuring even novice players can quickly grasp the fundamentals. From there, it progresses into more advanced topics such as optimal colony layouts, resource management techniques, and strategies for handling crises and challenges unique to Martian colonization.

Comprehensive Gameplay Mechanics

One of the primary strengths of a good strategy guide lies in its ability to thoroughly explain the game’s mechanics. The “Surviving Mars” guide excels in this regard, offering detailed explanations of how various systems interact and impact each other. Topics such as power distribution, water management, oxygen production, and food cultivation are meticulously covered, with clear diagrams and step-by-step instructions on how to optimize these systems for maximum efficiency.

Advanced Strategies and Tips

Beyond basic mechanics, the guide dives into advanced strategies that can significantly enhance gameplay. This includes tips on prioritizing research, balancing colony expansion with resource availability, and managing the psychological well-being of colonists. Advanced building techniques, such as creating specialized domes for different purposes (e.g., research, farming, residence), are also discussed in detail, providing players with the tools to create specialized and efficient colonies tailored to their strategic goals.

Scenario and Challenge Walkthroughs

“Surviving Mars” offers various scenarios and challenges that test players’ skills in different ways. The strategy guide typically includes walkthroughs for these scenarios, offering specific strategies and solutions to overcome the unique challenges presented in each scenario. This section not only helps players navigate through difficult scenarios but also provides insights into adapting strategies based on changing conditions—a crucial skill for mastering the game.

Troubleshooting and Problem-Solving

No colony on Mars is without its challenges, and the strategy guide acknowledges this reality by providing troubleshooting tips and problem-solving techniques. From dealing with resource shortages to managing disasters like meteor strikes or dust storms, the guide equips players with contingency plans and strategies to mitigate risks and minimize the impact of unexpected events on their colonies.

Community and Player Insights

In addition to developer-provided strategies, many strategy guides incorporate insights and tips from experienced players and the gaming community. This community knowledge can offer alternative perspectives, creative solutions to common problems, and innovative gameplay strategies that may not be immediately apparent from the developer’s perspective alone. A well-rounded strategy guide often includes these community insights, enriching the overall strategy repertoire available to players.

Visual Aids and Design

Effective use of visual aids is crucial in a strategy guide, especially for a complex simulation game like “Surviving Mars.” The guide typically includes maps, charts, and diagrams that visually illustrate key concepts, optimal building layouts, resource flows, and other important gameplay elements. Clear and intuitive design ensures that players can quickly reference information and apply it directly to their gameplay experience without confusion.

Updates and Revisions

Given the evolving nature of games through patches and updates, a good strategy guide should ideally be updated to reflect changes in gameplay mechanics or strategies that emerge over time. The best guides continue to provide value to players by offering updated content, new strategies, and insights based on post-release updates and community feedback. This ongoing support ensures that the guide remains relevant and useful long after the game’s initial release.


In conclusion, the “Surviving Mars” strategy guide is an essential companion for anyone seeking to conquer the challenges of Martian colonization. Its comprehensive coverage of gameplay mechanics, advanced strategies, scenario walkthroughs, and troubleshooting tips ensures that players of all skill levels can effectively navigate the complexities of the game. By combining developer expertise with community insights and clear visual aids, the guide empowers players to build thriving colonies, overcome adversity, and ultimately succeed in their mission to Survive Mars. Whether you’re a newcomer looking to learn the ropes or a seasoned player aiming to refine your strategies, the “Surviving Mars” strategy guide stands as a definitive resource for mastering this ambitious and rewarding simulation experience.

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