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IF Comp 2015 entry, release 2.
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Life On Mars?

by Hugo Labrande profile

Psychological
2015

Web Site

(based on 14 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

The first mission to colonize Mars ended with a horrible shuttle crash, and it's a miracle you're still alive... Now you just have to wait until the second shuttle gets here. Five more months...

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2015
Current Version: release 2
Development System: Inform 6
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: D104CA7D-BCEC-475F-A7B4-B49120FCADC4
TUID: mkd60mppcd86vdwy

English translation of Life On Mars?, by Hugo Labrande

Awards

13th Place - 21st Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2015)

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Member Reviews

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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A mid-length parser game with an intriguing in-game email system, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: IF Comp 2015
Life on Mars? is an IFComp 2015 entry that is a translation of the winner of the French IF competition of the same year. It was one of my favorites of IFComp.

This game centers around a woman stranded in a lone base after a terrible event. Her main access to the world is a computer terminal with e-mail. The game has implemented a marvelous e-mail system, with dozens of e-mails to read, with each sender having a different personality. The thoughts and replies of the woman are typed out in real time. The speed of the typing is adjustable; the default is too slow for most people, and the fastest is too fast, so make sure to play around with it before diving in.

The atmosphere of this game worked well for me. Outside of the e-mails, there are a few puzzles and a good amount of exploration. Overall, I would highly recommend this game, especially to fans of puzzle-light games such as Photopia.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
So different to "The Martian", November 19, 2015
by Felicity Banks (Canberra, Australia)
Related reviews: IFComp 2015
I hesitated to play this because the plot was just too similar to the movie (and book) "The Martian". But actually, they're quite different. That story is about a hero (even if he IS a scientist :) ) overcoming incredible odds. This story is, ultimately, horror.

I liked how far I managed to get without consulting the walkthrough, and I liked the idea (although not the reality; I tend to play in silence) of the soundtrack.

I disliked (as always in parser games) wandering around in a repetitive way, trying to figure out where the writer wanted me to go. As a completionist, I disliked the long list of emails, because I felt overwhelmed. I also found it a boring way to get across a story, especially when sorting through junk mail and other irrelevancies (although Charlotte's thoughts were always interesting to me).

I'm not sure how else the story could have been handled, but still - a happening-right-now adventure is always more interesting than knowing your character is just sitting in a chair, reading.

She was also quite passive, which realistically I can't blame her for - but it made the story less exciting. Some of the writing was a little disjointed and some was excellent (which makes me suspect it needed more editing than it got).

The end was genuinely eerie.

If you enjoyed Life On Mars?...

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Recommended Lists

Life On Mars? appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Annotated list of best sci-fi games by MathBrush
A few months ago, I thought, "There really aren't that many sci-fi IF games". Then I started going through old games I had played, and downlaoded TADS, and was shocked at how many great sci-fi games there are. This is a list of my...

Polls

The following polls include votes for Life On Mars?:

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible writing of 2015 by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
This is for suggesting games released in 2015 which you think might be worth considering for Best Writing in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here...

IF about human beings by namekuseijin
I'm looking for IF about human beings and human struggles in a more or less common setting. No zombies, vampires, orcs, demons, robots, slimy aliens, gods or monsters of any kind; just plain human beings please. Yes, I know many works...

For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible stories of 2015 by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
This is for suggesting games released in 2015 which you think might be worth considering for Best Story in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...

See all polls with votes for this game

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This is version 7 of this page, edited by Wake Reality on 23 April 2017 at 7:53am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item