39 Days to Mars is a short adventure game that has two players (or one and a computer) working together to finish a trip to Mars. The game has some pretty fun puzzles, but the experience does not last nearly as long as it should.
Fun puzzles. I was pleasantly surprised with just how fun the puzzles were. I played the game co-op with a friend, so we were always stumbling over each other in the different puzzles trying to figure out how they are solved. None of them are too difficult to complete and we managed to solve most of them on our first try. However, they are cleverly designed and a couple of them we actually had to retry due to not knowing how to solve them. The puzzles range from simple ones, like assembling a map from its pieces, to more complex ones, like matching symbols simultaneously using a variety of controls. The puzzles were easily the best part of the experience.
Great aesthetic. The game’s art style and overall aesthetic is quite nice. It looks a lot like an unfilled coloring book, if the paper were brown that is. Everything on top of that is either black or white, the characters, environments, and even the puzzles taking up this color scheme. The music fits in quite nicely as well, making the game a relatively relaxing journey overall. The game would certainly lose a lot of its charm had all of these elements not fit into place, but the developers did an excellent job here.
Filler content. The different puzzles and minigames are fun, but not when they are repeated numerous times with little change. That was the case with the game’s version of “making tea”, a minigame which needs to be done four or so times during a single run. The first time was fine, but after that, every time the minigame came up it just felt like an attempt to pad the game’s short length. It does grow quite tiring, but at least my friend and I mastered the art of making tea.
Extremely short. It is quite unfortunate that, even with the filler content, 39 Days to Mars lasts all of maybe forty minutes. That was our first attempt as well. I imagine that any future runs would be much shorter, seeing as how the puzzles are the same with each run and we already know how to solve them. In fact, the game even has an achievement for completing it in under twenty minutes. For a journey that is supposed to last 39 days, it is a shame that most days take all of ten or so seconds.
This would be a great game to play not only with a friend, but perhaps with a family member that may or may not know much about gaming. Its simple, yet fun puzzles make the game quite accessible and the short length prevents the experience from growing stale. It is definitely not worth it as a singleplayer title, but I would easily recommend it for playing with a friend or family member. Just be aware that it will not last long.
You can buy 39 Days to Mars on Steam here.
I was provided a free review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.