[Beyond PlayStation] 39 Days To Mars Review
39 Days to Mars is an adventure game to play on your own or with a friend for some local co-op hijinks. Learn more in our 39 Days to Mars review!
One-person indie team Its Anecdotal (Philip Buchanan) took 39 Days to Mars to Kickstarter way back in 2014. Thanks to the support of 320 backers, this indie game managed to become a reality, releasing on Steam in 2018. Itâ€™s now 2019, and Its Anecdotal has ported the game to the Nintendo Switch, bringing its sepia hues with dashes of white and orange, and a hand-drawn aesthetic, along for the ride. The game looks great when playing on the TV or the Nintendo Switchâ€™s screen and its soundtrack will help to keep you calm even through the hardest of puzzles.
In 39 Days to Mars, you will, as the name suggests, embark on a journey to reach Mars, wrapped in a steampunk point and click puzzle adventure experience. In this one, you and your partner will take on the roles of Sir Albert Wickes and The Right Honourable Clarence Baxter, a pair of explorers in the 19th Century who decide to take the HMS Fearful on its maiden voyage to the lovely Mars. If you choose to embark on this journey on your own, then youâ€™ll be assisted by a feline, changing how you approach the different puzzles the game has to offer, since you can control both Albert and the cat with the left analog stick and the right analog stick at the same time, interacting with the R and L buttons, respectively.
The game certainly has a quirky story, and the writing for the characterâ€™s dialogue matches that energy. Take, for instance, the description given for a fishing rod: itâ€™s just long enough to stir a pot of tea without having to leave said characterâ€™s armchair. This description, as you can probably imagine, is also going to be a clue as to how you might put that fishing rod to good use. Step one in this adventure will be to put together the flight plan that Percival â€“ the cat -, decided to shred into pieces. You and your partner will first grab the â€œAnticipated Trajectoryâ€ piece and twist it around so that it can be placed on the upper left corner of the map. After this, youâ€™ll need to put together the rest of the map by joining the corresponding pieces in the right spots.
Things were off to a great start for the first few days of the journey, until day four arrived and stuff started to go â€œboom,â€ with some fire and smoke thrown in for good measure. It is then that you will need to complete an assortment of puzzles so that you can keep going towards your destination. A small exclamation mark will pop up, letting you know there is something that requires your full attention. Oh, and once youâ€™ve completed a puzzle, you might need to make a cup of tea or a scone before you can carry on with the next one.
The set of puzzles you’re going to get will be randomized every time you do a new run, and so will be the layout for your ship – you’re not getting the same journey twice! And even when you do get a puzzle you have run into before, the actual solution to it could be different. Without spoiling too much, there is one puzzle that involves some gardening and having to adhere to a set of rules so that you can, for example, have 4 hazelnuts, two violets and 4 roses left on the screen, but to know this you will have to review a book on gardening that has had all of its pages torn out, so you’ll have to sort them and learn the requirements for fulfilling the rules.
39 Days to Mars is a short adventure with a great art style, and solid voice acting, a game that is best experienced with a local co-op partner sitting right beside you to help you solve the puzzles you will run into. While you can indeed play the game on your own, some of the puzzles will make you feel as if you were trying to rub your belly as you pat your head, not to mention you will be losing out on some of the funny interactions between Sir Albert Wickes and The Right Honourable Clarence Baxter. 39 Days to Mars is out on Nintendo Switch for $14.99, and for its asking price you will get a solid set of puzzles to solve and a handful of hours worth of fun.
This 39 Days to Mars review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Its Anecdotal.