Mars Power Industries gives you just one job: to make sure the power is running smoothly across Mars’ facilities. It might sound daunting, but as long as you’re good at solving puzzles you should be fine…
Mars Power Industries sees players work through a series of tile-based puzzles, with the goal being to ensure that the facilities in each puzzle are all powered up. You do this by placing power stations, with each one clearly marking the tiles in which it’ll apply power to by covering them with a blue overlay (check out the screenshot to see what I mean) – each one also has arrows on it that show the direction they apply power to though, so it’s easy to figure out. It’s a simple concept, but there is the caveat that you can only put the power stations on tiles that have a blue electric current on them, which means you often have to string together a selection of power stations together in order to spread power across each map and achieve your goal.
It’s a simple setup that’s very easy to figure out from the get go, but there a lot of things to consider as you’re playing. For one, you’re given a varied amount of power stations to place that all provide power in different directions in a specific order, so you’ve got to plan out where you’re going to place them in order for the power to reach your target. It can be tricky to figure these out at times, though I’ll admit that I did manage to solve some levels by just randomly placing tiles and hoping for the best.
There are obstacles that’ll block your path too, such as the spikes that rise out of the ground after a turn or the rocks that block your path. As you progress you’ll unlock new methods to bypass some of these, but a lot of the time you’ve got to be clever and work out your placements around each obstacle. The spikes in particular are annoying, especially since they swap locations after each turn.
You’ll also get access to a larger variety of power station tiles as you progress that spice gameplay up, whilst you’ll also have to control the flow of water in later levels. One of my favourite stations to place were the ones that would completely shift the map – these could make some levels feel extra challenging, but also added plenty of ‘eureka’ moments that made Mars Power Industries all the more satisfying to play. New challenges are constantly introduced and each add that extra bit of variety to the gameplay, all whilst maintaining the simple tile-placing formula.
There are over eighty levels to play through in total, so there’s plenty to get through. However, whilst new elements do come in, the puzzling does generally feel the same throughout – the aesthetic doesn’t switch up all that much either, with a lot of levels barely looking different from each other. It can make the game feel a little repetitive over longer playthroughs (which is something I had to do to review), so it’s easy to tire of the formula a bit quickly. Mars Power Industries is definitely better suited for quick plays here and there.
It’s worth noting that Mars Power Industries is pretty cheap though, with the game costing less than £4 to purchase. It’s a little cheaper to purchase on mobile phones, but it’s a pretty good price for what you’re actually getting.
Mars Power Industries is a neat little puzzler that’s fun to spend some time with in quick sessions, though the simplistic setup does mean that it can feel a little repetitive and tedious to play for too long. It’s definitely one of those ‘pick up and play for ten minutes at a time’ kind of games.
If you are looking for something with a quick puzzling fix though, Mars Power Industries is certainly worth checking out, with its low price-point and high level count ensuring that you’ll get plenty of power-fuelled enigmas for your buck.
Developer: 7A Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch