JCB Pioneer: Mars is a huge survival sandbox game that was made by Atomicom and originally got released in
You are on the red planet and you need to get to your base and start building the things that you need to survive, research new tech and expand your colony to make it possible to survive.
The game is huge as I have already said, and you will notice this as you check out the map, along with a massive terrain to explore, mine and enjoy you will also have meteor storms and all sorts of crazy weather conditions to contend with to ensure you survive.
As you get started the JCB Pioneer: Mars you are talked through all the basics you need and explains the controls to you comprehensively and they are not hard to get to grips with anyway.
You are given the first vehicle at the start and the basics you will need to stay alive as you begin your construction of the base that can keep you alive. You will need to scan the area to find mineral deposits that you can mine for the materials to build new things for your base and the materials needed to research new technology’s or you can mine the materials to sell in order to work towards getting one of the other vehicles that are available to buy each of which has its own positives and negatives over the starting digger that you are given. As you progress you will complete missions and as such will be given upgrade points which you can use to upgrade your space suit or your JCB’s in different ways from increased energy supplies, better oxygen or to better protect you from the harsh surface of the red planet.
The game does look good which I realise is an odd statement given that there is a lot of similar colour schemes in the game given where you are, but there is a lot of details that have gone into certain areas. Sadly I did find that these details can cause some issues within the game, I have had a few issues when driving, mining and doing things at night the games rendering and frame rate while in handheld mode has issues from time to time I am not entirely sure why this is happening might be due to the lighting engine not handling the shadowing from the lights in the truck etc as I discovered it happened a lot less if I didn’t have the lights on the vehicle when driving around at night.
Other than this the game has been very enjoyable though with there being very different areas on the planet to explore and making sure I you have the right supplies that you don’t get stuck out in the middle of the desert with no spare oxygen or water to get back with, make sure you are checking the map as it will show you 2 different coloured circles 1 showing you the power distance you can cover before you will run out and another showing you oxygen distance which is handy to keep an eye on so you don’t get stuck.
JCB Pioneer: Mars does have its slightly tedious elements when you first start out as you will find the very limited space at the beginning means a lot of backwards and forwards journeys but once you get past the first hour or so of gameplay you will find it a lot more manageable especially when you start to upgrade
On the whole it is an enjoyable game and I will be continuing to go back to it from time to time, but to really improve it they will need to see if they can fix the issue I was having at night time as at one point it did prevent me playing and I had to restart the game and lose a bit of my progress.
Overall Score –6/10
*though it would be higher if the issues are fixed with a patch.