Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
Stream On
  1. Apr 23, 2012
    Waking Mars is just about the coolest new thing I've seen someone do with a side-scrolling Castlevania/Metroid exploration game.
  2. Mar 6, 2012
    Waking Mars mixes human curiosity with a fascinating storyline straight out of the pages of a sci-fi classic; learn to master Mars' complex ecosystem and find out whether or not there truly is sentient life close to home.
  3. Mar 5, 2012
    Spider was an amazing experiment in storytelling; Waking Mars raises the bar on quality in long-form iOS games. Neither should be missed under any circumstances. Get this game. Whether you adore it as I do or not, it's worth experiencing.
  4. Mar 1, 2012
    Waking Mars offers a unique, engaging, atmospheric experience you won't find anywhere else.
  5. Mar 7, 2012
    Just as Eufloria impressed us with its incorporation of naturalistic aspects into an RTS shell, Waking Mars has built its science fiction adventure around creating and cultivating plant life to reinvigorate the fourth rock from the sun.
  6. Mar 5, 2012
    Waking Mars is a smart, well-crafted game whose smart complexity means it won't appeal to everyone.
  7. Mar 1, 2012
    Captivating, elegant, and fiendishly clever, Waking Mars delivers a science-fiction epic that's a delight to explore, and rewarding to play.
  8. Games Master UK
    Jun 25, 2012
    The detail is astounding. [Aug 2012, p.86]
  9. Apr 21, 2012
    Despite some shadows and a not-so-deep game mechanic, Waking Mars is an amazing adventure game, with great atmosphere and wonderful sound design. A top notch experience from the developers behind Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor.
  10. Apr 11, 2012
    Even with this failing, there is still a lot going for this game. The game is still a joy to play. The controls are intuitive while the graphics and music combine to form a claustrophobic, lonely atmosphere. In addition, the narrative is intriguing enough to keep you playing. Who would have thought that horticulture would be this much fun? Waking Mars is a game worth playing for its immersive and refreshing gameplay.
  11. Mar 21, 2012
    There's corny dialogue, and you'll probably get stuck several times, but Waking Mars' positives far outweigh its negatives, making it a cool space exploration game to have on the go.
  12. Mar 1, 2012
    Waking Mars will be loved by fans of Metroidvania-style adventure games. Some of the backtracking can get annoying, but this is another fine title from Tiger Style Games.
  13. Feb 29, 2012
    Waking Mars is ultimately a game about ecological balance, but it's the balance of a different kind – of art, narrative, and puzzle mechanics - that makes it so very satisfying to play.
  14. Hyper Magazine
    Apr 12, 2012
    The awkward controls hold it back from greatness. [May 2012, p.29]
  15. Nov 19, 2012
    Waking Mars ends up feeling too long for the number of mechanics included, and without an excellent story to carry it, its shortcomings stand out more and more as the levels go on.
  16. May 9, 2012
    Waking Mars is an original take on the puzzle game genre, where you will be required to regulate and create a balance in ecosystems. The atmosphere and Retina-friendly visuals are superb, and the concept an innovative one. Too bad the characters clearly lack charisma and the mechanics are sometime frustrating.
  17. Mar 29, 2012
    Waking Mars is more of an experience than a challenging game. If you are setting yourself up for an adventure after reading rave reviews at other sites, and the App Store you might be in for a disappointment. I know I was, as I actually got a bit bored.
  18. Mar 1, 2012
    If you are looking for a relaxing adventure title with a distinct mood, Waking Mars will scratch that itch you've had since finishing Ghost Trick and Sword & Sorcery. Just take my advice and shut the game off once you start getting frustrated, because things don't get any better after that point (including the uneventful endgame).
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Nov 26, 2014
    Waking Mars is one of iPad greatest essentials, setting a new combination of adventure and plat former. It is one of the best on iOS and is aWaking Mars is one of iPad greatest essentials, setting a new combination of adventure and plat former. It is one of the best on iOS and is a true pioneer. 81/100 Full Review »
  2. Apr 19, 2013
    I actually have the game for the Android operating system but since I could not find that version of the game on Metacritic I entered myI actually have the game for the Android operating system but since I could not find that version of the game on Metacritic I entered my review here.

    Waking Mars is a wonderful and creative game which portrays the efforts of a two-person team exploring lifeforms beneath the surface of Mars. The life forms are portrayed as several individuals in a complex ecosystem, a feature that I particularly note for it's creativeness. I feel like this game could be used to engage students in biology classes, at least in the respect that it would give them a (rough) idea of how lifeforms arise and how evolution provides a process for competing organisms to arise, which in turn creates ecological balance. I also feel that it provides a nice counter-point to standard sci-fi video game and movie fare which generally seems to portray nature as a violent, mystical, inexplicable and seemingly always opposed to the existence of man.

    If you are looking for a unique experience amongst the myriad of (often mediocre) independent video games produced for the iOS and Android operating systems I would give this game a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
    Full Review »