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Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: Experience city-building as never before — Overcome near-impossible odds to terraform Mars, cultivate the red-planet’s hidden resources, and unravel the past mysteries of those who’ve attempted the unbelievable feat. Humanity's future rests on your shoulders.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Dec 7, 2020
    90
    Per Aspera is a very good science fiction driven management and building game. The story will keep fans of the genre engaged and mixes well with the core mechanics. Once that’s no longer interesting a Sandbox mode introduces the freedom to build-up Mars however one wants. The twin challenges of expanding and re-building for greater efficiency are carefully balanced and truly engrossing. Just make sure to take tour time and explore as much as possible before moving through the checkpoints of the campaign. And spend as much time as possible running at the slowest speed, watching how mars can be changed from inhospitable wasteland to a new cradle of humanity. Just don’t forget to ponder whether it’s actually worth it, just as the protagonist A.I. does.
  2. Dec 7, 2020
    88
    I will fully admit to getting stuck in a few places. On a few tries, I overextended too quickly or didn’t adapt well to the changing planet. I always mismanage my electrical grid, or my maintenance bots, and build my way into a corner. But I keep coming back. Never before has a strategy game offered me such an involved story in such a staid sandbox. I think I’ll be turning Mars green for a long time to come.
  3. Dec 5, 2020
    85
    Hard science, harder simulation, and narrative innovation make Per Aspera a real gem.
  4. Dec 3, 2020
    80
    Per Aspera offers a surprisingly emotional narrative that explores the thought process of an evolving AI programmed to assist humans in colonizing Mars. The symbiotic gameloop of creating structures and growing your presence on the surface while hitting key milestones is cathartic. I was easily immersed in this experience, but only after some trial and error trying to understand how it all worked due to a limited tutorial.
  5. Dec 3, 2020
    80
    Per Aspera explores the cost of humans' need to conquer, all through the mind of an AI. A smart, sprawling city builder that requires a lot of patience and blurs the line between duty and morality.
  6. Jan 4, 2021
    75
    Per Aspera has a bunch of good ideas in it. Adding a narrative element is a slam dunk, but the pacing of it hurts it in the long run, even as interesting as it is. Per Aspera also has a lot of solid gameplay elements, and evolves into a pretty complex package in the end. But a lack of explanation as to what you’re doing impairs the experience, and may cause newer players to give up before the enjoyable gameplay loop kicks in.
  7. Dec 3, 2020
    70
    Anyone with city building experience looking for more will be quite pleased, but those new to the genre still might find something of value in Per Aspera's take on a tried-and-true archetype.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 3 out of 7
  1. Dec 17, 2020
    10
    The idea of mankind making Mars its second home has been brewing in our collective consciousness. As we finally approach this incrediblyThe idea of mankind making Mars its second home has been brewing in our collective consciousness. As we finally approach this incredibly milestone, I feel inspired to play in a Martian sandbox. For the last few years; I've been following numerous games as they attempt to capture this concept.

    When I find a game is focused on glorified battle I tend to immediately eliminate it. War and killing does not inspire me. I want to imagine a future where human horizons are expanding and I hope we are getting better at doing this without violence. So I'm looking toward the survival against the elements direction. How can mankind use our intelligence and technology to expand our horizons? Similarly I don't want a game where the mechanics get in the way of the sense of wonder and progress.

    I have found Per Aspera to be a deeply developed realization of my Mars play dreams; with caveats. There is a constant sense of struggle against the harsh reality of Mars' natural world. The balance between this struggle and the joy that comes from constant "little wins" as you build mines, factories, supply chains, and housing is addictive. Per Aspera is deep enough in the details to keep your brain working, but not so overwhelming that you cannot see the big picture of what you are accomplishing.

    By beginning with a fully open planet that is accurately proportioned from topographic data; you begin in awesome desolation and wilderness. By choosing sandbox mode, you actually have the option to start your adventure from anywhere on the planet you desire. If you prefer the story, there is a complex and controversial one that awaits you.

    I have to give a huge shoutout to the amazing artists that must have spent years perfecting each building and thousands of animations. Per Aspera allows you to instantly zoom from a single "worker" transport, out to buildings and roadways, all the way back out into space. It feels very much like Google Earth, but with the ability to create the cities and networks you see below you. You can choose to simply lay out your designs from above in an old-school sim city style, but if you take the time to zoom in you can see every building has a lot of character and life in it.

    I hope I have made it clear that this game is very ambitious. Here is where the difficulty lies. Compromises must be made to engineer something like this; and compromises are almost always controversial. Here is one example: Building and terraforming Mars is going to take multiple human generations, and the conceit the developers chose was to have you play as an everlasting AI overseeing development from above. This then opened up a story involving AI, Mars, humanity, and the interplay between these. There are twists and turns in this story that are certain to surprise, and will surely please some and frustrate others.

    The amount of complexity necessary to model and manage a functioning system on a planetary scale is high. I feel like the developers have generally pulled this off, but there are certainly bugs. Multiple patches have been forthcoming in the weeks since release, and we are told these will continue in the new year. There will be periods of frustration for most players when playing even the latest release. If you can find the patience to work through these frustrations, they do not break the game. I have found that I could work around any issues with enough patience and creativity. The patches so far have made progress on fixing the most frustrating issues. There are also reasonable limits on the number of structures that can extend around the planet. You cannot fill the surface of Mars with cities at this time; but you can create world circumnavigating arteries and infrastructure. This may be an opportunity for the developers to improve and expand the game's capabilities in the future.

    You will need to enjoy sim city type games to enjoy this game. There will be periods of hours where you will be planning and managing resources similarly to those style games. But I feel this makes sense, and fits well with the Mars story. Humanity's expansion beyond Earth is likely to be a lot more about managing resources and supply chains than anything else. Per Aspera does a good job making this side of things fun. The developers constantly mix things up with new exploration and terraforming objectives. Of all the sim city style games; this is the first since the very original that truly sucked me in for endless hours.

    I am very impressed with this game, and believe it will become well loved over time. I certainly enjoyed both the story and sandbox modes. The game is also reasonably priced in comparison to its depth and replayability. It is clear the amount of art and development work that went into Per Aspera is on par with much higher priced games.

    If you are excited about mankind's expansion to Mars; Per Aspera is a wonderful experience that will likely pull you in for many hours.
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  2. Dec 5, 2020
    10
    I guess its alright only got like 120837129803 hours So one day i was playing this game and i saw this little building i could click on. iI guess its alright only got like 120837129803 hours So one day i was playing this game and i saw this little building i could click on. i clicked on it and it made a satisfying click sound so i decided to play the game for many great wonderful coomer hours and so here i am to give it a 10! Expand
  3. Dec 7, 2020
    8
    engaging strategy & story
    a month or 2 from now we will probably have a must buy for strategy fans
    The game has some bugs, a little wonky
    engaging strategy & story
    a month or 2 from now we will probably have a must buy for strategy fans
    The game has some bugs, a little wonky AI, but what it really needs is a good beta to sort out balance & play testing.
    Every negative issue the game has is 100% forgivable if it launched into a short early access
    i'm engaged by the challenge & the struggle, but hopefully fun & control will come with V1.1
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  4. Dec 14, 2020
    8
    I did not regret that I bought this game; it provides challenges, useful content, and a nice simple campaign. And it has a real Mars map! II did not regret that I bought this game; it provides challenges, useful content, and a nice simple campaign. And it has a real Mars map! I am enjoying playing this game.

    Minuses:
    It needs better logistics. (Looks like in the latest patches it was fixed)
    It needs some water buildings; there is a lot of resources in the *ocean*!
    Science Tree can be better.
    Combat: I think that was redundant, but I had no problems and destroyed all enemies.

    Conclusion:
    The game idea is excellent, and (I believe that) developers will continue to fix and update the game with new content and challenges.

    Note: on the latest stage, it can consume a lot of your PC resources.
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  5. Dec 12, 2020
    4
    - Control keys cannot be reassigned. For example, the camera can only be moved by using the AWSD key. You will have to do almost everything in- Control keys cannot be reassigned. For example, the camera can only be moved by using the AWSD key. You will have to do almost everything in the game with the mouse.
    - Lots of bugs. Only two of my dozen gaming sessions did not end with a critical bug.
    - The graphics are of 2010 level, but the system requirements are the same as for the games of 2020. It is not clear where the resources of my computer are being spent.
    - The interface does not scale, most of the used menu items do not have hotkeys
    - At the same time, the elements of the top menu completely merge with the playing field, which means that they can be used only through hot keys.
    - You will listen to the same track as music for long hours.
    - Why did you invite Troy Baker? Anyone could read the text of this level. He just has nothing to do here.
    - The game has something reminiscent of a role model, that is, there are 2 answer options in the dialogues, for which it is also impossible to assign hotkeys, that is, you have to click them with the mouse. The complete lack of variety in the suggested answers makes you feel like you are being forced to choose between two equally unpleasant paths. That is, they provide a choice so that the player can associate himself with the character, and not just be an observer from the outside, but at the same time, the answer options give such that you cannot act out anything. I wish I was an observer.
    - The dialogues themselves are boring, annoying and distracting, especially when it comes to the random comments of the Main character-computer, which cannot be turned off and which will have to be clicked constantly, because they also have answer options ... There is nothing new in the dialogues, there is nothing in them something known to all, but well performed. A set of phrases and clichés thrown into a blender.
    - The building order is always the same. No variability.
    - One of the worst combat systems of its kind. Not only is it incredibly simple, but also poorly balanced.
    - Many buildings are completely indistinguishable, and the whole base visually turns into a dump. in other words, you cannot glance at the playing field and immediately say where the required building is. We have to choose these buildings and read their descriptions.

    AI speculates that it has free will ... like a human. Does a person have free will? Neuroscience: "Yeah that's right. F*** me." This is an idea of ​​human nature from the idealistic direction of philosophy, not the materialistic one. That is, from the same where religion, god, ghosts, superpowers, etc.

    The head of the colony on Mars is a psychologist. I love psychology, but if I happened to be a member of a Martian colony, then I would really like the first and second diplomas of the head of the expedition to be technical or natural scientific, and psychology only the third, as an auxiliary skill.

    China hid a colonization mission to Mars, learning about what the main character asks the question: "How to hide such a large-scale program?" Answer options in the dialogue: 1) Private business or 2) intimidate everyone. Is it political propaganda?
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  6. Dec 7, 2020
    2
    a bad game
    not only is combat impossible and unnerving, the continuous calls from a myriad of ppl interrupting the action are annoying, and
    a bad game
    not only is combat impossible and unnerving, the continuous calls from a myriad of ppl interrupting the action are annoying, and sometimes the protagonist talks to herself, again interrupting the action with non-choices, since they have a single possible reply sometimes.
    Furthermore, whoever decided that you need aluminum to build an aluminum factory should be hang, shot and quartered in whichever order you desire.
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  7. Dec 5, 2020
    0
    first of all ignore all the 9/10 reviews they are ALL FAKE 100%

    this game sux it's ok until combat is unlocked than no matter what you do
    first of all ignore all the 9/10 reviews they are ALL FAKE 100%

    this game sux it's ok until combat is unlocked than no matter what you do you will always not have enough electronics to make enough drones. the enemy sends in hundreds of drones when you barely have 50 to defend yourselves.

    your always running out of power because these drone towers eat it up like candy and you always seem to never have enough resources to build maintenance and combat drones which makes your solar panels always failing because of lack of maintenance.

    the whole system is just broken! PLUS the combat is so bad. your combat drones don't auto attack and follow the enemy drones you have to click and position them and keep doing this and hope you send them to the same place the enemy drones are. this is what KILLS THIS...the garbage combat!
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