Build wonky robots and throw them across Mars next year

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There are plenty of games out there that'll let you build janky contraptions out of bits and bobs. But I don't think any have done it with as much style as Aussie developer Ian MacLarty's upcoming extra-terrestrial delivery sandbox Mars First Logistics (opens in new tab).

Teased on Twitter (opens in new tab) this week, MacLarty's next game is a sharp break from the eye-straining wonders of The Catacombs of Solaris (opens in new tab). Using a toolbox of robot parts, you'll have to cobble together your own rovers to transport cargo across the red planet—cargo that has been carefully designed to be as large and awkward to carry as possible.

Speaking to Screenhub (opens in new tab), MacLarty describes Mars First Logistics as a blend of Besieged and Mudrunner (though I personally prefer to think of it as Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts meets Death Stranding).

"I've been really interested in making a big open-world game where the landscape itself is an adversary for some time," said MacLarty, citing how Mars First is nicking the landscape tech from a previous free game of his, Red Desert Render (opens in new tab).

A robot construction guide

(Image credit: Ian MacLarty)

There's a real sharp look to Mars First Logistics, too. A desert painted in flat, bold palette with thick outlines immediately calls Sable (opens in new tab) to mind, but there's a much more toy-like quality to your parts and colours. I adore how putting together your machine looks like flipping through Lego instructions.

Mars First Logistics is coming to Steam (opens in new tab) sometime next year.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.