Going to Mars is something that’s definitely on my bucket list. Sadly, I don’t think I’m going to be getting there anytime soon. Luckily the new puzzle narrative title 39 Days to Mars is all about traveling to the distant planet. Let’s see just how fun this new short puzzle title is.
39 Days to Mars is a 2D narrative driven puzzle adventure game. The story is centered around having 2 players. There’s an option to play by yourself, but the puzzles are really meant for 2 players. You play as two explorers in the 19th century and their journey to a place no person has gone before.
39 Days to Mars is all about the puzzle solving. If you have 2 players like the game intends you’ll play as Sir Albert Wickes and the Right Honorable Clarence Baxter. If you play alone then the puzzle challenges will be left up to you to complete, but you get to have a space cat companion come with you so you’re not lonely.
39 Days to Mars is meant to be a co-op experience and that’s really where it’s enjoyable. Walking around your ship the HMS fearful, listening to the witty humor is funny and much more enjoyable with a friend. The puzzles are also really silly, without being too easy. Some of them are actually quite tough, but they all have their own charm that makes them enjoyable.
The scenarios that cause the puzzles to arise are interesting as well. My girlfriend and I played through it together and while we were walking around the ship all of a sudden the ship’s plants took over. With our ship being overruled by plants we had to go through a book, learn how to properly tend a garden and then work together to cut the unwanted plants. However a lot of these puzzles, create a lot of work for your characters. So to solve this you’ll regularly be going back to two puzzles where you have to work together to make tea, or a scone. I guarantee you if I asked my girlfriend if she wanted to make a scone right now she would scream. It was a bit of a frustrating puzzle at first, but then the second time around we started getting the hang of it. You get used to the zaniness of the puzzles and by the time we got to the end we were sad it was over.
The ending of our playthrough is actually one of the unfortunate parts about 39 Days to Mars. The game is very short and can be completed within 2-3 hours. At its price tag of $15 the it’s definitely a little steep. I’m all for paying for quality not quantity, but it’s a bit difficult to justify the price tag. My other problem is that this is not only a co-op oriented experience, but it’s also the way to enjoy the game. Playing through 39 Days to Mars alone definitely isn’t as fun. The story and puzzles lose a lot of their charm without having someone to experience it all with.
39 Days to Mars uses a Steampunk visual style with a very storybook look to it. The visuals look like something out of a child’s storybook and I think it looks really endearing. The bolded lines on all of the objects really highlights the hand drawn visuals. It’s not the most colorful and eccentric design, but I think the visuals are perfect for this short adventure. The sound effects that come along with the actions you perform are all also great additions and really added to the game’s presentation as a whole.
Throughout our playthrough we experienced a few frame rate issues, but none that were overly significant. From a technical standpoint 39 Days to Mars worked very well. The controls made be frustrating for some as they’re a bit sensitive. However, I think the sensitivity of the controls are designed that way to make some of the puzzles more difficult.
Overall, I think 39 Days to Mars is a worthwhile title for those who have a friend or significant other to enjoy it with. It’s comical and witty and everything about, it just has its own little charm. The asking price may put off some, but it’s a really enjoyable two hours unless your player 2 is easy to frustrate. Unfortunately, if you’re alone, I don’t know if I can give it the same recommendation. It’s a title that just isn’t the same without a buddy. So pick this fun little title with up with a friend and have a fun trip to Mars
Great Little Journey With a Friend
Tons of Charm
Nice Narrative With Comedy & Heart
Puzzles Are Whacky & Fun
Awesome Visual & Sound Design
Not Much Fun as a Single Player Journey
Controls for Some Puzzles May Irritate Some Players