Tharsis: Commit cannibalism, save humanity

Eat folks for the greater good

Destructoid recently caught up with the folks at Gaijin Games Choice Provisions to check out the studio’s next Bit.Trip game completely new project, Tharsis.

The turn-based strategy game follows a team of astronauts on a mission to Mars. Of course, things quickly go awry for our intrepid heroes, because nothing good ever happens in space.

An asteroid strikes the vessel carrying the explorers, which proves to be quite the problem. Fires erupt all over the ship. Objects become unfastened, transforming into deadly projectiles in a gravity-free environment. Other stuff happens too, probably. Oh, and people start dying. This certainly isn’t a joyride.

They can’t just go home, though. The fate of the planet hangs in the balance. It’s pretty much Mars or bust. You see, there’s some sort of singularity on the red planet, one that might allow someone to send a message back in time, and so the crew presses ahead, hoping to warn people in the past of impending calamity and avert disaster before it’s too late.

That’s the goal, anyway. More immediate concerns include not dying as the ship slowly edges toward to Mars. Some members of the crew are dead. Others are injured. Supplies are low. And all sorts of things need fixing. You know, things that threaten the crew’s continued survival.

To remedy these issues, players will need to send astronauts to deal with hazards as they arise. This is done by rolling dice and allocating the numbers to the myriad of problems before you. Tharsis is a game of damage control. It’s about knowing when to play it safe, when to put it all on the line, and praying you get lucky enough to scrape by.

One way to make do with dwindling rations is to cannibalize the corpses of your fallen comrades. Sure it’s a little unsavory, but you’re eating people for humanity, dammit! My experiences with this worked out okay, well, except for the part where my crew went insane.

Look forward to seeing how that turns out when Tharsis launches on iOS and Steam in early 2015.

Kyle MacGregor Burleson