Surviving the Red Planet with JCB Pioneer: Mars

August 12, 2017

When you tell someone that one of the World's largest manufacturers of construction equipment is working with an indie studio to develop a video game, it isn't a surprise that people look at you strangely. "Oh, is it a construction site simulator?", I've been asked. Well, not entirely. There is a lot of construction elements to the game but UK-based business JCB are working with indie studio Atomicon and publisher GamesCo to create JCB Pioneer: Mars, a survival sandbox game based on the titular red planet.

JCB Pioneer Mars 2.png

Set many years in the future, you are part of a crew who have set out to colonize Mars. Upon attempting to land, there is an incident which causes your spacecraft to crash land. Debris is strewn across the surface of the planet and you are left with having to survive on your own and find all the lost equipment in order to survive. Your mission still stands, however. Once you have set yourself up with a base, energy generation, and oxygen production, you have to begin building in order to support others who will follow.

Mars is an unforgiving planet with rugged terrain and a harsh atmosphere so you need vehicles and building units who can withstand it all. Here is where JCB comes into it. On this timeline, JCB own the rights to the colonization of Mars so all the buildings and equipment have been purposefully built for this to happen. From buggies that allow you drive around the planet, to construction equipment designed for things like mining, everything you see is JCB.

JCB Pioneer Mars 3

You can tell just by looking at the trailer and the screenshots that the developers have paid great attention to detail to create a hostile yet habitable environment. They have used images from real Mars expeditions so that players get a real sense of what it would be like out there.

“We want to provide players with a hardcore survival experience, one based on what an early human colonization of Mars may actually look like. We’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that the game is as realistic as possible while retaining the sense of adventure an early explorer of Mars would feel.”

Andy Santos, Design Director at Atomicom

While there are no definite details about the release. JCB Pioneer: Mars is set to come out in Early Access in September 2017 and will be available for Windows users. Prices are yet to be announced.

If you want to see more of JCB Pioneer: Mars, check out the trailer below and let us know what you think!

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Emma Spalding

It all began with the Atari ST. Then the first home PC. And the rest is history. Although a platformer and RPG lass at heart, I'm willing to give anything a go, and if a game looks quirky then you've got my attention!