Farming on Mars tends to make us think about the movie where Matt Damon sticks potatoes in his own poop. In the new game, Red Planet Farming, you take on the role of the Agricultural Director of Mars and you will be able to grow a lot of potatoes. Besides potatoes, you will also be able to grow corn, lettuce, spinach, peppers, onions and a lot of other crops. You will start the game with a small colony of five settlers and you will have to grow a lot of food to increase and to maintain the settler population.
Here comes the best part. Red Planet Farming is entirely free on Steam. This is not due to any microtransactions within the game, but rather because Red Planet Farming’s developers (Sean Prio, Sean Park, Noah Lee and Nina Demirjian), which are all graduates of the NYU Game Center, have received a grant. They have thus decided to give out the game for free, which is as best as it gets.
Since the climate on Mars is a lot harsher than the one in Iowa, the game is not just about planting seeds and waiting while they grow. The crops require irrigation and extensive protection from radiation, dust storms and extreme cold snaps. You will need to build some upgrades in order to protect your plants from the elements, while working on a strict budget. After you have planted your crops and built the necessary upgrades, you fast-forward time by one year to see what has happened with your interplanetary farm.
Proper crops are not enough to beat the game, however. If you grow a lot, more colonists will arrive to the planet from Earth. Sometimes, they will come with their pets as well. More mouths to feed means more administrative issues with your farm, such as the colonists building other buildings on your lands.