39 Days to Mars is a co-operative steampunk puzzle-adventure title developed and published by It’s Anectdotal. While you can play the game alone, it’s best enjoyed if you have a friend to play with. It has a Steampunk theme mixed with a pen and paper art-style to which, in my opinion, makes it look cool. The game has a nice Piano piece background music which is calming and relaxing.
Platform Reviewed: PC
Platforms Available: PC
Publisher: It’s Anecdotal
Developer: It’s Anecdotal
Release Date: April 25, 2018
This review is based on a review code provided by It’s Anecdotal.
If you’re playing with a friend, either of you can play as Sir Albert Wickes or The Right Honourable Clarence Baxter; both of whom are 19th-century explorers who are piloting a ship called the HMS Fearful on its “not so easy” journey to Mars. You need to keep the two alive and prevent their ship from breaking down to pieces.
If you don’t want to play with a friend, then that’s fine too. Playing the game alone means you’ll have an AI feline companion that will accompany you along your journey. When the time came where I had to take control of the cat, it wasn’t easy at all. It was really difficult controlling its paws to solve different puzzles.
The first thing you do is that you need to get out of your house. You grab your keys, your map, and your hat as your character won’t leave without it. However, you’ll need to solve different puzzles in order to obtain each item. As the game description implies, it is a puzzle game. So for those of you who like mind bending puzzles, then this 39 Days to Mars is for you.
There will come a point where you’ll be on your ship, which will trigger the day counter to start. If you have ever tried repairing a car engine or just about any piece of machinery, you’ll notice that it’s as if you’re solving a puzzle. And that’s how it pretty much is whenever the ship needs repair. While the puzzles aren’t that hard at all, you’ll definitely have to be patient while solving them. This rings true when you hav to prepare tea for Sir Albert in the form of a puzzle.
There’s also this section in the game where you’ll need to catch squid-like aliens and dump them in an aquarium. I haven’t really explored other ways of finishing the game, but one path did lead to me getting eaten by a giant squid. It’s funny because I never would have thought that I could reach Mars by solving puzzles inside the belly of an enormous mythical creature.
Just a heads up, your playthrough might not end in the same way as mine. So after solving the puzzle inside the giant squid’s belly, I managed to escape and ended up inside a two-man rocket ship heading off to Mars. I had to maneuver it to avoid huge rocks but it ended up exploding as the result of me being unable to maneuver it well. Although the rocket got destroyed, I somehow managed to reach Mars and the game ended with my character having tea time and a picnic with the cat. In all honesty, I didn’t particularly like the ending. I mean, the picnic scene was okay but the environment was too plain for me. But as I said, there are other different endings.
The lesson I learned from this game is that every problem can be solved just like a puzzle. It all depends on how we solve it and if we don’t panic when we get caught in a dead end. I enjoyed the many different puzzles I encountered. It was fun as I wasn’t just doing them to assemble pipes, but they were also the means which allowed me to take on a giant squid. While the game is fun, it’s pretty short and that’s one of its downsides. However, In my opinion, it’s overall great and the developer did a good job with this.
I would probably recommend the game to people who are stressed out as it makes for the perfect stress reliever. The journey to Mars wasn’t that easy at all but it was totally worth it. It’s not the destination but rather the journey and the lessons you have gained.