39 Days to Mars from It’s Anecdotal is an atmospheric co-operative adventure game with a lot of charm. Learn more in our 39 Days to Mars review!
39 Days to Mars is a two player co-operative adventure game. You play as Sir Albert Wickes and The Right Honourable Clarence Baxter, two 19th century explorers who are piloting the HMS Fearful on its maiden voyage to Mars. Work together on the problems that arise to keep the two explorers alive and prevent their ship from falling apart around them.
Before even diving into my review, I’d like to point out that this game is best enjoyed with a second player in local co-op mode, but that it can totally be played on your own. Having said that, some puzzles and sections are going to feel a bit trickier when playing on your own in single-player mode, but they can certainly be completed with a bit of trial and error. If you play in local co-op, then each player will control one adventurer. If playing in single-player, then Sir Albert’s cat will follow you around, aiding you on your journey.
As the game starts, Sir Albert and the Honourable Clarence Baxter are having a friendly chat, and end up deciding that they would like to go to the planet Mars. Using the ship that they built with pieces found all over the place, they set out on an adventure, unlike no other. I loved how the characters didn’t give a second thought to this idea and just decided to go there without looking back. Speaking of the characters, I have to take my hat off to the amazing voice acting for 38 Days To Mars. The main characters have charming British accents, and the voice actors do an outstanding job.
In order to get to your ship, you’ll have to complete some introductory puzzles to get out of your house, because Sir Albert is a peculiar man. For instance, take the screenshot below: the objective of this puzzle is to flick switches (one character pulls the lever and the second one flicks the actual switch) in order to bring the upper black bar up to the requested level. Each switch has a different power value, so some trial and error is required.
Once the introductory puzzles are completed, and you get into the ship, you’ll raise anchor, and go on your merry trip to Mars in 39 days, as per the game’s title. On the first few days of the trip, you’ll realize that the RMS Fearful is not a sturdy vessel, and vital parts of the ship will start to break at regular intervals. When a component breaks, it’s your job to fix it. Once again, huge praise to the voice actors for conveying the urgency needed in fixing each issue while, at the same time, making sure it’s understood that perhaps a cuppa (a cup of tea) or a scone might be needed before taking the time required to fix something – I thought this was hilarious and made me laugh out loud!
As for the game’s difficulty, I thought that the few first puzzles at the start were actually the hardest since once you understand how the game works, the difficulty seems to go down. Some puzzles were fun, while others were not as pleasant because they required a good amount of dexterity, which can only be achieved properly when taking on 39 Days To Mars with two players. I was surprised by how the puzzles were so creative and how genuine this experience felt. I also noticed on my second playthrough that the design, layout of RMS Fearful was different, and how even some of the puzzles presented in the game were also new ones, which was a nice surprise. This adds some extra replay value for those of you that decide to follow my lead and replay the game.
As for its presentation, I thought it was flawless from beginning to end. This game is built on the Unity Engine, and has an amazing art style, with everything being hand-drawn, presented in a sepia tone. I’ve already mentioned the stellar performance of the voice actors, and I have to say I kept thinking about their performance once I had completed the campaign – not to mention the piano soundtrack was also great to hear.
The trophies are awarded from failing or successfully solving puzzles on the first try, but achieving the Platinum will be quite a feat since it requires multiple playthroughs to unlock everything plus two speedruns: the first one in under 50 minutes and a pretty crazy one asking you to complete the entire game in 30 minutes or less!
39 Days to Mars is a great game, and definitively one of the best local multiplayer releases I¿ve played this year. The campaign is roughly two hours long – depending on your puzzle-solving skills. I loved playing through this game, and thanks to its solid puzzle design, great hand-drawn art, and superb voice acting, this is an easy one to recommend on PlayStation 4.
PSN Game Size: 370MB
This 39 Days to Mars review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by It’s Anecdotal.