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Aaron - MrIrelandish

19 March 2023

Escape from the Red Planet

Do you like managing resources? How about defending your crashed ship from Martians? Well, Developer and Publisher Frosty Pop have got you covered with "Escape from the Red Planet" on Steam. The player is put into the shoes of Abigail Blackwell, Commander of the Orion III, who is stranded on Mars after a crash landing.

'Escape from the Red Planet' is a top-down arcade-style tower defense game with resource management aspects. Escape from the Red Planet has 3 game modes available to play. New Mission, Survival, and Last Stand.


New Mission is your standard arcade story mode experience where you are put into the shoes of Commander Abigail Blackwell. The commander is stranded after a crash landing on Mars. Defend the crashed shuttle from incoming waves of Martians by gathering solar energy and constructing defenses. With each successful level, the commander unlocks new tools to help survive the onslaught of Martians.

The player defends the ship which generates solar energy. Solar energy is created over time and is the currency for building our defenses. Clicking on the ship gathers the energy ready for us to build. Around the ship, there are points where the player can build defenses. The number of points surrounding the ship can vary from level to level. The player clicks on the spot they want to be in and they move there. At the lower half of the screen, the player will have options for defenses and solar production. Towers constructed have an ammo limit and explode once depleted. As you progress through levels you unlock more defenses to help you survive the onslaught with each level acting as a tutorial teaching the new mechanics introduced.

The player can also double-click on a spot for a third-person view, in which you can shoot the Martians yourself. The blaster has a limited clip size and must charge to reload but the ammo is infinite. The crosshair also slowly auto-aims toward the Martians.


While playing New Mission I barely managed to make it to level 15. My journey to level 15 was fun and filled with some failed attempts due to poorly managed solar energy. I appreciated the way the game introduced new mechanics by incorporating them into the story dialogue, thus creating a tutorial that effectively explained the purpose and usage of each defense mechanism. The third-person aim automatically made its way to an enemy for you to then click to fire, which felt slow. Sometimes when you entered third person, the martian is too close and it auto aims to the next closest. Overall a fun game mode.

​Survival is a mode that unlocks after a new mission mode is completed. I cannot really say any more than that as I personally struggled to finish the new mission mode.

Last Stand is a wave-based survival game based on the third-person defense from the new mission mode. The player fends off waves of Martians from reaching them for as long as they can. While the onslaught happens powerups and environmental hazards can appear that aid you in your survival.


During my time playing the Last Stand mode, I found at times it felt slow. This was due to the lack of Martians which appear on screen, managing the powerups, and how frequently you shot the blaster. The third-person view in this mode felt nicer than within the story mode, as you could free aim. After playing for about 40 minutes, I started questioning the purpose of surviving as there was no visual score indicator, and the enemies didn't seem to increase in difficulty. After deliberately losing at the 63-minute mark, I went back to the main menu and found a leaderboard to which I found that they were recording a score. This would have been nice to track in the game so I could see how well I was doing. Despite the overall slow feel it had at times, some points made you think if it was going to be the end which gives this mode some replayability. It was also very easy to get lost in the soundtrack and the particles floating around across the screen.

Escape from the Red Planet has a visually impressive aesthetic that suits the game's red planet theme. The player design features an astronaut figure on a hover disc, dressed in a white suit with orange gloves and a red visor, which stands out against the backdrop of the environment. Meanwhile, the Martians are represented as black blobs with colored crystals, each with a unique design that easily distinguishes them and stands out against the red hues of the environment. The user interface is simple and easy to navigate, featuring toggles for options and language settings. The minimap is particularly helpful, displaying the current wave and the location of the Martians. Each enemy type is associated with a different color, making them easily identifiable. The energy storage display at the top of the screen indicates how much energy you have left, while the towers and solar panels are located at the bottom of the screen for easy access. The game's environment has a low-poly, three-quarter top-down view, featuring dull red tones and a cell-shaded graphic. In third-person mode, the red planet aesthetic is enhanced by the visible dust particles, creating an immersive experience. Overall, Escape from the Red Planet's graphics are well-designed, visually appealing, and add to the overall gameplay experience.


The theme tune within Escape from the Red Planet sounds good. In the typical fashion of sci-fi the game sports a synth-wave loop. With the initial game starting the music starts at max volume. Going into the settings I found that there were only toggles to adjust the sound on or off. After manually adjusting my audio in the volume settings I was then able to enjoy the synth-wave tunes that Escape from the Red Planet had to offer. Player accessibility can be enhanced by adding volume sliders, so they don't have to alt-tab out of the game to adjust audio levels.

Escape from the Red Planet is a fun game, with a lot of potential, a great concept, and replayability. With some changes to the Last Stand mode like a visible score, more power-ups, and more of a difficulty curve this game could become so much more. Even without that added, it is a fun mode to play just to zone out to the music while you survive. I really enjoyed the art style with how the Martians stood out.


The Bad

- Fun
- Art style
- Soundtrack

- User accessibility
- Sometimes felt slow

The Good

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