Mars Power Industries is a top-down, puzzle game that has you building power stations and conduits that lead to each grouping of houses to gain electricity. Once each has properly gained that necessary fuel source, they will let you know of your success with a happy face before moving on to the next puzzle. Light-hearted and easy to understand, this game offers something perfect for that puzzle aficionado looking for something quick to jump into on the Nintendo Switch. Featuring more than 80 levels of various difficulties, you will have a good amount of content for the low barrier to entry ($3.99).
Human colonization has begun on Mars, and the people will need the basics of life in order to survive happily. As the newly appointed “Plumber / Electrician”, you must aid these tiny colonies in getting the resources they need, from an infrastructure point of view. Getting people the power will allow you to move on to the next colony that needs your help.
Each level consists of a grid that represents the new “tiny colony” you are looking to power up. On that grid are various obstacles, as well as the houses that need that sweet, sweet juice. So, you will have to check the types of power stations coming down the pipe, Tetris-style, and determine where they best fit in to properly connect everything. Pairing that strategy with proper placement from the starting points to the conclusion is how each level will be completed. Levels were quick and fun, and never had me held up for too long as the grids don’t offer so many options that you can’t trial and error your way through when stumped.
Placing the conduits properly is the name of the game, as the network can only be completed a certain way to correctly position electricity in the right places. This is done with the conduits you are offered, each of which shows directional arrows on them indicating the direction they flow the electricity. Some are simple, and some more complex, but all-in-all it is the same basic structure throughout.
Along with that, you also have to place around obstacles. Rocks can get in your way, essentially blocking off an entire space on the grid, as well as other tougher obstacles. Beyond other items that simply block you off indefinitely, you also have red spikes that pop up and down with each placement. This means you will have to plan out setting up a conduit on those spaces based on when the spikes are up and active or down and ready to be built on. Conduits are also available to open up spaces for building, as well as some other types that break up the simplicity here and there. The introduction of water lines on top of electricity adds another element to the late game.
Overall, the puzzles are fun to solve and easy to understand, and even the later levels that have you destroying rocks, laying pipes and conduits, and avoiding three different types of obstacles are something that can easily be deciphered and solved.
Although this isn’t going to be a revolutionary puzzle game on the Nintendo Switch, it is one I had a good time with and would recommend for puzzle players of all types. The entry-level gamers will love the simplicity, and hardcore solvers will be able to have a quick, easy experience that won’t break the bank. Mars Power Industries was a pleasant surprise for me and is one that will be a positive addition to the libraries of those riddle masters.
THE VERDICT | Review: Mars Power Industries (Nintendo Switch)
Mars Power Industries offers a quick and easy puzzle title for those looking to scratch an itch. Although it doesn’t have a tough difficulty and is lacking in staying power, for the price it is one I can easily recommend for all puzzle aficionados.