If you have a Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, and you're a fan of Metroidvanias, then you're in luck! The Mega Drive/Genesis has been slim on exploration titles in the past, but recently Kai Magazine, the developers of the homebrew action game Metal Dragon, announced that it was bringing its MSX2 game Life On Mars to the system, and, as a recent video shows, it's looking pretty impressive so far.
The game takes place on a scientific colony on Mars, after it has lost contact with Earth. Playing as a technician sent to repair the communications array, you must explore the planet to find out what happened to the other colonists, while trying to survive its many hazards. You do this by acquiring and improving new weapons and skills, increasing your shield capacity, and upgrading your power generator (stamina).
If the premise all sounds a bit Aliens to you, that's probably because it is, with the developers themselves remarking on the comparison in the description of the teaser. Nevertheless, the game looks to differentiate itself enough, swapping biological terrors for more robotic enemies, and providing an interesting mix of interior and exterior locations to explore while listening to the atmospheric soundtrack.
We reached out to the developers to find out more, and Oscar Albero, the game's director, replied:
"I've always dreamt of creating 16-bit games, but I didn't have the necessary tools, resources, and time to do so. Not until I learned about the SGDK programming kit. This amazing development kit allowed me to make video games in a short time without having to re-invent the wheel, so I went for it.
"Last year, we (my team and I) developed the port of our latest MSX game: "Metal Dragon" to the Mega Drive as a quick and easy experiment to "see what would happen" and it was a huge success, so we decided to make more and better games for the Mega Drive. This is where "Life on Mars: Genesis" was born."
You will be able to pre-order the game from August at this link, with the estimated release/shipping date being November/December 2022. If this sounds like something you'd be into, you can watch the teaser trailer below: