Strap in for a nine-month ride, because you’re headed to Mars to do some colonizing — city-building simulator Surviving Mars is free this week. If you’re a gamer, or you just visit The Cheapskate occasionally, you may know that Epic Games gives away a free game every Thursday. Each week is a new surprise treat, with past weeks featuring gems like GTA 5, Rage 2, Hitman and Watch Dogs 2. This week’s freebie is fan favorite Surviving Mars, regularly $30.
If you think managing resources to build a thriving town in SimCity is challenging, just wait until you have to mine and process your resources on an alien world, get only occasional resupply ships from Earth, and discover that minor problems can cascade in a heartbeat into a catastrophic failure that wipes out a whole colony. Unlike on Earth, you have to worry about something as simple as a power failure suffocating an entire dome full of colonists. Combine that with dust-induced equipment failures, famine and unearthing mysterious Martian artifacts, and there are some unique challenges here.
Not only does Surviving Mars follow in the footsteps of traditional city planning games, but it goes further. You have the ability to explore randomly generated Martian mysteries, need to contend with randomized tech research trees and have to manage a population of columnists that each have their own personalities that can result in declining productivity and even suicide.
Not only is Surviving Mars free this week, but scroll down the page to grab the Surviving Mars Mysteries Resupply Pack add-on for free as well. And if you are so inclined, the season pass and deluxe upgrade packs are 50% off.
If you’re new to Epic’s weekly giveaway, here’s how it works: If you don’t already have one, sign up for your free Epic account. Then just claim your free game — it’s yours to keep forever. You don’t even need to install it right away if you don’t want to. You can claim your free game anytime between now and the morning of March 18.
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This article is updated regularly with the current week’s free games.
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