Published on June 30th, 2016 | by Patrick Garde0
Canyons of Mars Review
Canyons of Mars from Dmitry Fadeev of South Pacific Apps is what can be perceived as an endless runner that takes place on Mars. In this iOS and Android game, you play a little square astronaut, and must fly your way up this ever long canyon, all the while dodging falling rocks and picking up some upgrades to keep yourself alive.
Before you start a run, you must choose one of 18 possible characters; every single one of which has their own particular ratings. At first, these stats don’t matter nearly as much as they probably should. However, if you’re managing to make it past a few levels every time you load up a run, then it might have a little more impact for you.
What you can expect is little more than simplified gameplay. All that is required of the player is to hold down on the left half of the screen to move to the left, and hold down on the right side of the screen to move to the right.
To keep things a little more interesting, along the way you can collect a number of little extras and buffs that make your life a touch easier. For instance, you can pick up some extra repairs, some extra shields, and even weaponry to help protect yourself from Mars’ greatest evil: falling rocks! Pretty much from the word go, rocks start to fall from the sky, which obviously requires you to dodge them, but if you pick up a weapon, it can shoot them into smithereens and give you a fair amount of points for it.
Speaking of points, that’s what you’ll be aiming for in the long run, just like your typical endless runner. The gist of it is this: the longer you survive; the more points you get. Canyons of Mars is an Android game that can be considered the definition of an arcade game, because points and collectibles are all there is when it comes to long term value. One of the main collectibles that you should be aiming to acquire for yourself are the blue gems, as those can be used to unlock new and improved characters, so that way you can choose to play however you like, whenever you like. As soon as you unlock a character, they are unlocked forever, so you don’t need to pick and choose which character you want out of all of them, but you do need to be aware that characters slowly but surely get more and more expensive.
Each and every character in the iPhone game also has their own look. A lot of the characters have nothing more than a few color changes and stats difference. None of the characters change in terms of body proportions or anything else, and when it comes to finding a favorite character, it is only really down to whichever has the best ratings.
While the characters initially look a little cute and cheery, before you realize that they almost all look the same, except with some color changes. When it comes to the walls on either side of the screen, they look like slightly jagged triangles, with a plain, dark brown color being the only portion of that model’s appearance. On top of that, the falling rocks look pretty similar to the walls and the items you collect have a rather simple look to them.
The audio may be improved further. Background sound isn’t the issue, the problem I found is that whenever you pick up an item – of which there are quite a few of – the iPad game plays a sound effect. It is exactly the same and even laps over one another when you pick up another item within quick succession. You might want to keep your phone on silent mode or minimize the sound volume.
Overall, Canyons of Mars (Free) is a fun endless runner. It may have little issues but its gameplay, easy controls and high replay value make it a fairly comfortable recommendation for you to try out.
Summary: Canyons of Mars definitely manages to keep itself afloat somewhat in an oversaturated genre with its gameplay, straight forward controls and longevity.