Click the above button to play Mars Explorer!
If this is your first time playing, you will be stepped through the
easy and free process of installing the Unity browser plugin to make
Mars Explorer work.
- Drive with your Arrow (or WASD) keys
- Fly by holding the Space key
- Aim by holding the Alt (or Shift for sniping) keys - use Mouse to fire
- Lock your brakes with the Command or Shift keys (it's nice to be stabile when firing)
- In multiplayer mode, your objective is to tag whoever is the "quarry" (they have *stars* on their name tag) - But there is lots more to do than just that! Race your friends up the path on the volcano or around the racetrack, or play "king of the hill" on the top of the mountain just across the lava flow from the volcano!
Mars Explorer is a free in-browser 3D game developed by Aubrey which supports networked multiplayer "tag" in a highly unrealistic - but totally fun - martian environment.
Players can ascend massive volcanoes, race around elevated plateaus, bob through lava flows, and perform aerobatic stunts using deployable wings while playing laser tag with each other!
Unlike most games, Mars Explorer doesn't have a complicated set of
objectives, a pointless story line, powerups to collect, timers to annoy you, monsters out to get you, a slowly dwindling "life meter", or "locked" areas that you aren't important enough to access. Mars Explorer is like renting an ultra high performance laser wielding dune buggy - with wings, and taking it for a spin - on Mars - with all your friends.
Aubrey isn't particularly interested in computer games, and indeed created
Mars Explorer far more for the sake of learning Unity 3D (the engine powering Mars Explorer) for future projects than because of a desire to develop a game, but now that it is functional, Aubrey hopes you enjoy it.
Mars Explorer is available as a downloadable OS X Dashboard Widget!
Want to always have Mars Explorer right at your fingertips - even when you aren't online?
Want to get up to speed fast and impress your friends?
The below tips - handed down from the creator of the game just for you, will facilitate your mastery of Mars Explorer in no time!
Cruising around on mars in single player mode is fun, but networking with your friends is infinitley more so! To go Multiplayer in Mars Explorer, enter your screen name in the "Internet Multiplayer box of the Mars Explorer launch screen. If there are any active multiplayer games you can then join them by pressing the "Join Game" button next to their IP address, but if not, you can host your own game by pressing the "Start New Game" button. Your friends will be able to join your game, and you can all play laser tag with each other!
Holding the space bar while your vehicle is moving will deploy your super cool energy field based wings - enabling you to soar around the martian sky (or just adjust your orientation prior to a hard landing)! Watch your airspeed, because you stall around 9 MPH. "Flapping" your wings by cycling the up and down arrow keys around once per second will slowly accelerate your vehicle, allowing you to stay aloft indefinitley.
Hold the Alt or Shift keys - or press the "Laser Tag" camera button - to enter laser firing mode, and hold your mouse button to fire.
Want to fire your lasers as accuratley as possible? Try braking to a stop (Hold the Command or Shift keys), or deploying your wings and crusing as smoothly as possible to steady yourself.
Holding the space bar while accelerating on the ground gives you tremendous groundforce - which aside from helping you "stick" to the ground over heavy bumps, can also enable you to drive up steep hills with ease. Drive diagonally up the hills - adjusting your "angle of ascent" to climb as rapidly as possible without stalling, and you will soon be at the top!
High Speed Driving:
Want to leave people in the dust? Stick to the ground! Seriously, those on the ground can accelerate far faster than those in the skies. Want to leave others on the ground in the dust? Drive backwards. It is far harder to steer (and deploy your wings when you get in trouble) and should only be attempted by experienced MarsRacers, but driving backwards will sometimes give you that extra boost of speed needed to escape a pursuer of ascend a difficult hill. Turning as little and as smoothly as posible can also help you achieve much higher speeds.
Someone coming up on you to ram you too fast for you to escape? Try firing your sniper laser (hold shift) into the ground underneath the front of your vehicle (at the very bottom of your screen). With practice, you can time your dodges to blast yourself into the air right over a pursuer as they race underneath you!
If you ever see anyone playing the game with the username "Aubrey", that would be me! (Everyone else named Aubrey shows up as Aubrey 2). I don't play too often - and I generally am on a high latency satellite internet connection which makes me appear a bit bouncy - but I love to hear your feedback and suggestions. So next time you leave someone named Aubrey in the dust on the racetrack or bounce them off the volcano trail with a well placed sniper shot, you can say with confidence that you beat the creator at his own game :-)
Tons of development suggestions and tips for the game were provided by the amazingly helpful Unity community
, and the "Mars Buggy" itself is based on a vehicle originally developed by Unity grandmaster "Yoggy
Many thanks are due to the early enthusiasts like Matthew A, Ellen F, Natasha H, and Forest J - who helped nail down many bugs and set the direction of the game; and to my wonderful sister Kellie who performed the music for Mars Explorer on her mountain dulcimer.