Formerly known as Gaijin Games and best known for their involvement in the now-iconic BIT.TRIP series of music-infused action games, the indie company is busy with their current project, titled Tharsis – this time under the new company name of Choice Provisions. The reason behind the change was due to negative connotations with the Japanese word of “gaijin,” which means “foreigner.”
Related reading: Max reviews BIT.TRIP RUN! for iPad.
Tharsis is an upcoming real-time strategy game that’s slated for release on January 12 for PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS. Tharsis takes its name from the volcanic plateau situated on the Western hemisphere of Mars. Surprising as it may sound, this is not the first time Tharsis is being used in a video game: the entire Red Faction Guerilla takes place on this region. It also makes an appearance in the space shooter Killzone 2. The clear title intent notwithstanding, and seeing the mature and seemingly complex nature of the game, Tharsis could also be an oblique reference to “catharsis”. We will just have to wait and see.
Judging by the trailer, Tharsis looks very similar in tone and execution to the 1994 simulation game Outpost, by Sierra. Even the CGI cut-scenes bring to mind said game and also System Shock. The game is about a small team of people responding to an unidentified signal emancapating from Mars. It puts you in the gravity boots of the first-ever mission to Mars – just mere seconds before it’s hit by a meteor. What results next are perma-deaths, sacrifice and, in a unique and shocking twist, cannibalism – all done through a roll of a dice.
With more than 2 years in development, the gameplay of Tharsis is modeled after board games of old. It promises to offer a “balanced” structure where everything is fair and that the blame for any error… is you!
– Hamza A.
A @DigitallyDownld poll: How do you feel about space strategy games?
— Lindsay M. (@itslindsay613) November 29, 2015