Per Aspera

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a game by Tlön Industries
Platform: PC (2020)
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Base Building Games, Space Games, Games Like Oxygen not Included
Per Aspera
Per Aspera
Per Aspera
Per Aspera

The aspect of human colonization on Mars has been getting closer and closer to reality lately with major leaps in technology achieved by companies like SpaceX. Unfortunately, we’re still a long way off from ensuring the surface is sustainably habitable for humanity let alone colonizing it. Luckily for us, Per Aspera from Tlön Industries presents a unique take on humanities attempts to conquer a small sliver of the last great frontier. As a city builder/colony sim akin to the 2018 release Surviving Mars, the goal of Per Aspera is to colonize, construct, and conquer the landscape of the Red Planet after several previous failed attempts by humanity.

Succeed Where Humans Failed

You are not simply another human in control of the operations on Mars: you are known as AMI, an artificial consciousness with the express purpose of ensuring the human settlement of Mars – failure is not an option this time around.

Unlike other city builders like Sim City, there is a heavy focus on forging bonds with you human counterparts because, as a newly created AI, you have much to learn about the importance of the interconnected/caring nature of humanity. This endeavor results in a story rich experience that hinges on not only making efficient decisions in terms of technological development, but also acknowledging the moral impacts of those choices and how they will affect the human race going forward.

Production is the Key to Survival

Before a single human sets foot on the planet, it is essential to optimize your mining and production operations. This process will be a large component of early gameplay and can take some getting used to because there are several factors to consider such as the number of workers you have, the availability of nearby ore veins, and the efficiency of your production centers. Despite your goal being to manage the entire planet, these tasks in micromanage will keep you busy as you attempt to optimize these processes until the first humans arrive. Once they do, you’ll have to balance your attention between resource gathering and building maintenance with the protection of humanity. To help you with this, there are several avenues you can utilize to streamline productive processes so you can focus on humanity.

Defend Your Colonies, Shape the Future

Combat is not the primary focus of gameplay in Per Aspera, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other hazards that could obstruct your path to stability on Mars. Alien sabotages and attacks are dangerously possible during the colonization process, but leaves a bit to be desired as it is largely about placing down a few defense towers while amassing large drone forces.

Additionally, there are environmental hazards that can damage your buildings or populations that can be natural forces (wind storms), but can also be the result of your productive activities such as pollution which lowers the health of the atmospheric composition.


Finally, to truly stretch your creative muscle, you are also able to terraform the planet to your liking later on in the game. It can be a simple process overall, but some of the menu navigation can be made difficult due to the user interface. This aside, you are given all the expected powers and then some to ensure your colonies run smoothly and are well prepared for whatever challenges may arise.


  • Detailed, in-depth narrative
  • Well researched simulative effects like axial tilt, atmospheric composition, etc.
  • Experimentation heavily encouraged
  • No handholding, but provides comprehensive progression tips throughout the story


  • Not as replayable as similar titles
  • Many aspects surrounding micromanagement are tedious for a game about macro-management
  • Issues with AI work against you
  • Some instances of dialogue are repeated or even begin while a character is still speaking
  • Overall UI could use some quality of life improvements

Download Per Aspera


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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