'Mars Horizon 2' game is getting a real scientist to help with realism

The team behind the highly anticipated "Mars Horizon 2" game has recruited a real planetary scientist to ensure the game is as realistic as reasonably practicable.
Christopher McFadden
The game might be the most realistic yet.
The game might be the most realistic yet.


A planetary scientist has announced his intention to join the development team behind a new computer game based on Mars. Called "Mars Horizon 2," the new game is set to be released in 2024 and will enable players to partake in a mission to search for life on the Red Planet.

The scientist in question, Konstantin Batygin, a California Institute of Technology planetary scientist, will join the team making the game to ensure accuracy with elements like fact-checking, accuracy, realism, etc. Batygin will support the Auroch Digital development team and publisher Secret Mode.

"His invaluable knowledge and expertise will ensure that 'Mars Horizon 2' is as authentic as possible, accurately portraying space exploration and extrapolation beyond the present day as the search for life in the universe continues," the statement added. Batygin shared the announcement made by the official Mars Horizon 2 Twitter account on Thursday, May 11, via a retweet.

Mars Horizon 2 is to be the successor to the highly successful "space race"-like Mars Horizon, which was released in 2020. If you never played it, this game lets users create digital rocket programs based on actual space hardware from NASA, the European Space Agency, and other international space organizations.

On March 7, the developers described the successor game where players would compete with rival agencies to make discoveries using a combination of scientific methodology and advanced technologies to seek, recover, and analyze alien biosignatures. In this sense, the game will be pretty similar to the KErbal Space Program (KSP) series. Still, it will also include other elements like managing staff, building facilities, or making difficult decisions when missions face issues in space.

Back in the real world, there are several ongoing Mars missions by space agencies to discover ancient life on its surface. For example, and probably most notably, NASA and the European Space Agency are currently conducting a sample return campaign to bring Red Planet rocks back to Earth by 2033.

The Perseverance rover, for example, has successfully gathered and stored 10 pairs of samples, one set from the surface of Mars and the other from its interior. Plans for the mission are currently under review, but the rover will likely transfer the samples to a spacecraft that will bring them back to Earth. If the rover becomes inoperable, two new fetch helicopters will transport the samples back to our planet.

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