JCB Pioneer: Mars – Review
Follow Genre: Survival, sandbox game
Publisher: Atomicom Limited
Developer: Atomicom Limited
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

JCB Pioneer: Mars – Review

Site Score
Good: Gathering and creating your own tools, Become an astronaut
Bad: Bugs and performance issues, Lack of a tutorial and guidance
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Everybody knows one day our planet will reach its limits. In the nearby future we will need to find new places where we can settle and hopefully treat our next planet with some more respect. Atomicom Limited already focused themselves on that idea and developed JCB Pioneer: Mars, in cooperation with the engineers of JCB. Equipped with the necessary tools you can become the first pioneer to rebuild a habitable colony on Mars and offer a solution for the imminent problem on Earth.


The game starts in the year 2067 where the player sacrifices himself as a volunteer to be deployed in a unknown and uninhabited section of the red planet “Mars”. You have one primary mission, namely to survive and colonize the red planet.Sadly, your task does not go as planned, making the journey ahead a difficult one. You wake up on the sandy red ground and receive a transmission that informs you that your ship crashed. Your first mission is to find the vehicle explorer JMC-X18, which was deployed with you to the planet but went missing.

The story unfolds itself by audio instructions and completing tasks. In these assignments you will be taught how to develop and construct new items like a 3D printer, which unlocks new items and tools, which give you the possibility to make the first buildings and vehicles of the new colony.


The first glimpse of the game, when woken up, is very impressive.The sandy environments are crisp, and the wind animations interact properly with the sandy terrain. Despite the fact that the used color schemes are practically similar, it doesn’t affect the experience of wandering on an unknown planet. While the starting areas are provided with enough detail, you will notice that other areas aren’t that polished. Despite the map is huge, there are some invisible walls that damage your vehicles, which is frustrating. Also the game suffers some frame drops and rendering problems while operating your vehicles at night. While the option to play in third-person is pretty nice, the overall appearance gets hampered by a buggy UI.


The sound design is quite calm and depressing. The environmental sounds give you a lonely feeling while you are scavenging for resources to survive the harsh setting on the planet. The calmness can suddenly change into powerful action music when a sandstorm or meteors arrive at your location. Overall the sound design is decent but nothing remarkable.


JCB Pioneer: Mars is a huge survival sandbox game where you are responsible for the future colony on the planet Mars. The planet is really big, where you can explore on foot, but thanks to the low gravity of the planet, you can jump long distances. In your first task you will acquire a vehicle that allows you to traverse long distances faster. Unfortunately the driving mechanics have their flaws. While navigating you will notice that the vehicles don’t respond that quickly and slide so easily that it results in misguided crashes. This is especially frustrating when your vehicles break down in the middle of nowhere so you can continue on foot.

As your suit protects you from the harsh environmentyou will need to gather resources to build tools for resupplying your life support systems like oxygen, food, water and so on. In the beginning your suit and equipment don’t have much resistance and inventory space so your early trips will be short-lived. The progress can take some time but it really starts when you can construct your first items with a 3D printer. You can drive and dig around the planet in search of the necessary resource for your base of operations.

Overall the gameplay is decent, but the game lacks a good tutorial for the resource management, which is very complicated at the beginning. The navigation and given information about the mission remains limited and can cause some frustration that you have to check your in-game map a little bit too much. Besides that, the game contains some game breaking bugs like frozen UI and vehicles that get stuck in the scenery.


JCB Pioneer: Mars is a decent survival game that offers an immersive astronaut feeling on a unforgivable planet. The possibilities of building your own base are very interesting. Exploring, crafting and digging for resources are fun thanks to the large collection of heavy vehicles and tools that are at your disposal. Despite the great, promising ideas, the game lacks decent instructions and needs some polishing to improve the overall experience.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
JCB Pioneer: Mars - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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