On my first several attempts at driving the Mars Rover, I managed to break its wheels multiple times, and send the multi-million dollar rover into an ignominious faceplant into the Martian soil it was trying to study.
Luckily, I am not, in fact, someone who would ever actually be entrusted with the controls of Curiosity, Mars 2020, or any other rover. I was playing the surprisingly addictive game that NASA developed for Curiosity’s fourth anniversary of landing on the red planet.
The mobile game, developed with GAMEE, a game playing network is available for android, iOS, and desktop players, and goes with a very simple premise. Gather as much data as you can without breaking the rover.
The Mars Rover in the game is unnamed, but has similar capabilities (using radar to find water underground) to the planned Mars 2020 rover.
“We’re excited about a new way for people on the go to engage with Curiosity’s current adventures on Mars and future exploration by NASA’s Mars 2020 rover too,” said Michelle Viotti, manager of Mars public engagement initiatives at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Try the game for yourself here.