Second and unfortunately last in Origin's funWorlds of Ultima series, Martian Dreams is a great Jules Vernes -inspired Victorian adventure that combines the great Ultima VI engine with interesting characters and setting. The premise is intriguing: a rocket prototype was inadvertently launched to Mars – with many 19th century celebrities trapped inside. You are part of the rescue team sent in the second projectile after contact was lost with the first expedition. |
With the most famous celebrities of the 19th century such as Dr. Sigmund Freud as your guide, you must explore the mysteries of Mars and find a way to get home.
Martian Dreams is a highly original and atmospheric game, although it is reminiscent of Paragon's earlier Victorian space adventure Space 1889. Gameplay is similar to Ultima VI but with several pleasant twists and modifications. Simplified character statistics and few encounters with hostile creatures makes this more of an adventure game than an RPG: the emphasis is clearly on exploration and interaction with other characters than on fighting. With a cast of characters that is both colorful and memorable, fun puzzles based on both scientific data and folklore about Mars, and a great interface, Martian Dreams is highly recommended to both Ultima fans and everyone else as well. Two thumbs up!
Note: An interesting anecdote from Paul Meyer, one of the lead programmers of the game: "This game featured vastly more, and longer, conversations than its relatives Ultima VI and WoU:Savage Empire, and we did quite a bit of research on the historical characters we included. The sheer quantity of conversation, in fact, was too much for our one writer to do and I ended up doing several of the conversations as well as my share of the programming."
Reviewed by: Underdogs