What’s a good gift for a Martian rover who’s just turning four? Water, obviously. Barring that, however, a fun little mobile game will do. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory enlisted the skills of GAMEE to develop Mars Rover, an adorable little side scroller created in honor of Curiosity’s fourth year on the red planet.
It’s a simple little game for iOS, Android and desktop that lets players send the vehicle up and over rocky terrain in search of underground water caverns all while trying not to tip over or break a wheel (a definitely real-world hazard for Curiosity).
The underground water locating bit is actually a nod to another rover, set for a 2020 launch, which will utilize radar to find the precious resource beneath the Martian surface. JBL has this to say about the game: “Using social networks, the user can share the fun with friends. The interest that is shared through gameplay also helps us open a door to deeper literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
Honestly, it probably won’t teach you too much more about the space program than Super Mario will about plumbing, but anything that helps get more eyes on the space program is probably a net positive – and a fun diversion to boot.