Developer Creates Amazingly Realistic ‘Red Rover’ Computer Game Using Terrain Scans Of Mars

Alan Chan has used data from The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) to create a simulated journey across nine regions of Mars.

A developer has created 'Red Rover', a new video game that simulates being on Mars.
NASA / Getty Images

Alan Chan has used data from The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) to create a simulated journey across nine regions of Mars.

If you have ever wondered what life on Mars might be like, a developer has created a wonderfully realistic version of this in a computer game called Red Rover, in which real terrain scans of Mars are employed to give players the sense that they are actually present and traversing the Red Planet.

According to Astronomy, Alan Chan has managed to successfully create the surface of Mars for his game using the work of NASA’s Mars orbiter as his guide with both terrain and satellite data, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the Martian environment.

Like many of us, Chan grew up believing that at this point in time, humans would be residing in space and living in colonies on Mars. With Weekly Reader magazines being handed out at schools across America, the paintings Don Davis created in the 1970s struck a cord with many readers as he presented NASA’s vision of space colonies. There were three types of these colonies: cylinder colonies, sphere colonies, and toroidal colonies.

As Mashable notes, in 1977, NASA put the idea in the heads of many children (and adults) that space colonies were for the betterment of humanity, offering humans the chance of exploration and adventure.

“Space colonization appears to offer the promise of near-limitless opportunities for human expansion, yielding new resources and enhancing human wealth.”

Because we are not living in space colonies or on Mars now, developer Alan Chan decided that the next best thing would be to construct a computer game that makes us seem as if we were. Using data extracted from The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), which has captured Mars in the most vivid detail imaginable, Chan set about creating his Red Rover game.

Even though the game doesn’t come with any special missions and you don’t collect points along your journey, you are free to set about exploring nine different areas on Mars at your leisure, including South Olympus, the Victoria Crater, and Western Cerberus. As BGR report, Chan has determined that there must surely be others like him that long to escape Earth and roam Mars.

“Red Rover takes satellite and terrain data from NASA’s HiRISE Mars orbiter and incorporates it into a driving simulator. Red Rover started as a personal research project a few years ago – because I wanted to explore Mars. I’m now making this available on Steam so that like-minded explorers can get to explore Mars as well!”

There are two different ways users can play this computer game, with the first being through regular monitor mode. If you prefer virtually exploring the Red Planet, the second option involves using a VR headset with Oculus Rift VR.

If you fancy setting off on a simulated journey across Mars with Alan Chan’s Red Rover, the computer game can be purchased from Steam for just $4.99.