Mars Explorer
38 Comments - 216597 Views
Immersive In-Browser 3D Exploration Simulator
Submitted By admin on 08/05/14
Aubrey Falconer, mars explorer, projects 

Please head on over to for the latest and greatest Mars Exporer site.
This page will not be updated, and is hosted only for archival purposes

Play Mars Explorer
 Click the above button to play Mars Explorer!

If this is your first time playing, you will be stepped through the easy and free process of installing the Unity browser plugin to make Mars Explorer work.
  • Drive with your Arrow (or WASD) keys
  • Fly by holding the Space key
  • Aim by holding the Alt (or Shift for sniping) keys - use Mouse to fire
  • Lock your brakes with the Command or Shift keys (it's nice to be stabile when firing)
  • In multiplayer mode, your objective is to tag whoever is the "quarry" (they have *stars* on their name tag) - But there is lots more to do than just that! Race your friends up the path on the volcano or around the racetrack, or play "king of the hill" on the top of the mountain just across the lava flow from the volcano!

This game is Family Friendly. Rated by TIGRS™
Mars Explorer is a free in-browser 3D game developed by Aubrey which supports networked multiplayer "tag" in a highly unrealistic -  but totally fun - martian environment.
Players can ascend massive volcanoes, race around elevated plateaus, bob through lava flows, and perform aerobatic stunts using deployable wings while playing laser tag with each other!
Unlike most games, Mars Explorer doesn't have a complicated set of objectives, a pointless story line, powerups to collect, timers to annoy you, monsters out to get you, a slowly dwindling "life meter", or "locked" areas that you aren't important enough to access. Mars Explorer is like renting an ultra high performance laser wielding dune buggy - with wings, and taking it for a spin - on Mars - with all your friends.
Aubrey isn't particularly interested in computer games, and indeed created Mars Explorer far more for the sake of learning Unity 3D (the engine powering Mars Explorer) for future projects than because of a desire to develop a game, but now that it is functional, Aubrey hopes you enjoy it.
Mars Explorer is available as a downloadable OS X Dashboard Widget!
Want to always have Mars Explorer right at your fingertips - even when you aren't online?
Tips & Tricks

Want to get up to speed fast and impress your friends?
The below tips - handed down from the creator of the game just for you, will facilitate your mastery of Mars Explorer in no time!

Cruising around on mars in single player mode is fun, but networking with your friends is infinitley more so! To go Multiplayer in Mars Explorer, enter your screen name in the "Internet Multiplayer box of the Mars Explorer launch screen. If there are any active multiplayer games you can then join them by pressing the "Join Game" button next to their IP address, but if not, you can host your own game by pressing the "Start New Game" button. Your friends will be able to join your game, and you can all play laser tag with each other!
Holding the space bar while your vehicle is moving will deploy your super cool energy field based wings - enabling you to soar around the martian sky (or just adjust your orientation prior to a hard landing)! Watch your airspeed, because you stall around 9 MPH. "Flapping" your wings by cycling the up and down arrow keys around once per second will slowly accelerate your vehicle, allowing you to stay aloft indefinitley.
Hold the Alt or Shift keys - or press the "Laser Tag" camera button - to enter laser firing mode, and hold your mouse button to fire.
Want to fire your lasers as accuratley as possible? Try braking to a stop (Hold the Command or Shift keys), or deploying your wings and crusing as smoothly as possible to steady yourself.
Holding the space bar while accelerating on the ground gives you tremendous groundforce - which aside from helping you "stick" to the ground over heavy bumps, can also enable you to drive up steep hills with ease. Drive diagonally up the hills - adjusting your "angle of ascent" to climb as rapidly as possible without stalling, and you will soon be at the top!
High Speed Driving:
Want to leave people in the dust? Stick to the ground! Seriously, those on the ground can accelerate far faster than those in the skies. Want to leave others on the ground in the dust? Drive backwards. It is far harder to steer (and deploy your wings when you get in trouble) and should only be attempted by experienced MarsRacers, but driving backwards will sometimes give you that extra boost of speed needed to escape a pursuer of ascend a difficult hill. Turning as little and as smoothly as posible can also help you achieve much higher speeds.
Someone coming up on you to ram you too fast for you to escape? Try firing your sniper laser (hold shift) into the ground underneath the front of your vehicle (at the very bottom of your screen). With practice, you can time your dodges to blast yourself into the air right over a pursuer as they race underneath you!
If you ever see anyone playing the game with the username "Aubrey", that would be me! (Everyone else named Aubrey shows up as Aubrey 2). I don't play too often - and I generally am on a high latency satellite internet connection which makes me appear a bit bouncy - but I love to hear your feedback and suggestions. So next time you leave someone named Aubrey in the dust on the racetrack or bounce them off the volcano trail with a well placed sniper shot, you can say with confidence that you beat the creator at his own game :-)
Mars Explorer was developed by Aubrey using the amazingly excellent & highly recommended Unity Game Development Tool.
Tons of development suggestions and tips for the game were provided by the amazingly helpful Unity community, and the "Mars Buggy" itself is based on a vehicle originally developed by Unity grandmaster "Yoggy".
Many thanks are due to the early enthusiasts like Matthew A, Ellen F, Natasha H, and Forest J - who helped nail down many bugs and set the direction of the game; and to my wonderful sister Kellie who performed the music for Mars Explorer on her mountain dulcimer.
Known Bugs
  • Several areas of the map allow the player to launch into space by exploiting loopholes in the physics engine. This is so fun to do that they have been left intact :-)
  • Using your brakes in mid air can sometimes result in unrealistically low gravity landings.
  • The network testing routing can occasionally time out before determining the information of exceptionally slow internet connections.
  • The flight model gets a bit strange during inverted flight. Disabling the "slideslip" code when the vehicle is in inverted flight should solve this.
  • All the minimap vehicle indicators are the same color. Some day I will find the time to color them individually...
  • There should really be several difficulty levels of robot. I will add this some time too.

Mars Explorer Scenes

» Reply to Comment
Hi Aubrey,I really enjoy playing this ga
1 hour - 54v
Posted 2008/05/29 - 3:28 GMT

Hi Aubrey,

I really enjoy playing this game with my brothers and they enjoy it as much or more then I do.

Rachel Byrum

2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/06/01 - 18:34 GMT

Glad you like it!

I always love to hear from users - especially happy ones :-)



» Reply to Comment
New Features - Kinetic energy for lasers - and Robots!
2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/06/01 - 18:20 GMT

As of several days ago, lasers now impart kinetic energy to vehicles near their impact point! The standard green lasers will bump vehicles around a bit, and the high energy red "sniper" lasers can bounce vehicles into the air.

Not only is this perfect for slowing down people headed towards you, but it also provides a nice visual indication of when you have been tagged. It is also perfect for righting yourself in case you get upside down - or dodging people at the last second by firing your sniper laser into the ground and bouncing over them :-)

For some reason, lasers don't inpart kinetic energy to vehicles over a network - but this will be fixed soon. I think it is either due to imperfect state synchronization of laser firing instances or a bug un the energy imparting code, but it shouldn't be too difficult to get working.


Another fun new feature I recently added is Robots! They have been in development for some time, but were just added to the game. They currently follow an extremely basic "drive straight towards whoever is it" rule set and don't know how to use their lasers or wings, they are still lots of fun to try to avoid. If I ever get time to add pathfinding, smart firing, and wing usage to their logic - they will definitley be formiddable foes.

You can add robots to your game by pressing the "Add Bot" button next to the camera mode selector buttons. There isn't yet a way to remove robots from the game, and adding more than seven generally causes a crash, but these issues should be addressed in a future update.

» Reply to Comment
Enhanced Mars Explorer home page!
2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/06/01 - 18:24 GMT

I just got a chance to add much more information to Mars Explorer's home page!

It is now divided into sections, and sports everything from tips and tricks to credits and known bugs.

Have any questions or ideas for clarifications? Please let me know!

» Reply to Comment
New version uploaded!
2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/06/02 - 17:58 GMT

Mars Explorer has just been updated!
Improvements include: 

  • Lasers can now "bump" networked vehicles. Totaly fun!
  • Lasers also now produce sparks when they impact anything.
  • Minor rendering improvements - including a "baked" lightmap for the terrain in the minimap camera which makes it look better and render faster.
  •  The multiplayer "Fox and Geese" map shouldn't crash the game anymore (required updating it quite a bit)
» Reply to Comment
New Camera Mode: Bird
2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/06/03 - 19:21 GMT

Love getting the "big picture" overview of everything headed your way instead of just worrying about the bump or two in the road ahead? Then the new "Bird" camera mode is for you!

The bird camera places your view high in the air above your car, slowly and smoothly following you as you cruise around the terrain.

The Bird camera selector button replaces the "Ride" camera button, which has been obseleted for some time as it was essentially the same as the "Laser Tag" camera mode.


Mars Explorer "Bird" camera mode

» Reply to Comment
Re: New Camera Mode: Bird
1 hour - 3v
Posted 2009/06/12 - 0:04 GMT
                                                          hi, aubrey
       i personaly think you should have a campain in the best online game ever, mars explorer. you should have enemy martians and other life forms under the magma of mars. the martians have to be smart enough to fight back against your raid on their home planet the martians need weapons and a leader to lead their colonies to almost victory over your tank.
       you need more than three multiplayer levels at least 2 or more.
                                                thanks, :)
» Reply to Comment
Mars Explorer released as OS X Widget!
2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/06/12 - 5:53 GMT

Yesterday I released Mars Explorer as an OS X widget on Apple's Dashboard widget download site, and the results have been excellent!

At the time of this writing, Mars Explorer is still at the top of the "Staff Picks" list on the Dashboard home page, and tons of people have been playing Mars Explorer in multiplayer mode all day.

I have been collecting feedback from many of the new users, and tommow will be releasing a major new version of Mars Explorer jam-packed with bugfixes and enhancements!

Although only out a day, the Apple Mars Explorer widget page is already listed on Google's first page of results for "Mars Explorer" and several similar keywords, and MacUpdate's mirror of Apple's Mars Explorer widget page has already counted several hundred downloads in the hours it has been up.

Although for me Mars Explorer was more of a "proof of concept" learning experience than starting out desiring to write a game, it is fun to see how it is growing.

» Reply to Comment
Mars Explorer on the iPhone!
2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/06/12 - 6:04 GMT

Unity - the engine powering Mars Explorer - is soon going to be supporting the iPhone.

You know what this means!

{Click the image below for a movie of Mars Explorer running on a pixel-perfect simulated iPhone}  



Steering using the iPhone's built in accelerometer will be totally fun - and the rest of Mars Explorer's interface nearly fits perfectly on the iPhone already.

2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/06/13 - 18:30 GMT

Based on suggestions by all the new users coming from Apple's widget page, I released version 1.1 yesterday!

Aside from an integrated update system that will ensure everyone is always playing the latest version in the future, tons of new enhancements have been made:

  • Greatly simplified launch screen with new logo
  • Slight enhancements to multiplayer network connection backend and interface
  • Redesign of multiplayer scoring and tag logic: Now "it" is called the "quarry", and is persued by everyone. Points are scored by tagging others with your lasers while you are the quarry.
  • Super fun custom performed background music (by Kellie using a Mountain Dulcimer)
  • Much more viscous lava. It is so thick and sticky now that entering it at just the right speed and angle can cause your vehicle to do a forward roll before sinking majestically out of sight :-)
  • Upgraded paint job and parallax specular shader makes vehicle super shiny
  • "Advanced lighting" is now disabled by default, as it caused a lot of strange looking light flashes in multiplayer mode. Eventually, once supported by Unity, the vehicles will have cute little headlights that will emit distinct cones of light.
  • New speedometer with cool green readout and three separate tracking states
  • Flying into the lava flowing down the volcano at certain angles no longer causes launching. Yes, it was fun, but it really wasn't realistic :-)
  • Bugfix: Exiting a single player game paused no longer causes locking when entering a multiplayer game afterwards
  • The multiplayer messaging system now automatically appends your username to outgoing messages
  • And probably some more I can't remember...
» Reply to Comment
1.2 Released!
2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/06/21 - 19:49 GMT

Version 1.2 was recently released, and it's got tons of great new features!

Multiplayer Interface Updates:

  • Server list is now much cleaner - and shows username of server hosts
  • All the long lists in the multiplayer connection interface now scroll when needed - which makes the game much more friendly on small viewport systems like dashboard widgets
  • Hosting a server is now more intuitive, with pointers to guide you throughout the process
  • Slightly better LAN connection explanation text

General Updates:
  • Game update framework now actually works! (The last version had a bug that caused it to check the wrong update server)
  • "Enter Fullscreen" and "Game Settings" buttons always position themselves correctly when window is resized
  • Random occasional "white screen on start" bug fixed
  • "Names Always Visible" game setting has been fixed - it was somehow rendered dysfunctional in the last updates
  • "Fullscreen" button now automatically optimizes game resolution in fullscreen mode for the most awesome graphics experience
  • "Aubrey" is now a reserved top secret username...

Robot Updates:
  • Bots can now be removed - as well as added - to games!
  • It is now impossible to add more than 5 bots at a time - this solves a huge number of crashes caused by people adding too many bots :-)
  • Only the server host can now add bots to a game - this solves perfectly good games being wrecked by a flood of bots from bored players :-)
  • Bots steer smarter - they don't oversteer nearly as much
  • And the most exciting of all: Bots now fire lasers at you!!!

Tag Logic Updates:
  • When a player who is the "quarry" disconnects, the server host now becomes the quarry
  • When a player removes a bot who is the "quarry", the player now becomes the quarry
  • Several bugs have been fixed in the buffered "Remote Procedure Calls" used to synchronize vehicle's "quarry" states that should make the tag system a lot more reliable
» Reply to Comment
Version 1.3???
5 hours - 327v
Posted 2008/07/05 - 5:37 GMT
My widget is saying that I need to download Version 1.3 to play multiplayer.  I cannot download it. The Apple Widget Download Center only has Version 1.2. The Download Direct link shows up as "Not Found."  Can you help me and your fellow fans?
» Reply to Comment
Very sorry about that! I updated the Mars Explo
2 weeks - 19,758v
Posted 2008/07/05 - 17:00 GMT

Very sorry about that! I updated the Mars Explorer widget profile on two days ago, but Apple has been extremely lax in approving the update (probably due to it being the the 4th of July yesterday).

I just tested the direct download link on the widget section of, and it worked for me... Then I noticed that the link had a ".loc" subdomain at the end of it, which is a trick I use to occassionally refer to my local testing server instead of my online production server. My fault! I just removed the .loc from the link, and it should now work for everyone instead of just me. If it still isn't working, I would be glad to take some drastic measures to ensure that everyone can enjoy Mars Explorer over the weekend :-)

>> Direct download Mars Explorer Widget


All the best,


5 hours - 327v
Posted 2008/07/05 - 19:01 GMT
The Download Directly Link worked. Thank you so much!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2009/06/13 - 4:06 GMT
This is the best game in the world!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 hour - 160v
Posted 2010/07/20 - 5:38 GMT
it is saying that i have version # 1.9 but the new version is 1.976 but when i download it, it doesn't download it comes up with this other website how do i download please?
And what is it like in multiplayer is it the same as version 1.9 and would you be able to see the people from different versions?
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
3 days - 10,628v
Posted 2010/07/20 - 6:25 GMT
actually the current version is 2.22, thought it won't be for long.
1.976 is stated as the new version to anything before it without whirld.
Anyway,  the server for mars is down at the moment, but Aubrey should have it fixed soon, that should solve your problem.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 day - 3,177v
Posted 2010/07/20 - 13:37 GMT
Can someone please Pm me the link to the new mars explorer site? I keep getting problems when I try to find it... It always takes me to somesite other than Mars Explorer... Oh... Nevermind I found the widget download! thanks!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
3 hours - 370v
Posted 2010/07/20 - 19:00 GMT
Give Me the new site!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
3 days - 10,628v
Posted 2010/07/20 - 19:04 GMT
just wait, it will be fixed
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
17 hours - 1,271v
Posted 2010/07/20 - 19:52 GMT
I guess nobody bothered to look at the dates in the responses.  This thread was bumped from when was created.  There's no new website.  Aubrey is probably having problems with the URL, or maybe he shut it down in anticipation of Syn3h.  Either way, this will probably be cleared up soon.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
50 minutes - 171v
Posted 2010/08/25 - 15:15 GMT
i am very happy with the game aubrey personally i think you are a genius for inventing this great game, i love meeting some awesome people through the games, thumbs up
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
21 hours - 1,824v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 5:32 GMT
very nice
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
9 minutes - 17v
Posted 2010/10/14 - 22:11 GMT
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 day - 5,338v
Posted 2011/01/04 - 19:54 GMT
This is the best game that I have still enjoyed after playing for over 3/4 of a year. 
                    Thanks a lot Aubrey!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
2 days - 8,588v
Posted 2012/07/28 - 9:33 GMT



Free Cookie Button

May Contain Peanuts

» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/08/05 - 7:03 GMT


» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 31,391v
Posted 2012/08/05 - 19:36 GMT
Shut up Lamp he's not doing a thing, just avoid it. Avoid. It.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/08/06 - 6:59 GMT
Stryker bammed an old post :O
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 31,391v
Posted 2012/08/10 - 0:36 GMT
Your the new idiot of the generation! Take it with pride!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/08/10 - 5:26 GMT
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 31,391v
Posted 2012/08/11 - 5:57 GMT
Think before you speak Lamp, it will REALLY improve how your treated.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 day - 5,173v
Posted 2012/08/11 - 12:30 GMT
Come on stryker, let him be. No need to antagonize someone unnecessarily. :)
And both of you. ARE YOU GUYS FOR REAL? Gosh this is Aubrey's post. But let's not start an insult war.
Oh and Aubrey, thanks for making mars! It is a great game! :D
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 31,391v
Posted 2012/08/11 - 23:32 GMT
I see no insult war, only someone who needs to use his head more often than spamming.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/08/12 - 5:23 GMT
U INSULTING ME. lets take it to deh insult warz, this post isnt da best for insulting eachother... idiot.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 31,391v
Posted 2012/08/12 - 6:57 GMT
You can take it as an insult but it's the truth. In my opinion your too young for Plepedia, you cant take advise or change, you cant act right or give out humor right, you spam too much and you wont change that, you wont stop until you pissed off everyone and then you nasty and you cry to others. 
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/08/12 - 16:01 GMT
It's more about maturity than age...

Lamp, you have not matured since your banning.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Mars Explorer
1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2012/08/13 - 5:25 GMT
Baack on topic.
Wow dat iz a relly cool game!!!

This website is powered by Plexpedia
Usage of this site constitutes agreement to the » Legal Stuff