Jupiter and Mars

United States, 2019

Videogame

Two dolphins are on a quest to save the planet after catastrophic sea-level rise due to climate change. Guided by a unique ‘echo-location’ game mechanic based on the sonar abilities of dolphins, players navigate sunken landmarks and vast oceans rendered in a visual style reminiscent of Disney’s Tron.

Created by former journalists James Mielke and Sam Kennedy, Jupiter and Mars was inspired by Alan Weisman’s book The World Without Us (2007) and imagines a planet where nature has reclaimed the land. While that might require some imagination, the team consulted with environmental scientists to ensure the game world and the rise of sea levels in it was scientifically accurate.

Curator Notes

The thing that attracted me to Jupiter and Mars, which is a story about two dolphins in post-apocalyptic earth that has been completely overcome by rising sea levels, was the way that mechanics and graphics make a player feel like they're a dolphin, and how a dolphin traverses its landscape – and that’s through the echo-location mechanic. When you swim through this game, you see a big empty sea until you click a button and suddenly there is an echo-location ping that reveals the world and an amazing visual representation for a dolphin responding to those things. You're not apart from the game, you're in those characters' shoes – or fins.

It’s fun but it questions what happens to the world we live in if we continue on the path we are. It’s a dire message, but it’s not a bleak game. We’ve been distracted by the pandemic, but all those problems are still there, and we need to make change.

– Assistant Curator and Programmer Arieh Offman

Jupiter and Mars Story trailer via YouTube.

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Collection

Not in ACMI's collection

Previously on display

11 February 2022

ACMI: Gallery 2

Credits

creator

Tigertron

Production places
United States
Production dates
2019

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

Curatorial section

The Story of the Moving Image → Games Lab → GL-03. Cluster 3 → GL-03-C03

Collected

9911 times

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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/117924--jupiter-and-mars/ |title=Jupiter and Mars |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=6 July 2022 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}