Send instructions to Spirit – a lonely rover stranded on Mars.

A game created in three days for the xkcd game jam. Inspired by this comic.

If playing in browser, you'll need to click on game window to focus for input. Note that you need to type 'help', or 'h', to close the initial help menu.

Here are some solutions (by me and other players). Can you do it with fewer commands/in less time?

Game source.

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, HTML5
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(31 total ratings)
AuthorSebastian Lague
Made withUnity


Spirit Rover (mac).zip 35 MB
Spirit Rover (win).zip 18 MB
Spirit Rover (lin).zip 25 MB


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My fist solution was: a3 r2.8 w18 l3 w9 r3 w29 l3.5 w5.2 l4  a5


watched this a long time ago
rover is so cute, and all the dialogs :D


a5 - r4 - a3 - b2 - l6 - b1 - r6 - a3 - l1 - a3 - l8


Flesh this out more. It was surprisingly very enjoyable.

(2 edits)

works only sometimes

a 5 · r 4 · w 7 · l 6 · w 2 · r 6 · a 2 · l 1 · w 6 · l 2 · w 2 · l 6

p.s. I like the loose determinism 

(1 edit) (+1)
  • a6
  • r6
  • l8
  • r4.8
  • a6
  • l10


(also sorry for laggy recording... my computer is kinda crap)

i think this might be the minimum. if anyone can do it in five that would be insane.

Very good!

Fun puzzle game full of trial-and-error. It was really satisfying getting that little fella over the finish line. Took me 40 minutes! I did it in 11 commands, but I was only trying to finish not set any records :D 

Thanks for making the game, and congratulations on getting first place! Well done :)


(1 edit) (+1)

Well these 7 commands are the fastest I could come up with:


*Started looking through the other comments and I realized its almost the same as ezamelczyk's solution (but 0.2 less time :D )

(1 edit) (+3)

Nice game, Sebastian! :D
And thanks for the insight on how it's made. :)

This was my shortest solution, at 9 commands.
It's pretty stable, as it sticks to flat surfaces as much as possible.
Also, all nicely rounded to whole or half numbers... :P



Very satisfying solution, thanks for sharing! :)

You're welcome! :D

(1 edit) (+1)

Another great game from you Sebastian. I liked the concept you used for the "footprints" that wheels leaves behind and good job on unity tutorials too, love the style u teach, keep up with the good work !



I managed to finish it in 7 commands, but that last turn is wonky as hell so don't be surprised if it doesn't work out the first time.

a 5
r 4
w 6.5
l 6.3
r 5.4
a 7
l 8

Very nice! It sucks that the physics isn't deterministic, so doesn't work out every time, but not sure what I can do about that... Anyway, I got to see it working on the third attempt, and that was cool. 7 must surely be the minimum possible :)


here is my take, and i think 9 is the least you can do on this one  :)

a 4.7
r 4
w 8
l 6
w 2
r 5.1
a 1
w 14.5
l 7

Nice one, thanks for sharing!

(1 edit) (+1)

Got it solved in with 9 commands. I think I'll give it another try to get even better but if you want to stay on the path that's probably as low as you can get.

Anyway I love the game it's a really cool idea and well executed too given the short time. Oh, and I love the speech bubbles. They manage to make the whole wait time where you can only watch the rover way less boring.

Nice to see such an elegant solution, glad you enjoyed it! The whole wait time thing between attempts is a huge problem for the game, so I'm happy the bubbles made it more bearable. Someone suggested being able to rewind time to a previous command, which I guess would be the best solution. Anyway, thanks a lot for playing :)

cannot close the instructions window in the web version


Type "help", or simply "h", to toggle the help window.


Cool puzzle. Couldn't get it below 13 commands though.  I am clearly not NASA material :-)


I think 13 is probably good enough to get in, quick – put in on your CV! Thanks for playing, and well done for beating the game :)