Terraforming Mars is based on the 2016 board game of the same name. Many people will not know this but for those that do, this digital version will be a faster game, taking away much of the time investment required by the physical edition. Terraforming Mars is also a whole lot flashier on PC than it is in real life. Newcomers will be blissfully unaware but still get a similar experience in the end.
The preview build of Terraforming Mars lets players take on the AI and get to grips with the game’s mechanics. The full game releases during Q2 2018 and players will assume the role of a futuristic commander of a corporation that’s out to alter the red planet to suit human life.
Terraforming Mars is a turn-based strategy game where players will choose a specialized corporation, build facilities, research new technology and micro-manage their resources as they try to improve the living conditions on Mars. Warm the planet up enough and you’ll be able to melt ice and plant trees. Get enough oxygen going and you can introduce animals to the world. Each turn that plays out in the game is called a generation and it will take multiple generations to get anywhere in the game. Terraforming Mars requires a lot of patience and is a slow game. Even against the AI, where less complexity is involved than with facing off against a human player, the game moves at a glacial pace as each player takes their turn.
Players will make use of cards to manipulate the environment. At the start of each generation, players can purchase up to four cards with their credits. Purchased cards get added to your deck of cards and it’s up to you to decide which card to play during the next phase of your turn. Some cards however have high resource requirements and cannot be played until much further in the game. These same cards tend to be incredibly satisfying ones to play though since they really alter the game and the planet itself in the process. Is your opponent growing too many plants? It’ll be a shame if a meteor summoned by one of your cards were to hit them right?
Players will continue to play cards every generation in an attempt to accrue tiles on the Martian map and alter the environment. Doing so will net them victory points of VP. Eventually certain milestones can be reached and awards can be achieved. In the end, once the terraforming ratings for oxygen, temperature and water have been maxed out, the player with the most VP, and thus contributed the most to terraforming the red planet, wins.
The final game touts additional content that’s not present in the preview build and no release date has been given yet. If anything though, Terraforming Mars is a blessing for board game fans since it helps alleviate the hassle of having to get together a group of people to play a time consuming complex board game.
Like what you see, want in on the action head to Steam now and pre-purchase.