Terraforming Mars is an intense engine-building game. Players are each random corporations fighting with one another to make the most money and resources out of Mars. Everyone works together to raise win conditions and get victory points along the way. Besides points, the key is to build up the machine that is your resource production. This is our Terraforming Mars review.
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Fun (9 out of 10)
If you like this type of game, Engine-Building Games, then oh boy this one is for you. You are in charge of one of the biggest engines imaginable, a corporation trying to make money off the planet of mars. There are not as big or as well oiled of an engine as Terraforming Mars. The gameplay options are endless, no matter what happens, it is new and exciting. And while you have room to do your own thing, you are constantly bumping up against others, making for a great mix of fun.
Replayability (9 out of 10)
There is a lot to this one and that makes for many games worth of stuff to explore. First off, there are so many action cards, which make up around 25 – 33% of the entire game. It comes with 200 and then there are more in expansions. Second, there are so many rule twists and variants. Another wrench is that you start as a random corporation that has different abilities and resources. You could play 10 games in a row and have a compelety different experience each time.
Player Interaction (8 out of 10)
You are all working together to raise the water, oxygen and temperature levels. At the same time, you are fighting with each other about who can get the right bonus when. On top of that, you are fighting over the space on mars, the right city or forrest placement can crush another player. Finally, as you build up your machine, you are going to have to hurt others just a bit, the cost of doing business. Who you hurt when and who you keep happy matters.
Quality (8 out of 10)
As previously mentioned, this is one well-oiled machine. To have an engine this big to work, it really needs to be balanced. One-piece being off can tip the scales in someone’s favor dramatically. This is well put together and thoroughly thought out. Some game pieces could be better, game boards are flimsy and action cards start to wear after one shuffle, but that is overshadowed by the amazing quality and feel of the bronze, silver and gold unit tokens.
Art & Style (7 out of 10)
There really isn’t too much to it, Mars is a barren planet. They do receive points for the various resource symbols and clear differentiation of all the crazy things going on. Everything about this game is well thought out and the art and style is no different.
If you want an intense 2-ish hour engine-building battle royal, then this is absolutely the #1 game on your list. It is amazing, one of the greats, and a gold standard in its field. The game is super satisfying with 3 players, 5 players and even the very well put together solo version. We hope you have enjoyed our Terraforming Mars review.