terraforming mars review

Terraforming Mars Board Game Review


Name of the game: Terraforming Mars

BGG Weight: 3.26 / 5

Year Published: 2016

Publisher: Stronghold Games

Designer: Jacob Fryxelius

Number of players: 1-5

Playing time: 90-120 minutes

Game category/theme: Strategy game, science fiction, terraforming

Board game mechanics: Closed Drafting, Contracts, Enclosure, End Game Bonuses, Hand Management



Strategy: 9.5
Complexity: 8.5
Player Interaction: 6.5
Replayability: 9.0
Game Rating: 8.7
Cost: 6.0


Weight Rating: 18.0
Playability Rating: 15.7
Play Rating Score: 67.4
Value Rating: 11.23

Final Score Rating: 78.63



Terraforming Mars is a strategy board game where players take on the role of corporations working to terraform and colonize Mars. The game is set in the future, where the players compete to increase the planet’s temperature, oxygen levels, and oceans. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins.

At the beginning of the game, players receive a corporation card that gives them unique abilities and a starting resource of credits, steel, and titanium. Players then take turns playing cards from their hand to acquire new resources, build infrastructure, and alter the environment. There are many different types of cards, including ones that increase temperature, add water or oxygen, create new cities, and increase the player’s resource production.

Players must manage their resources effectively and make strategic decisions about which cards to play and when. Additionally, players must also consider the actions of their opponents and try to disrupt their plans while advancing their own.

One of the strengths of Terraforming Mars is its high level of replayability. With a large number of corporation and project cards available, each game offers a unique set of options and challenges. The game also features a variable board with different tiles that can be arranged in different ways, providing even more variety.

Terraforming Mars offers solo play and can be played cooperatively with the Prelude expansion. The game is recommended for ages 12 and up.

Overall, Terraforming Mars is an excellent strategy game that offers deep and engaging gameplay. Its high replayability and variable player powers make it a great choice for fans of strategy games and science fiction.

Here’s a list of 10 other games that may appeal to someone who liked Terraforming Mars:

  1. Gaia Project: A sci-fi themed game where players lead their own alien species to colonize and terraform a new planet.
  2. Eclipse: Second Dawn for the Galaxy: A space-themed game where players explore and expand their own civilizations, research new technologies and engage in space battles.
  3. Scythe: A board game set in an alternate history 1920s where players control factions vying for control of territory and resources.
  4. Everdell: A woodland-themed game where players build their own town and compete for resources and points through worker placement mechanics.
  5. Spirit Island: A cooperative game where players take on the roles of spirits defending an island from colonizing invaders.
  6. Viticulture: A game about managing a vineyard and winemaking business with worker placement mechanics.
  7. Race for the Galaxy: A card game where players build galactic civilizations through card selection and management.
  8. Terra Mystica: A game where players lead their own fantasy race to build and expand settlements in a unique world with interesting mechanics.
  9. Wingspan: A game about birdwatching and conservation where players compete to attract and collect the most diverse and valuable birds to their habitats.
  10. Puerto Rico: A classic game about developing a colony on a Caribbean island with worker placement mechanics and strategy.


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