Terraforming Mars board game
Terraforming Mars board game

Terraforming Mars

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Overall Rank: #5 | Trending Rank: #21
In the 2400s, mankind begins to terraform the planet Mars. Giant corporations, sponsored by the World Government on Earth, initiate huge projects to raise the temperature, the oxygen level and the ocean coverage until the environment is habitable. In Terraforming Mars you play one of those corporations and work together in the terraforming process, but compete in doing the best work, with victory points awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar systems and other commendable achievements. The players acquire unique project cards, which represent anything from introducing plant life or animals, hurling asteroids at the surface, building cities, and establishing greenhouse gas industries to heat up the atmosphere. You compete for the best places for your city tiles, ocean tiles and greenery tiles. When the terraforming process is complete, the player corporation with the most victory points wins.

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • Great game design. Poor graphic design
  • Push cube to get card, use card to get more cube! Yeah I'd rather play splendor, at least it has some interaction and take less time to play
  • My favorite game of all time. Strategy game with tons of replayability with different corporations to play as and tons of cards to play. Only negative is that the player mats are not very practical. Your cubes will get moved.
  • Lots of staying power and plenty of expansions if you want to freshen it up. I have played this game dozens of time and continue to enjoy pulling it from the shelf.
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Top Forum Posts

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User Activity Feed

That's absolutely awesome you can play together with them all so often! I see you have some even heavier games listed in your "owned" section of your profile, most notably #Terraforming Mars. Having no kids myself, I have 0 baseline for this as of yet, but you probably don't get to play games like that as often I'd imagine? I have enough trouble getting my fiancée to play heavier stuff with me as it is lol.

I taught#Terraforming Mars this month. It wasn't too bad. It's one of those games that seems insurmountable until you actually start playing. I could tell that I was losing my audience so we just started the game. After the first round everything clicked and they just got it. 

I always prefer to be the one to teach. Which is good because I'm usually the one bringing new games to the group. 

Hmm, that is a fascinating concept.  Let's see...what if I took..mmm, say #Ecos: First Continent and we combine that with something like...oooh, oooh... #Wingspan!  Weaving them together well is the tough part, especially since the African birds expansions hasn't been released yet...I think the number of ECOS tiles revealed is the number of birds readily avaialable to choose from each round.  If you take the "gain food" action, you can forgo gaining one food to gain a symbol of your choice.  For the "lay eggs"action, you may forgo obtaining an egg to double the symbol net drawn from the tile bag.  For the "draw cards" action, you can forgo one drawn card to draw one additional tile from the tile bag.

That's as far as I got with that one but other fun game combos might be #Terraforming Mars & #Anachrony

#Heaven & Ale & #Troyes

#PARKS & #Wingspan (huge potential!)

#Tapestry & #Scythe

#Century: Spice Road & #Splendor


Alright here goes nothing..for simplicity sake, I left off the one's I've played either no games from or games that I didn't particularly enjoy.

Ted Alspach - #Suburbia

Antoine Bauza - #7 Wonders Duel

Bernd Brunnhofer - #Stone Age

Bruno Cathala - #Kingdomino

John D. Clair - #Mystic Vale

Rüdiger Dorn - #Karuba

Steve Finn - #Biblios

Stephan Feld - #The Castles of Burgundy

Friedemann Friese - #Fabled Fruit

Jacob Fryxelius - #Terraforming Mars

Mac Gerdts - #Concordia

Reiner Knizia - #Lost Cities

Michael Kiesling - #Azul

Vital Lacerda - #The Gallerist

Thomas Lehmann - #Res Arcana

Paulo Mori - #Rise of Augustus

Shem Phillips - #Paladins of the West Kingdom

Alexander Pfister - #Port Royal

Uwe Rosenberg - #Patchwork

Vladimír Suchý - #Underwater Cities

Reiner Stockhausen - #Orléans or #Altiplano..can't decide

Daniele Tascini - #Teotihuacan: City of Gods

Ignacy Trzewiczek - #Imperial Settlers


After all that, I can safely say I don't particularly care about designers haha. I was surprised I knew a couple of them off the top of my head.

I really enjoyed this video. He does a good job of explaining why he didn't enjoy and of making it obvious that he didn't necessarily think they were bad games, just that he didn't enjoy them.

I do really enjoy #Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North .  I don't know that I like it more than #Imperial Settlers though.  Both of them are enjoyed by me, my wife, and older kids, but we've never gotten into a streak where they were the primary game that got played. One of the things I enjoy about the games is that each faction does have a very different feel from the others. Learning how each one works is fun.

That being said, I wouldn't consider either design to be elegant. I understand entirely when people think it's clunky.  The turn play reminds me of #Terraforming Mars but with much more synergy designed into your starting deck.