These reviews were left by users who have played the game. If you'd like to leave a review, you can start by going to the game page.
This game is brilliant. You start off feeling so poor you're groaning whenever it's your turn. From there you spend ten minutes trying to figure out what (if anything) you can squeak out of this super tight system. And then all of a sudden, you get to do stuff. Not as much as you'd like to, but still way more than you have been. And it feels so satisfying. You earned that tiny little mining colony and you're proud of it. This is the most immersive game I've played in a long time. I got done with a 2.5 hr game late at night and I honestly just wanted to play again. TM vs Gaia: Get TM if you want something a bit tighter with fewer options. Get Gaia if you want more ability to chain moves together in interesting ways. I personally prefer Gaia, but they're similar enough that it's just a small matter of preference. (Also TM supports 5 players, and Gaia supports 1 player.)
A game that captured my imagination and made me want to play again and again, but since I didn't own a copy, I didn't get it played soon enough. And now I feel like I'd have to relearn all those basic lessons again and going back isn't as appealing.
All of the actions in this game seem simple on the surface, but everything is intertwined and ultra complex. There is a lot to wrap your mind around at any given point from tracking your resources, to what is scoring this round, to "which tech track is ideal for my faction". There is a lot happening, but the payoff is a wonderful, enticing game that gets more interesting with each play.
While I originally was smitten with this game, I've cooled on it significantly. I think it works as a "sense of discovery" game, which I mistook for a game that would inspire mastery. Turns out I quickly got bored of playing the same faction more than once, and found myself picking sub-optimally simply to try something else, rather than pick the obvious choice. I get that there are people who dive into this game headfirst and it will probably have similar staying power to Terra Mystica for many, but I've sort of squeezed out of this game what there is is to squeeze out. It still has that TM problem where the game is essentially decided at setup. With Dominion, it's less of a crime, but in a 3-hour game it becomes a grind. My opinion of it goes down every time I play it.
Any game I can play for hours and hours and not notice how much time has passed is top notch. The build-up to that one huge move, the balance between tactics and strategy, the ability to destroy the plans of others or see yours destroyed because your "friend" built a better federation than you out of nowhere: all of these factors make for a fantastic game. I also like the math crunch that occurs in the last two* rounds and the weird balancing act of rewinding your buildings to jive with the round scoring. This game might become a 10 for me. *Experts are probably crunching the entire game.
Just jumped into this one on release without having played Terra Mystica. This game is all about that tech tree and using your faction with the initial setup to get the most out of it. Really good solo option and the 2-player game is quite fun.
Gaia Project improves upon the, albiet few, shortcomings of its predecessor, Terra Mystica. Most obviously, the bland Cult tracks and Favor tokens, have been replaced with a fabulous tech tree system, which equips players with various ways to customize their abilities, income, and point scoring methods. However, the biggest improvement is the variable End Game contests. Where Terra Mystica's end game was static and uninteresting, Gaia forces players to compete for new objectives, giving each game a distinct focus. Mix this with the myriad of races, and technology tiles, and players will have a new puzzle to crack with each play. I still dislike the overbearing round scoring tiles, but Gaia improves just about everything else.