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.
Just an amazing solo game. It's in almost every major reviewer's top 5 list of greatest games of all time for a reason! And I got this at a steal of a deal...only thirty-eight bucks with an online coupon! This was the lowest price I've ever seen this game at, and I'm not complaining!
Buying this game for a friend because I already own it and have played it literally hundreds of times (my gaming group tracks each game's results in an excel spreadsheet, so yes, literally hundreds.)
This game has incredible depth with only a moderate learning curve. While new players will likely spend the first couple of games just learning what the cards can do and focusing on their own development, mastery of the game requires paying attention to other players' actions and strategies. Over time, one learns that there are many tiny strategic decisions to be made, and making those decisions well can add up to a victory.
Also, there are four expansions (soon to be five with the release of Turmoil) for this game, all of which are unique, interesting, and compatible with one another. You can play with any or all of the expansions in any combination.
Depending on the individual players and which expansions you use, if any, game play typically takes 2 to 3 hours, with 2 being a shorter-than-usual game. On the plus side, players take turns performing actions each round, so people generally are not left sitting with nothing to do for long periods of time.
I've gotten many hundreds of hours of enjoyment out of Terraforming Mars, and it is easily my favorite board game of all time.
I purchased Terraforming Mars as a gift for my husband. However, the first time we took the game out of the box to play it we discovered we're missing half the deck. A quick online search shows this was a common production error with the company. It's unfortunate that the QC isn't there given it's not a cheap board game. Unfortunately we're out of the return window with Target so we'll have to contact the manufacturer directly. I would be hesitant to spend this amount of money again on a game from this company given its unusable with the missing cards. But, if you do purchase I would recommend opening it up right away to confirm all the pieces are present.