Terraforming Mars at Game Paradise

I became aware of the game Genesis (the one that I blogged about recently) through the website of Game Paradise, a game library here in Indianapolis. I visited it for the first time with colleagues and wanted to mention it here.

One of the things that I had the chance to do was to try out the new board game Terraforming Mars. Below, you will see my colleagues playing the game. The game seems dauntingly complicated when you first attempt reading the rules. Admittedly, terraforming Mars really would be complicated.  And so it is to be expected that a game that is about that complex reality will of necessity have a high level of complexity about it. But on the other hand, games always have to turn complicated realities into simpler and manageable mechanics.

In a sense, the game reminds me of a cross between two other games that I’ve played recently: New York 1901 and Twilight Struggle. The cards are fantastic, representing a variety of different kinds of actions that a player can take: allowing you to crash a meteor, harness a comet, import water or greenhouse gases or pets, and do many other things. And it includes aspects of collaboration – increasing temperature and oxygen levels – and serving your own corporate interests. And so, while the game seems daunting and complex, as most Euro-style strategy games do, this one (like the best such games) quickly turns into a straightforward gaming experience in which one really has fun and can focus on game play rather than cumbersome rules. I highly recommend it, and am hoping to purchase a copy sometime in the not too distant future.

On the next few pages, you’ll see some other interesting things from around the game library and store. I hope you’ll take the time to browse through them – the one on the next page is definitely worth seeing, even if you click no further! And do also connect with me on Facebook, where I shared a selfie that I took with a (not perfectly accurate) map of Middle Earth behind me that someone had painted on the wall (which you can see glimpses of in the photo below).

Terraforming Mars

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  • Scott P.

    I have definitely played it (and it looks like the designers have another game called “Venus Next” coming out on Essen game fair). It’s a lot of fun!

    I am glad you are getting into Euro games, it’s a fun hobby. As a wargamer, though, I always find it interesting when people call games like Terraforming Mars ‘complicated’. The world is vaster than you know; Terraforming Mars has 15 pages of rules, with many pictures. I currently have a game on my gaming table with 31 pages of rules and no pictures, and that I consider only ‘moderate’ complexity, as I have many more games with heftier rulebooks. I am sure in your research you read many lengthy books and articles that present complicated arguments referring to texts in different languages, so ‘complexity’ is in the eye of the beholder.

  • LastManOnEarth

    Terraforming Mars is fantastic.

  • Brandon Roberts

    looks like a fun game