Terraforming Mars (PC) Preview

By Eric Ace 27.04.2018

Review for Terraforming Mars on PC

If you are a big-time board game fan, you likely will have heard of Terraforming Mars, a Euro-style affair simulating corporations in the early stages of colonising Mars. It was a highly rated experience that is fairly easy to pick up, and the theme is a major hit given the human desire to explore. In the game, people take turns advancing various aspects of a planet, and by the end, the one who has terraformed the planet the most wins. In this Early Access build, Cubed3 gets its hands on with a virtual rendition of the popular game.

Cubed3 sat down for a preview of a videogame version of Terraforming Mars, which for those that may not know is a popular board game that came out in the last few years. A quick explanation of the board game is appropriate as this is literally an export of that experience.

Players are tasked with the goal of terraforming Mars from its current condition. Each turn, people have to manage a number of limited resources to determine what direction to take their corporation. These can range from doing things like crashing asteroids onto Mars to raise its temperature, to drilling aquifers to bring up surface water, or even starting to construct a huge infrastructure of various buildings.

These have different outcomes, as perhaps one person may go down a mining route, gaining extra metal resources that can buy certain cards cheaper, or they may go economic, or go ecological, or a mix. This is determined partly by the cards, as each turn a player gets four and has to decide if they are going to buy any. From this, a degree of luck exists hoping for the right card, or having a general strategy can pay off that can roll with any new advantages.

Screenshot for Terraforming Mars on PC

As for the videogame port, it has the bonus of instantly counting up resources, tags, income, victory points, and so on, which can bog the actual game down quite a bit. Having everything taken care of goes a long way to simply enjoying everything more.

Presently, there exist some problems that hopefully change before final release, such as there being no indication what cards the other players are playing or any sort of list of what has happened. Also, there is an annoying lag of just how long it takes to put things like cities down, especially if there are refunds being received.

One of the more interesting things to see as this develops is that there is a lot of room for graphic creativity here, such as perhaps showing an evolution in the planet, which is not possible in the board game. It would go a very long way, for instance, watching if the greeneries change from moss/lichen early on to fully-fledged forests by the end.

A popular game going down the virtual route seems like an obvious move and taking away a lot of the annoying aspects of the original helps speed it along. There is certainly an element of sitting around a table with friends that is going to be missing, but the ability to play others not limited by geography is going to help get this out there far more.

Screenshot for Terraforming Mars on PC

Final Thoughts

While still in the very early stages, Terraforming Mars remains a faithful reproduction of the board game. Even if the tactile elements of actually playing with your friends in person is missing, a well done version online could help by enabling more players to actually play this in the first place. It will be interesting seeing this come to completion, and many board gamers should keep their eye on it, definitely.

Developer

Luckyhammers

Publisher

Asmodee Digital

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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