What can you do if you want to play Terraforming Mars but don’t know where to start?
The answer: Games like Terraforming Mars. There are many games out there that have similar features and mechanics. They provide players with a fun and challenging learning curve while allowing them to be creative in their own way. In this article, we’ll compare some of the best games like Terraforming Mars and provide you with reviews, tips, and more so that you can find one perfect for your needs.
What Is Terraforming Mars Board Game?
Terraforming Mars is an award-winning board game for up to five players. It was designed by Jacob Fryxelius and published in 2016 by the Swedish company Stronghold Games, with additional design input from Kenneth Johnson, Morten Monrad Pedersen, Chris Taylor, and Martin Wallace.
The playtime of Terraforming mars is 120-150 minutes depending on player count. This tableau-building/engine-building eurogame allows players to work together or in opposition as they compete to terraform inhabited barren planets into lush habitable worlds in which man can thrive using technology adapted from alien artifacts discovered during previous expeditions!
The Gameplay of Terraforming Mars
The goal of Terraforming Mars is to build the most successful and advanced civilization on each planet. To do this, you must place tiles in order to complete projects (cards) that will give your world points for various features: oceans/mountains/canyons, etc. The more land that gets added onto a project, the better its ability becomes. This can be achieved by adding biodiversity markers because every time one marker is placed it allows players to add another biome-type tile when placing their next tile.
Players also receive money from these cards after they’ve been played so even if there’s no bonus category or value at all, you’ll still get paid! Once enough worlds have been scored and everyone has had an equal number of turns, the game ends, and a winner is declared.
Read more about this game in our detailed review.
Why Do You Need to Play This Game
This game offers an immersive experience with deep strategy and allows you to play for hours on end. The mechanics are easy enough that new players can learn how to play after just one round while allowing experienced players the opportunity to develop their own strategies over time. It offers a refined design that is both challenging and engaging as well as accessible for other gamers looking for something fun yet complex!
What Are Terraforming Mars Alternatives?
Games like Terraforming Mars are becoming more and more popular as time goes on, but there aren’t many games that come close to the tableau-building strategy of Terraforming Mars. Here is our list of top 5 alternative games which reproduce similar mechanics to best satisfy your gaming needs!
|High Frontier 4 All|
|WizKids Mage Knight Board Game: Ultimate Edition|
Best Card Game
|Race for the Galaxy Card Game|
Best For Beginners
|7 Wonders Board Game|
Best For Your Budget
|Portal Games Imperial Settlers, Multi-Colored|
1. High Frontier 4 All – Best Overall
High Frontier is similar in theme with Terraforming Mar’s because it deals with building colonies on other planets throughout our solar system (in game terms).
The game is set in 2130 AD where players play as corporations, each with their own specialties such as mining or research to fulfill contracts given by governments for terraforming asteroids according to client specifications.
Players build their own space stations while trying to outmaneuver each other strategically within a zero-gravity environment (mechanics). There are major differences though like the factions that are included, and it does not have an engine building mechanic.
- Game Time: 30–240 Min
- Age: 14+
- Players: 1-5
This one can be very difficult at times because there are multiple strategies you can use to win instead of just relying on your production levels of oxygen or water. You need to pay attention closely to what everyone else is doing in order for this game not to become a solo act.
High Frontier is not quite the same as Terraforming Mars in terms of gameplay, but it does have a similar theme. If you liked Terraforming Mars, there’s a good chance High Frontier will provide the same excitement for you since it shares several thematic elements and mechanics with that game.
2. WizKids Mage Knight Board Game: Ultimate Edition – Best Thematic
Terraforming mars alternatives are good for people who appreciate new experiences over replicas or clones of games. The Mage Knight Board Game: Ultimate Edition is one such game that has been getting rave reviews recently as an excellent new addition to the genre! When you’re looking for something different than Terraforming Mars, consider going with this unique take on the build-up mechanic instead!
The Mage Knight is a board game that combines elements of RPGs, deck-building, and traditional board games to put you in control of one of four strong Mages Knights as you explore (and conquer) a region of the Mage Knight world subject to the Atlantean Empire.
Create an army, fill your deck with strong magic and combat abilities, explore caves and dungeons, and eventually take control of powerful cities under the thrall of this once-mighty organization! In competitive situations, opposing players may become valuable allies, but only one can possess the land.
In cooperative games, the players win or lose as a group. Solo modes are also included.
The Ultimate Edition includes a larger board than the original release as well as upgraded components such as plastic figures for all 200+ cards to replace flimsy punch-outs from the original edition. It also adds two new scenarios: “The Lost Legion” & “Cloak & Dagger.”
- Game Time: 150 Min
- Age: 14+
- Players: 1-5
Games with this type of gameplay style are few and far between as they can be very complex. A great purchase for those who love games like Terraforming Mars but want something more thematic!
3. Race for the Galaxy Card Game – Best Card Game
One of the most popular games in recent years is Race for the Galaxy card game which you can play online or through a tabletop version from Rio Grande Games publisher.
The goal of the game is to build up an empire and create a galactic civilization by playing cards from one’s hand each round, but players can only play so many cards before they must begin discarding their hands which makes for some tough decisions as you look towards building your own unique empire.
Race for the Galaxy features several different alien races that all come with unique abilities and specialties that serve them well across various types of strategy. Players construct alien civilizations by playing game cards in front of them that represent planets or technological and social progress.
Players have many decisions regarding what actions they want their empire’s species to take throughout each round.
On some planets, players can produce goods and sell them to other players, which may be consumed later to earn card draws or victory points as long as the necessary technologies are accessible. These bonuses are generally given by developments and worlds that can’t manufacture items, but the more ornate production worlds also provide them.
- Game Time: 30–60 Min
- Age: 12+
- Players: 2-4
It can take some time to build up your deck, so be wary of new players who might not have patience with this one!
This isn’t exactly like Terraforming Mars, but if you want something similar then Race for the Galaxy is worth considering. You’ll need an expansion pack called “The Gathering Storm” in order to play with more than four people at a time though – otherwise there’s no point picking up this title because everyone will go while waiting their turn!
4. 7 Wonders Board Game (BASE GAME) – New Edition – Best For Beginners
There are also some familiar elements here with different victory conditions including size-based scoring as well as a wonder phase where each player gets one chance per round to construct a unique new building on their city – but you need to have enough resources!
The basic idea behind each round is that players must choose one out of seven possible cards which will be added to their hand as they continue through phases called Ages. As these cards are drafted from an open lineup available for everyone at the table to see, it helps foster some healthy competition as well as provides opportunities for bluffing and other social elements found in real-life interactions.
You are the mayor of one of the seven greatest cities of ancient history. Collect resources, establish trade routes, and show off your military might. Construct your city to create a marvel that will outlast future generations.
The game of 7 Wonders lasts three ages. Each age begins with players receiving seven cards from a single deck and selecting one of them. The rest of the cards are then passed to an adjacent player.
At the start of each round, players simultaneously reveal their cards, paying resources if required or taking resources, or interacting with other players in various ways.
At the start of a round, each player takes a card from the deck they were handed and repeats the process until everyone has six cards in play from that age. The game concludes after three ages have passed.
- Game Time: 30 Min
- Age: 10+
- Players: 2-7
An amazing board game that’s well worth trying out if you’re looking for games like Terraforming Mars or other tabletop experiences in this genre – it can be especially fun when using different expansion packs to keep things fresh and interesting! If you’re not sure where to start, this is the best choice for your table.
5. Portal Games Imperial Settlers, Multi-Colored Cards – Best For Your Budget
Another fun alternative is Imperial Settlers – it plays out over four rounds with players trying to gather resources, build buildings and advance their military power in order to gain the most victory points. There are also some optional rules including a fifth round as well as different types of gameplay based upon how many people are at your table or what you might have available for expansions!
The game puts players in charge of one of the four factions and allows them to construct empires by placing structures, then sending workers to those buildings to gather new resources and skills. The game consists of five rounds during which players explore uncharted territory, establish facilities, trade resources, fight foes, and score victory points.
- Story-driven campaign mode. This allows up to four players to compete against each other through one hundred unique scenarios. Each scenario represents an encounter between two tribes during which they will do anything necessary in order to be victorious.
- Competitive mode. You can play alone or together with your friends.
- You can build an empire of cards that will last throughout all four ages.
- Game Time: 45–90 Min
- Age: 10+
- Players: 1-4
Imperial Settlers is a good choice for those looking to expand their collection or simply try something new and fun on for size which fits well into this genre’s mold!
Games like Terraforming Mars are fun but can be expensive so it’s always good to try out alternatives that will give just as much enjoyment but also won’t cost nearly as much money – especially if you want more than one game in your collection without breaking the bank! They aren’t hard to find these days thanks to plenty of options on modern titles or older ones with expansions which can offer even greater value for players who enjoy a challenge. The only problem might be deciding which games interest you most!