Thursday, June 13, 2019

Board Game Review: Terraforming Mars

by Vincent Solfronk, Eastwood Branch Library

Terraforming Mars
Celebrating the summer learning theme "A Universe of Stories," I wanted to highlight one of the most popular board games with a space theme: Terraforming Mars. 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 for getting victory points that are awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar system, and doing other commendable things.

The players acquire unique project cards (from over two hundred different ones) by buying them to their hand. The projects (cards) can represent anything from introducing plant life or animals, hurling asteroids at the surface, building cities, to mining the moons of Jupiter and establishing greenhouse gas industries to heat up the atmosphere. The cards can give you immediate bonuses, as well as increasing your production of different resources. Many cards also have requirements and they become playable when the temperature, oxygen, or ocean coverage increases enough.

This is a game where players have to develop a strategy and work together to make Mars habitable. There is a lot of player interaction and competition, but with no combat or violence. Players will learn what it takes to turn an inhospitable world into sustainable planet. This game and many others can be checked out at the Eastwood Library!

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