Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game

review by Alapai

Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game is a dice-based board game for 1-4 players made by Fryxgames and distributed through Stronghold Games. Like in the original, you are playing a corporation tasked with terraforming the planet Mars, trying to be the corporation with the most victory points at the end of the game.

In order for Mars to be habitable, humanity needs to terraform it. This is done in the game by creating oceans on Mars, raising the temperature of the planet and by raising the amount of oxygen present in the atmosphere. Any time a person terraforms (placing an ocean tile, raising the temperature or raising the oxygen), they earn victory points. You can also earn victory points from cards, placing tiles and at the end of the game for awards and milestones. Along the way, you will spend resources to take various actions in the game. Resources in the game are represented by dice. There are 5 different colors of dice, each of which has three different types of resources, one common resource (on three faces of the die), one uncommon resource (on two faces of the die) and one rare resource (on one side of the die). While you will occasionally gain specific resources, such as the temperature and water resources you can get by raising the temperature to -24°, -16° or 0°, most of the time, you will just gain a color of die that you immediately roll to become a resource.

To start the game, you get dealt 2 corporation cards, one of which you keep and the other of which you discard, and 5 project cards. Each person then gains the starting bonus on their corporation and the resources that the corporation produces. Your turn in a game can be either a production turn or an action turn. A production turn starts with discarding any number of project cards from your hand and keeping a maximum of 3 resources, returning the rest to the dice pool. Then you draw project cards until you have 5 in your hand and produce resources from your corporation and any green cards you've played. You also get to reset your blue cards so you can use them again. An action turn consists of two actions, a support action and a main action. The support actions you can take are gaining and rolling a die of any color, spending any resource to change one of your resources to a different die face, spending a resource to draw two cards or using a blue card's support action, exhausting it until your next production turn. The main actions you can take are spending 3-4 of the same resource for an effect (there are 5 of these actions, one per color of die), playing a card, using a blue card's main action or using a second support action. Cards cost a number of resources, listed on the card, and will have different effects depending on their color. Green cards produce resources during a production turn. Blue cards will have actions you can take on your turn. Red cards provde an immediate effect when played. Once two of the three terraforming conditions have been met, all players get one more turn (including the player who terraformed the second condition to completion) and then you add up victory points to determine the winner.

Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game takes a lot from its predecessor. Both have you terraforming Mars, raising oxygen levels, raising temperature and adding oceans to the planet. Both have milestones for reaching certain criteria first and awards for having the most of a criteria at the end.

Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game is available now from our webstore.

Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game