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According to Board Game Geek’s ratings, Terraforming Mars is the third-best board game of all time, right now!
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 in doing the best work, with victory points awarded not only for your contribution to the terraforming, but also for advancing human infrastructure throughout the solar systems and other commendable achievements.
The players acquire unique project cards, which represent anything from introducing plant life or animals, hurling asteroids at the surface, building cities, and establishing greenhouse gas industries to heat up the atmosphere. You compete for the best places for your city tiles, ocean tiles and greenery tiles.
When the terraforming process is complete, the player corporation with the most victory points wins.
I have seen the details about the game online and doubtfully bought it. But it exceeded my expectations! The game design is very smart. One would need to spend some time understanding the game rules and semantics. But once you are past that, it is just splendid. It essentially simulates trying to colonise Mars. The rules of the game very neatly tie into the main theme.
There are n number of variables in the game play and so many things to keep track of. This is good workout on the mind and is definitely for someone looking for a boardgame on a different level.