Comics and Cartridges

Terraforming Mars: Sci-Fi and Strategy on the Table Top

Long theorized by scientists and sci-fi writers, the terraforming of Mars seems like a distant possibility for us Earthers. However, the board game Terraforming Mars allows you to live out Elon Musk’s dream on the table top while you outthink your friends. Today we’re taking an in-depth look at this fan-favorite board game and what it brings to your game nights.

Terraforming Mars

terraforming mars
Geek and Sundry

The Story

The premise of the game holds that it is the 2400’s, and Earth’s government is sponsoring an initiative to terraform its cosmic neighbor. Players take on the role of a mega-corporation, though, in this world, megacorps are sort of the good guys. Players are fighting to make Mars habitable by raising the temperature, raising the oxygen level and expanding the oceans.


Players use their resources to buy “projects,” represented by cards, and use those projects to advance their agendas on Mars. You get rewards for performing terraforming tasks, such as raising the temperature or planting trees to change the atmosphere. Each project can grant you a boost to your production of various resources, as well.

There are limits on when projects can go out, and they cost credits to be played. Some projects require the temperature, atmosphere or ocean to be at a certain level before they can be played. Further, your production of various resources dictates the flow of your game plan.

Bottom Line

Terraforming Mars is a thoughtful, tactical game with a heavy emphasis on real science. If your game night is lacking for some in-depth, strategic gameplay, this is a great game to add to your collection. If your friends love hard sci-fi and head-scratching tactics, this is a great game for your group.

Terraforming Mars retails for around $70, though you can often find it for less through retailers like Amazon. The game was originally released in 2016, the game has been around long enough now that you’re certain to find a good deal on it somewhere.

Cameron Norris

Cameron Norris

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