16 May 2019
Return to the Red Planet
A new dice game spin-off from Jacob Fryxelius’ Red Planet strategy epic Terraforming Mars has seemingly been spotted in the wild.
Reddit user timbonicus caught a glimpse of a box marked ‘TM: Dice Game’ in Terraforming Mars publisher FryxGames’ booth at the Sthlm Tabletop Game Expo held in Stockholm, Sweden last weekend.
Fryxelius apparently confirmed that the box contained a prototype of a Terraforming Mars dice game still in the playtesting stage of development, and treated the player to a playthrough which they then detailed at length.
The general premise is said to be similar to Terraforming Mars’ colonisation of the Red Planet by corporations able to adjust the surrounding atmosphere and terrain for human settlement.
Players exchange dice from a pool of custom cubes for the resources needed to introduce water, plant life and oxygen to Mars, as well as building cities and acquiring cards similar to the original board game’s projects that grant immediate or ongoing benefits. The cards can then be activated by spending their required cost in dice results.
Dice can also be placed on a central board with a hex map akin to Terraforming Mars’ map. Points are scored based on the placement of resources and settlements, with the end of the game triggered in the same way as the board game when oxygen, temperature and water are all maxed out.
Play time is said to be around an hour – making it roughly half the length of Terraforming Mars – with timbonicus adding that they found the game to be “a lightweight version of TFM that carries the mechanics of the original that we know and love”.
An official title and release date for the Terraforming Mars dice game are yet to be confirmed.