18 October 2018
Strife on Mars?
Jacob Fryxelius’ crunchy Red Planet colonisation sim Terraforming Mars has settled on PC.
The digital version of the much-loved 2016 board game, which is up on Steam, is a faithful adaptation of the tabletop title, challenging players to transform the inhospitable terrain – whether by melting ice to form oceans or introducing plants to produce breathable oxygen – in order to attract settlers from Earth.
The players’ rival corporations are competing to develop the advanced tech and build the facilities needed to manage the temperature, air and oceans for long-term survival. Of course, they can always send an asteroid plummeting into their opponents’ hard work to ensure they stay ahead, too.
Terraforming Mars on PC includes both single-player play against AI and multiplayer for up to five people, local or online. The variant Corporate Era rules, which up the complexity and strength of the corporations, can also be played.
Although Terraforming Mars has attracted widespread acclaim on the tabletop, the reception of its digital edition has been more mixed among players. Criticism on the game’s Steam page, where it currently has a 63% positive rating, includes the notable absence of the game’s card-drafting variant – which its developers have announced will be added to the game in early December – the punishing difficulty of the computer-controlled players and the game’s user interface.
Terraforming Mars is just under £20 on Steam, and is available now. The mobile version of the app has been announced for release “later this year”.