Components: Amazing components and fitting art. Great storage and game box as well. First rate all-around.
Game Setup: Our first setup took about 35 minutes. Subsequent setups will be quicker and easier but still I can’t see the setup being less than 15 minutes.
Mechanics: Resource management, engine building, variable player powers, supply and demand, action selection, tile laying.
Game Play: Place your workers and choose when to ride the shuttle to and from orbit and the colony to choose from a different set of actions. Build basic and advanced structures, increase your worker pool, advance your tech tree, recruit scientists.
Last Word: A heavy game with tons of theme and interwoven options, there isn’t anything like On Mars out there to compare it to. While its very heavy its design makes it seem less heavy than it is and the bigger picture starts to form as you make your way through your first play. With many paths to victory and so much interwoven choices and layers its quite the adventure to even figure out much less excel at. That said, we found it to be a fantastically fun adventure regardless of what the scores were at the end of the game. Since the time commitment on this is huge the gaming ROI might not be as great as the overall experience is though I can see cutting our playing time in half as we get more experience. If you like heavy games with lots of layers this is highly recommended.
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