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Board game review & gameplay of: Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition

Game design: Sydney Engelstein, Jacob Fryxelius, Nick Little (I)

  • 9/10
  • 14+
  • 1-4 players
  • 60 minutes


In this game you and your fellow players are going to terraform mars by raising the H2O, oxigen & temperature levels, just as with its older sibling. You do so by playing project cards and gathering resources.

A big difference with the regular Terraforming Mars is the action selection system that comes with it. At the beginning of a round, each player selects a phase they want to play. All players reveal these at the same time and the revealed phases will be played that round. The phase played comes with a small benefit for the players that played that card. 

The phases are:

1 Play a green project

2 Play a red or blue project

3 Activate actions

4 Gain income

5 Draw cards

When Mars is ‘terraformed’, the game ends and all players add their scores gained by playing cards and their ™ levels. Highest points, wins the game!


I'm very enthousiastic about this new variant of Terraforming Mars!

👍 The quality of the game components are great! Linnen finish on the cards, double layered player boards, it feels top notch and even has new artwork!

👍 The gameplay is very nice as well. It feels like a regular game of TM, but with less setup time and quicker play in general

👍 I really like the action selection system used in this game. It secures some interaction between players and builds soms tension around it.

👍➖ havent played it myself, but it should resemble Race for the galaxy a bit.

Soon I will make a comparison of the two Terraforming Mars games!


The solomode plays like a regular game, but you try to terraform mars before a certain amount of turns end. It's a lot of fun and plays great!


A copy of this game was provided to me by Intrafin for the purpose of writing this review. My opinion however remains my own.

Boardgamegeek BGG

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