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Shuffle Cards to Terraform Mars, and Master My Father's Work

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition
• Publishers FryxGames and Stronghold Games have released the barest of information about Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition — which is subtitled "The Terraforming Mars Card Game" on the Kickstarter preview — but given how many fans Terraforming Mars has, I thought it wise to share that smidgen of info about this 1-4 player design from Sydney Engelstein, Jacob Fryxelius, and Nick Little:
Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition is an engine-building game in which players control interplanetary corporations with the goal of making Mars habitable (and profitable).
• There's so little to say about the design above that I have a somewhat large chunk of space to fill to accompany the image at right, so let me offer the Wikipedia summary of Philip K. Dick's novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, sections of which take place on Mars:
The novel takes place in a future 2016 where humankind has colonized every habitable planet and moon in the Solar System. To cope with the difficult life away from Earth, colonists rely on the illegal hallucinogen Can-D, secretly distributed by corporate head Leo Bulero. New tensions arise with the rumor that merchant explorer Palmer Eldritch has returned from an expedition in possession of a new alien hallucinogen to compete with Can-D.
Lots of promo ideas to be found for Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition in PKD's work!

Board Game Publisher: Renegade Game Studios
• U.S. publisher Renegade Game Studios has released info on a giant game due out in Q4 2021 from designer T. C. Petty III, who has been working as a game developer with Renegade since January 2018. Here's an overview of My Father's Work, a 2-4 player game that plays in 120 minutes:
The walls were lined with iron shelves, each metal slat overfilled with glass jars containing formaldehyde and grotesque curiosities within. Pristine brass tools and refined metals of a quality I had never before laid eyes upon were strewn across sturdy slabs of rock and wood, their edges sharp with use. However, my eyes were soon drawn to a sturdy writing desk, its mahogany eaves inlaid with thin strips of copper, the center of which contained a well-worn leather-bound book. My father's journal — passed down to me and representing years of knowledge and countless experiments. And inside that weathered tome, atop the pearly parchment oxidized yellow at its frayed edges, were the deliberate quill marks of a crazed genius outlining the ambitious project he could never complete in one lifetime — his masterwork.

Without realizing it, my hands were shaking as I clutched the book to my chest. At once, I felt an ownership and anxiety for the scientific sketches scrawled so eloquently on those frayed sheets. It was at that moment that I began my obsession: I would restore this laboratory to its former brilliance and dedicate my life to completing my father's work!

Board Game: My Father's Work
Cover artwork

In My Father's Work, players are competing mad scientists entrusted with a page from their father's journal and a large estate in which to perform their devious experiments. Players earn points by completing experiments, aiding the town in its endeavors, upgrading their macabre estates, and hopefully completing their father's masterwork.

But they have to balance study and active experimentation because at the end of each generation, all of their experiments and resources are lost to time until their child begins again with only the "Journaled Knowledge and Estate" they have willed to them — and since the game is played over the course of three generations, it is inevitable that the players will rouse the townsfolk to form angry mobs or spiral into insanity from the ethically dubious works they have created. The player with the most points at the end of three generations wins and becomes the most revered, feared, ingenious scientist the world has ever known!
Love the integration of the story into the game's multiple rounds, similar to how only the pyramids survive in Reiner Knizia's Amun-Re in the transition from the Old Kingdom to the New Kingdom.
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