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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: What other game is this most similar to? rss

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John Burt
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When describing a game to someone, and especially when teaching it, I find it helpful to compare the game to some other game that people are familiar with. I'll even do that with mechanisms - for example it's a bit of running joke with our group that I'll describe a game's VP generating mechanism that seems "bolted on" (such as TM's milestones and awards) as the "Cult Track" (a la Terra Mystica).

So in regard to Terraforming Mars, what other game(s) do you think this is most like? I have seen several comparisons to RFTG, but I disagree - it doesn't feel like that game at all to me when I play it. Instead, I think that this game compares more closely to a simplified Through the Ages: a New Story of Civilization (with an area control map and bolted on "cult track"). Like TTA, you acquire cards every round, you pay something to "build" them, the cards can have immediate and recurring effects, upgrading resource production rate is a thing, every round there is a production phase, etc. In fact, this really a simplified civ game, without war, is it not?

Any other comparisons?
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Al Ross
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My first thought was an unholy marriage of Terra Mystica and Dominant Species.

You could do worse for influences.

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Sebastian Stückl
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I keep saying it's a combination of Terra Mystica and Race for the Galaxy.
Basically, the turn structure is like Terra Mystica, you take turns until all players pass, while only being limited by resources instead of the amount of actions you have available.
Once the turn structure is out of the way (which is nothing like RftG), it's quite a bit like Race. You somehow get cards, which may then be played onto the board. And occasionally, your developments have some extra ability that affects future turns.

Now, of course this similarity only really comes from the fact that both are heavily based around a stack of cards with various different effects, and hand management.
But how many other board games use this as a central mechanic?
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Jonathan Dodd
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I've been saying Race for the Galaxy with a little Suburbia.
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Sébastien A
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The deck of unique* cards obviously leads to the comparison with Race for the Galaxy. (* there's a half-dozen functional doubles with different cost/requirements, unlike Race which has 20-25 actual or functional doubles).

On the other hand, most cards in Race give you permanent powers, while most cards in Mars are one-time effects.

I'm struggling to find a good analogy to the tiles and board. The closest I can come up with is Terra Mystica, but it feels like a stretch.
 
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Marius van der Merwe
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Since this is mostly a card tableau/engine building euro game, ZhanGuo from What's Your Game makes for a good comparison. Other candidates may be some of Phil Eklund's games (e.g. Greenland, Bios: Megafauna or Pax Porfiriana). Eklund games also share the hard science interest with Terraform Mars. And finally Richard Breese of Keyflower fame's Inhabit the Earth jumps to mind as an excellent addition to the card tableau genre.
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Scott Burns
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Terra Mystica meets Scepter of Zavandor/Outpost.
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John Burt
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Huh, so nobody's sharing my TTA / civ game vibe?
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David Arlington
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jondodd82 wrote:
I've been saying Race for the Galaxy with a little Suburbia.


This was the idea that came to my head as well. But I should note that perspective is coming from (in my case) someone who plays all three solitaire.

Dave
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Kevin Berent
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I've been asked this question several times when demoing, and I keep giving them the "deer in the headlights" look.

I'm having a hard time coming up with a good answer, too, but that's not a bad thing in my book and says a lot about TM.
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John Burt
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FTR, I taught this game to two Terra Mystica fans last night. After the game I asked if it was really like Terra Mystica? Their answer was that it was "similar, but different", which makes sense since the game is quite different in many ways, but nevertheless I think that it really helped them learn the game when I made comparisons to the game they knew.

Also, they really liked Terraforming Mars!
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Clyde W
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Whatever you end up saying, you should compare it to two super obscure games no one has played, just to confuse them.
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Francesco Grimaldi
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TR reminds me of "Through the ages" and "scepter of zavandor" (for the same sense of growing/ parameters that adds resources) / Race for the galaxy (for the card combo)...
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John Burt
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inzivro wrote:
TR reminds me of "Through the ages" and "scepter of zavandor" (for the same sense of growing/ parameters that adds resources) / Race for the galaxy (for the card combo)...


Thank you! At least one person agrees with me

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Andreas Tyrberg
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this was a thread to not read if I wouldn´t like to cringe for a game..
comparsions to Terra Mystica, Race of the galaxy, Suburbia, dominant species that I do like.

In the end it ends up at my shelf =)
 
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Fraser
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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Bastinator1 wrote:
...You somehow get cards, which may then be played onto the board. And occasionally, your developments have some extra ability that affects future turns.

Which also describes Agricola whistle
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Bill Buchanan
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It reminds me of and old school turned-based strategy video game ...
 
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Yao-ban Chan
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The first thing that popped into my head was Imperial Settlers. Both games are based on card combos; you get a regular flow of cards which usually increase one or more of several different types of income, or add some other power. Each player also receives an asymmetric power which can greatly inform their playstyle.

The differences of course are that Terraforming Mars has a central board and thus competition for actions there, while Imperial Settlers has (limited) direct interaction.
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Matthieu Fontaines
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I already compared it to the feeling of agricola, with a slow engine building, feeling of starving until the very last turns and some difficult choices on the actions to take...
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