Following a successful Kickstarter run, the relatively heavy Eurogame On Mars is now available from Eagle-Gryphon Games. In the game, players represent competing corporation chief astronauts tasked with both creating a Mars colony and also advancing the agenda of their company. On Mars is for two to four players, ages 14+, plays in 60-120 minutes, and carries an MSRP of $119.99.
Following the success of unmanned rover missions, the United Nations established the Department of Operations and Mars Exploration (D.O.M.E.). The first settlers arrived on Mars in the year 2037 and in the decades after establishment Mars Base Camp, private exploration companies began work on the creation of a self-sustaining colony. As chief astronaut for one of these enterprises, you want to be a pioneer in the development of the biggest, most advanced colony on Mars by achieving both D.O.M.E. mission goals as well as your company’s private agenda.
In the beginning, you will be dependent on supplies from Earth and will have to travel often between the Mars Space Station and the planet’s surface. As the colony expands over time, you will shift your activities to construct mines, power generators, water extractors, greenhouses, oxygen factories, and shelters. Your goal is to develop a self-sustaining colony independent of any terrestrial organization. This will require understanding the importance of water, air, power, and food — the necessities for survival.
On Mars is played over several rounds, each consisting of two phases – the Colonization Phase and the Shuttle Phase.
During the Colonization Phase, each player takes a turn during which they take actions. The available actions depend on the side of the board they are on. If you are in orbit, you can take blueprints, buy and develop technologies, and take supplies from the Warehouse. If you are on the surface of the planet, you can construct buildings with your bots, upgrade these buildings using blueprints, take scientists and new contracts, welcome new ships, and explore the planet’s surface with their rover. In the Shuttle Phase, players may travel between the colony and the Space Station in orbit.
All buildings on Mars have a dependency on each other and some are required for the colony to grow.