We played another new game last Thursday! It’s called Mission to Mars and is a bit complicated, but quite delightful. The artwork has a sort of cartoon-y steampunk vibe that everyone really enjoyed. We also enjoyed a delicious chocolate cake with chocolate ganache between the layers and orange cream cheese frosting. It was absolutely heavenly, and I know it will be up on By The Pounds blog soon! Keep your eyes peeled you do not want to miss this cake recipe.
The basic premise of the game is to get the most points. There are a couple of ways this can be done. Players can collect crystals mined from various spots on Mars. There are also missions everyone gets at the beginning of the game. These missions require the player to perform a specific action, i.e. have at least one astronaut in certain coordinates of Mars or having the most of a certain type of crystal. At the end of the game players that have successfully completed their missions,receive points (amounts vary based on the card).. There are also specialty cards that allow players to complete secret missions. This makes things more interesting because only certain players know what those missions are.
One thing I really enjoyed about the game, was the way players take turns. This games uses a mechanic that I haven’t seen or played with before. Each player has cards numbered 1-9 in their hand and each card does something unique. Each turn you choose one card to play. After everyone decides which cards they are going to play, the first person starts counting down from 9. Each player reveals their card as the person counts down. If more than one person has played the same number,whoever is to the immediate clockwise position of the counter gets to play first and then you go in clockwise order around the table.
There are these cute little astronauts and everyone has about 20 of them, and they are the way you represent your presence on different parts of Mars. They can also be worth points at the end, so you don't want them to get killed off. How you determine who gets the crystals at the end is who has the most representation in each quadrant.
The order is important because to get all your little astronauts to Mars you have to board rocket ships and launch them to Mars. The catch being that there’s a capacity limit in each rocket ship and once thatcapacity is reached, the rocket ship launches. Ideally you want to play first so you can get all your little astronauts to space.
Overall, this game was lots of fun, if not a little confusing. Full disclosure I came in dead last because I didn’t really understand the concept of the missions at first. I definitely think it’s one of those games you can play over and over without losing interest because it will play differently every time. It is for ages 14+ and supports 2-6 players. I would rate this a 4/5 stars.
Have any of you played this game before? Let me know what you think in the comments!