The Farming Game: If Monopoly Had Cows

If you’ve ever felt drawn to the soil and the sun, you might just have farming in your blood. With The Farming Game, you can take your green thumb and use it to your advantage. This fun and eccentric board game gives you the opportunity to build your very own farm, allowing you to choose which crops to harvest and manage all the expenses that come with it. Do you have what it takes to farm your way out of debt and win the game?

Option to Buy

The Farming Game begins with each character inheriting their very own piece of farmland and $10,000. Congratulations! You play the game on a board that’s laid out with 52 spaces, each representing one week out of the year. The first space is labeled Christmas Vacation, which gives you the initial $10,000 with which to purchase crops and cows.

A big portion of The Farming Game is left up to fate. Players will have to grow their farms through Option To Buy (OTB) cards that tell you what you’re allowed to buy, some of which may then prove fruitful after the harvest. OTB cards consist of different crops and cows that you can use your money to purchase up until you reach the Spring Planting Space.

You’re allowed to go into debt with this board game, as you have the option of taking out promissory notes to purchase property and resources. You do have to put up a deposit of 20% for purchases, however, so you can’t go into unlimited debt. Still, you’ll have to be willing to take on a good amount of debt at the beginning of the game if you want to have a fruitful harvest and be the first to earn $250,000.

After the Harvest

Once you pass the Spring Planting space, you’re no longer allowed to purchase cropland. However, you can now harvest some of your crops when you land on certain spaces. The way this works is that you roll a die when you land on a harvest space, which then earns you a certain amount of money depending on the number you roll.

You will have to deal with certain price fluctuations and business costs come harvest season, however. Things like fertilizer, equipment breakdowns, and labor problems can all gum up the works and put you even further in the red after the harvest. As you roll the die and move along the board, you’ll be placing your fate in the hands of Mother Nature to give you a plentiful harvest and help you rake in the big bucks.

The Farming Game is similar to Monopoly in its use of buying and selling things with paper money. However, this board game takes on a life of its own as its farming theme really adds a unique touch of life to the game. The use of debt is also an interesting component that raises the stakes of your gamble and allows for even bigger wins.

The Farming Game Spinoffs

There have been a few spinoffs of The Farming Game that turn this fun Monopoly-like game into something completely different. With The Farming Game Card Game, your fate rests on the Farmer’s Fate card instead of a playing board as you bid for and purchase crops and enhancements. Similar to the original game, you’ll have to roll the dice to see whether or not your harvest bears fruit.

There’s also a kids version of The Farming Game called The Farming Game Kids that has three levels depending on the age of the child. Level one is for ages 3-5, level two is for ages 5-7, and level three is for ages 7-9. Each level comes with its own rules for winning, allowing you to roll red and white dice while collecting and selling produce cards.

The Farming Game

The Farming Game is playable by 2-6 players, making it a good board game for families of all sizes. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, as younger players may have difficulty understanding the rules. Playing time lasts around 2 hours, so it’s definitely a time commitment. Buy The Farming Game and enjoy the fruits of your labors!

 

New York Zoo: Animal Lovers Will Rejoice

Nothing is more relaxing and magical than a trip to the zoo. Witnessing the gentle grace of the herons or the silliness of the monkeys is something that stays with you for years. But while visiting the zoo may be all fun and games, building a zoo is another story entirely!  New York Zoo pits players against each other to see who can be the first to fill their zoo with a variety of wild animals. Players will have to balance their strategy between building new enclosures and acquiring new animals in order to fill their zoo and win the game.

Build Your Own Zoo

The goal of New York Zoo is to be the first player to completely fill your playing board and complete the construction of your very own zoo. In order to fill your board, you’ll need to build enclosures, collect animals, and manage the breeding of these beautiful creatures as they do what animals do naturally: create offspring!

The board game begins with each player taking their own playing board, which represents the zoo they’re attempting to build. There is also a board that sits in the middle of the table for all of the players to use in order to collect different tiles for their individual zoos. A little Elephant pawn is placed on the board, which each player will take turns moving around the board to collect either an Enclosure tile or an animal. 

If a player collects an Enclosure tile, then they will immediately add that tile to their board wherever they like (as long as it doesn’t cover up another tile on the board). Then, they have to move one to two animals into the Enclosure. These animals can come either from one of their houses or from another Enclosure. If the player has no available animals to move, then they can’t add the tile to their board.

Breeding the Animals

If a player lands on the Animal Acquisition space, then they get to collect up to two animals that are shown randomly. Players must immediately place the animal in an Enclosure or in one of their houses. If there’s no space for the animal, then the player can’t take it. However, if the player doesn’t like the random options of animals shown, then they can select one animal of their choice from the main supply.

There’s a special way of acquiring more animals in New York Zoo called breeding. This occurs for all players whenever the Elephant crosses a breeding line on the board. One specific type of animal will then breed, and all players that have two of that animal in an Enclosure can add an additional animal to their Enclosure.

Filling the Zoo

Once you’ve filled up one of your Enclosures, then you can empty all of the animals out of your Enclosure and select an Attraction tile to add to your board. These are useful for filling in single gaps on your board in between Enclosure tiles. When you empty an Enclosure of animals, you’re allowed to store one of the animals in one of your houses to use later.

New York Zoo ends once one player has successfully filled their board with Enclosure tiles and Attraction tiles. This means that players will need to make sure they’re placing their Enclosure tiles properly in order to reduce the number of Attraction tiles they need to collect. If more than one player fills their board at the same time, then the player with the most animals wins the game. 

Monkey Around with New York Zoo

New York Zoo is a board game playable by 1-5 players, so it’s well suited for families or single-player games. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, as the mechanics are relatively simple to follow. Playing time lasts around 30-60 minutes, which is good for younger players who may lose interest in games that drag on for hours.

This board game is very easy to learn, as you only have two choices each turn: build an enclosure or collect animals. However, there is plenty of fun to be had in strategizing the best way to build your zoo before the other players. Embrace your inner zookeeper and buy New York Zoo today!

 

Tiny Towns: A Small Den of Paradise

Modern life has become so chaotic. Have you ever wished you could get away to a sleepy little town in the woods, away from the hubbub and the chaos of the city?  In Tiny Towns, your wish becomes reality. This board game makes you the mayor of your own tiny town in the forest. Tiny Towns combines abstract strategy with city building to give you a game that’s both easy to learn and fun to play.

The creatures of the forest have decided to find their own little safe haven hidden away from predators and the woes of civilization. Because the land is so small and resources are few and far between, you’ll need to do the best with what you have to build a town that you can be proud of. Collect resources, construct buildings, and watch as your tiny town becomes its own little civilization.

Creating Buildings Out of Resources

In Tiny Towns, each player is given their own little 4×4 grid that represents their tiny town. Players will collect resource cubes to lay out on the board in order to construct buildings. At the beginning of the game, players get to choose one of two monument cards with which to begin building. Everyone will also be able to share from seven randomly drawn building cards, which are public buildings that any player can build.

The board game is played in turns, with each player beginning their turn by calling out one of five resources for all of the players to collect. If any player has collected the right kind of resources to match a pattern on one of their building cards, then they can choose to construct a building on their grid in the place of one of the resources. However, they must discard all of the used resources from their board.

Earning Victory Points

As the turns roll along and players begin to add new buildings to their grids, tiny towns do indeed begin to form. These buildings are for more than just show, however, as players will earn Victory Points for each building they create. Players will want to try to collect the right kinds of resources in order to construct buildings on their grid without filling it up with needless materials.

Once every player has filled their board with buildings and resources, then the game ends. Players will then tally their scores, adding up their Victory Points and subtracting one Victory Point for every square without a building on it. Whichever player has the most Victory Points wins the game and the title of most prosperous mayor!

Tiny Towns Expansions

Tiny Towns has released a couple of expansion board games that expand the mechanics of the original game and make it even more complex. In Tiny Towns: Fortune, the creatures of the forest who populate your little town have added a new element to the game: money. These shiny bits of metal have the power to radically alter the gameplay, giving you a new way of gaining resources from other players and building your town.

Tiny Towns: Villagers opens the world of Tiny Towns up just a little bit bigger. New and talented creatures have come to your tiny little town in order to earn a place and use their powerful skills. These engineers and merchants can transform buildings, revolutionize the influx of resources, and perform other impressive feats that make the game much more dynamic.

Tiny Towns: One Building at a Time

Tiny Towns is playable by 1-6 players, so it can just as easily fit both small and large groups of friends or family members. You can even enjoy building a tiny town all on your own! This board game is suitable for ages 14 and up, although some kids as young as 10 may be able to pick up the mechanics without difficulty. Playing time lasts around 45 minutes to an hour, so you can easily fit in a game on a weeknight or a Saturday morning.

Tiny Towns is a fun little game that celebrates the simplicity of small-town life without sacrificing any of the fun of big city living. Buy Tiny Towns today and enjoy the simple life!

 

Wingspan: The Ultimate Engine Builder for Bird Lovers

Every once in a while you come across a board game that’s so beautifully illustrated you can’t help but pause and revel in it. Wingspan is a board game that not only appeals to bird lovers everywhere but can actually bring in new enthusiasts with its artwork and accurate portrayal of bird habitats. You’ll be sure to enjoy the complexity of the gameplay as you learn more about these beautiful birds and what a bird habitat actually looks like.

Getting To Know the Bird Cards

One of the things that makes Wingspan really special is its beautifully illustrated collection of bird cards. Each bird card includes an intricate piece of artwork illustrating the bird as well as both the common name of the bird and its scientific name. The card will also include certain information about the bird in terms of how it functions in the game, including which habitat it can be played in and the bird’s wingspan.

The cards will also have important information such as the food cost to play the bird, how many points it’s worth, what type of nest it uses, and how many eggs it can store. These are all elements that will influence how you grow your bird habitat and bring other beautiful birds into your haven. Lastly, each bird card contains a color strip that indicates what special power the bird has when it’s activated.

Playing Birds

Wingspan gives each player their own game board to use to represent their special bird habitat. The game board is split up into three habitats: forests, grasslands, and wetlands. You can play up to five birds in each area by placing an action cube above the column where you want to play a bird. You can’t just play birds willy nilly, however, as you’ll have to spend a certain number of eggs and food in order to play each bird.

Certain birds have special effects that make them either more or less difficult to play. For example, you may have a Peregrin that specifically requires fruit in order to be played. Or, you may have a bird with a wild-food symbol that will accept any type of food.

Gain Food, Lay Eggs, Draw Birds

In addition to playing a bird, you have three other actions you can choose to take each turn: gain food, lay eggs, or draw birds. These last three actions are all taken by playing a cube in the leftmost empty space in the row. The more birds you play, the more you can earn by taking these actions.

You’ll have to balance playing birds against performing one of these three actions if you want to collect the most birds and activate certain bird powers. Each player has a certain number of action cubes to play per round until the end of the fourth round. Once you’ve successfully completed all four rounds, it’s time to tally up the points and see what kind of habitat you’ve built for your avian friends!

Wingspan Expansions

Wingspan has released two expansions that add more cards and complexities to the original board game. The Wingspan European expansion adds 81 new bird cards as well as new end of round goals and bonus cards. The Wingspan Oceania expansion includes even more unique bird cards as well as beautiful new player mats. Just as there are countless types of bird species in the world, so there are endless options for the beautifully illustrated birds of Wingspan.

Grow Your Habitat with Wingspan

Wingspan is playable by 1-5 players, which makes it a great board game to play on your own and learn more about the joy of bird habitats. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, so if you’re looking for a bird game to get kids excited about animals, look no further. Wingspan has a playing time of around 40-70 minutes, which is a decent chunk of time to get to know its world.

Wingspan is one of the more interactive board games that leaves you pondering the beauty of the natural world. However, it definitely doesn’t skimp when it comes to the fun and complexity of playing the game. Buy Wingspan today and enjoy the fascinating life of birds!

 

The Luck of the Dice Is Under Your Control with Dice Forge

Have you always wanted to know what it feels like to walk amongst the gods? Dice Forge gives you the opportunity to earn your own seat at the heavenly table. All you have to do is build the perfect set of magical dice and roll your way to the top! Dice Forge is based on Greek mythology and assigns players the role of heroes competing to become demigods. While dice rolling has been an element of board games for thousands of years, you haven’t seen anything like the dice in Dice Forge.  

Forging Your Dice

Dice Forge puts a unique spin on the concept of rolling dice by using dice that have removable faces. This allows you to customize them throughout the course of the game to enhance their power and employ your winning strategy. By buying and forging new faces, you can gain new resources during your dice rolls, allowing you to buy cards to earn abilities and points.

Rolling the dice over and over again is one of the pleasures of this board game, watching as you move the little cubes on your player board up to higher spaces and see your wealth expand. You will have plenty of time to plot your strategy during the other player’s turns, as it does take a bit of time to modify the dice. Still, the anticipation and satisfaction of slipping on a new face to your die definitely outweigh the potentially clunky physical mechanics of the game.

Pick A Card

In addition to rolling the dice, part of the mechanics of Dice Forge involve buying cards that help you along the way. The cards can give you things abilities such as being able to turn gold into points or even the opportunity for additional rolls. There are 15 cards in the basic setup, 9 of which can be swapped out for alternatives. This leaves the opportunity for countless strategies to win that make Dice Forge easily replayable. It does remain to be said, however, that not all setups work as well with only two players. Some setups really thrive in having three or four players.

One of the coolest things about Dice Forge is its incredible art and graphic design. Not only is the game board decorated with a beautiful and intricately drawn layout, but the individual dice-building boards are incredibly fun to use in your quest to forge the ultimate dice. The game pieces are by far one of the most unique elements of Dice Forge and will have you rushing to play another game just as soon as you finish your first.

Dice Forge Expansion

Dice Forge comes with an expansion called Dice Forge: Rebellion. This expansion heavily expands gameplay by adding two different modules as well as thirty different exploit cards you can incorporate into the game. It also comes with new die faces, boards, and even an expansion to the sanctuary box. All of these new elements add challenges and increased interactions between players that make the game much more replayable.

One of the only criticisms of Dice Forge is the fact that it doesn’t have quite as many interactions between players as other board games. With the Rebellion expansion, you can make it a more interactive game that stokes the competitive spirit between family and friends.  The expansion also has the handy benefit of making it more complex, which older players will greatly enjoy.

Dice Forge: Make Your Own Luck

Dice Forge is playable by 2-4 players, although there are certain setups in the game that benefit from having more than two players. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, so it can just as easily be a game that the kids play on a Saturday morning as it can a game for the whole family. Playing time lasts around 45 minutes, which isn’t super long compared to the amount of time it takes to set the game up and take it down. Still, many players are keen to play another round of Dice Forge right after they finish the first. Give it a roll and make your own luck with Dice Forge!

Buy Dice Forge today and build yourself a engine building machine!

 

Tiny Epic Dinosaurs: Get Your Jurassic Park On

Anyone who’s seen Jurassic Park knows that dinosaurs and theme parks do not mix well. However, no one seems to have told the rich bigwigs inside Tiny Epic Dinosaurs, because these greedy bidders are looking for their next big attraction! In the world of Tiny Epic Dinosaurs, modern science has advanced enough to allow us to recreate our prehistoric dino friends. This gives independent ranchers a new role in breeding and wrangling these dangerous reptiles. As a player of the board game, you’ll have to combine dinosaur ranching, resource management, and worker placement if you want to build the best dino farm on the market.

6 Rounds, 6 Phases, Countless Dinosaurs

Tiny Epic Dinosaurs assigns each player their own team of ranchers to control. The goal of the game is to obtain dinosaurs in order to breed and sell them to the highest bidders to use for high thrill theme parks. The game is played over the course of six different rounds, each consisting of six unique phases. The first phase requires you to harvest any resources in your farm that the dinosaurs aren’t already eating.

The second phase is where you really put your ranchers to work, assigning them a multitude of tasks aimed at acquiring and breeding more dinosaurs. You’ll capture and buy new dinosaurs, build up barriers to hold them, research technologies and new breeds of dinosaur, boost your farm’s security or supplies, and more. You’ll have to figure out the best strategy for breeding the most dinosaurs if you want to blow the other ranches out of the water.

In the third phase, your ranchers will return to finish their work at the farm, while the fourth phase has you arrange your ranch however you want. Arranging your ranch is important in order to make sure the dinosaurs are properly placed in the correct barriers to ensure they don’t escape.

Once everything is set, it’s time to feed the dinosaurs. Phase five requires you to feed each and every dinosaur because any dinosaur that doesn’t get fed will escape and threaten the safety of your farm. Dinosaurs are dangerous cattle, and breeding them is not without its risks! Finally, the sixth and final phase of each round has you breed matching dinosaurs. Each pair of matching dinosaurs that is properly enclosed gives you one more baby dino to add to your farm.

Winning the Game

To claim victory in Tiny Epic Dinosaurs, you’ll need to earn the highest number of victory points at the end of six rounds. While breeding new dinosaurs is an excellent way to collect points, you can also earn points through research developments as well as any public or private contracts you acquire. Each player gets a private contract at the beginning and middle of the game with specific rules on completing it. You’ll also need to complete these private contracts at the same time as a public contract. This can make it tricky when you’re racing against someone else trying to complete the same public contract.

The Laboratory Mini Expansion

Tiny Epic Dinosaurs comes with a Laboratory mini expansion that provides each player with an additional board. This board gives you a map connected by blue, green, and red lines that lead to spaces that offer you extra bonuses from dinosaurs to research cards. Players will have to collect matching colored tiles in order to move along the lines. This adds a puzzle-like quality to the game that makes the strategy even more intricate.

Don’t Underestimate Those Tiny Epic Dinosaurs!

Tiny Epic Dinosaurs is playable by 1-4 players, which is definitely a bonus for kids who like single-player board games. It’s also suitable for ages 14 and up, so it’s more appropriate for teenagers and adults than it is for younger kids. Playing time lasts around 30 minutes to an hour. Tiny Epic Dinosaurs has plenty of opportunity for strategy, especially when you add the Laboratory mini expansion to it. You’ll love the cute little dinosaur tokens that come with the game, as they’re each carefully crafted to represent different colored dinosaurs. If you take a walk on the wild side and buy Tiny Epic Dinosaurs, you won’t regret it. Buy a copy or two today!

 

It’s Survival of the Thriftiest With Altiplano

Altiplano is a board game named after the South American highlands of the Andes, where the game is set. Resources are limited in Altiplano and the competition is high. This board game pits players against each other to see who will build their bag with the most resources, giving them the most points by the end of the game. Players can produce resources such as alpaca, cacao, corn, fish, and silver, each of which has its own characteristic and place where it can be used. You’ll have to come up with the best strategy for selling, trading, and producing goods if you want to beat out the other players and win the game!

Embrace Your Role

The goal of Altiplano is to have the highest amount of points by the end of the game. Each player starts the game with a player board and one role tile. A role tile gives you your starting goods as well as the power to do one action that no one else can. This will inform your decision making as you plan to build your bag through producing resources, gathering goods, and more.

Starting roles can be anything from a farmer to a fisherman. While roles like the fisherman require you to get the extensions relating to fish, other roles can enable you to ignore your main action and focus on a different path to get points.Thanks to the seven different starting roles and the Traveler expansion, Altiplano is easily replayable without losing any of the intrigue.

Contents of the Game

Altiplano comes with colorful player boards that are labeled with each of the main locations, as well as the goods they contain and the player count. This board game also comes with cute little location tiles, road markers, player pawns, goods tiles, and coins that you use to trade goods, produce more resources, and build your bag. All of these pieces are made from sturdy, thick cardboard that ensures you can play the game for years without it wearing out.

Part of the fun of Altiplano is collecting all of the little trinkets into your bag and placing them delicately on the board. It’s definitely a visual game, as you can physically see your goods stack up in the form of cute little alpaca tiles or fish tiles.

Building Your Bag

Altiplano is a board game that emphasizes strategy. Each turn gives you many options to take, but the unique power you get from your role tile will definitely influence your path by giving you a specific advantage. It’s important to keep in mind the contents of your bag as you play, as this can allow you to plan several turns ahead since you know which goods are coming. Not all goods are created equal, however, as you might get stuck with something useless like glass.

Building houses scores you loads of bonus points at the end of the game. Whether you focus on building houses, producing cloth or silver, or filling your warehouses, you’ll find a strategy that carries you to victory.

Altiplano Traveler Expansion

Altiplano comes with an expansion called Altiplano: The Traveler. This expansion to the board game includes a traveler wandering through the Altiplano who offers new ideas and assets to grow and exchange resources. The expansion makes the strategy for the game even more complex, giving you new ways to grow your wealth while also throwing in more wrenches to your plan.

Altiplano: Resources May Be Limited But The Fun Is Not

Altiplano is playable by anywhere from 2-5 players. This makes it nice and flexible for people looking for a fun family game or some one-on-one competition. Because it’s suitable for ages 12 and up, it’s complex enough for adults to enjoy while also being accessible to teenagers.  Playing time lasts around one to two hours, which should be more than enough time to fight for resources and employ your winning strategy.

Altiplano is not as instantly playable as some other board games, as it can take a few plays before you really start to get the lay of the land. However, once you’re into it, this board game can provide countless hours of fun with its ability to develop complex strategies. Gather your goods and don’t let the alpacas run loose!

Buy your copy today!

 

Lords of Waterdeep: Explore a Detailed World

From the magical world of Dungeons & Dragons comes Lords of Waterdeep, a strategy board game that pits secretive and power-hungry masked rulers against one another in a campaign to grasp control of the city. Lords of Waterdeep combines resource gathering with card playing in an intricate and fantastical experience that will have you backstabbing your closest friends to win some much-needed victory points. The fantasy and political intrigue of Lords of Waterdeep elevate this board game from a forgettable worker placement game into a magical quest.

The Masked Lords of Waterdeep

In the Forgotten Realms, there lies a most fantastical city named Waterdeep, the City of Splendors. As one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, you’ll secretly recruit adventurers to embark on quests and bring back rewards with which you can grow your political influence. Lords of Waterdeep is all about the secret back-alley dealings and double crosses that determine who holds the true power of the city.

At the beginning of the game, each player will take on the role of one of the five Lords of Waterdeep. The game box comes with five different cardstock player mats with which you’ll conduct your various deeds. It also comes with hundreds of different cards, cubes, meeples, and other little colored trinkets that fill the game with colorful flourishes.

Adventurers, Rewards, and Quests

As one of the Lords of Waterdeep, you’ll control agents who will recruit adventurers to perform certain quests for them and earn rewards. These rewards will sometimes come in the form of victory points, which boost your influence over Waterdeep and get you one step closer to winning the game. Whoever wins the most victory points by the end of the eighth round is declared the winner, so you’ll have to act fast if you don’t want to fall behind.

The adventure resources are represented as purple, orange, black, and white cubes that are based on the four character classes of Dungeons & Dragons. Certain adventurers are better suited for certain quests—will your adventurer succeed in Skullduggery or does their strength lie in Commerce? You’ll need to stay on your toes and strategize if you want to block the other Lords from gaining control.

Scoundrels of Skullport Expansion

A single expansion was released in 2013 called Scoundrels of Skullport, which adds two expansion modules to the base game of Lords of Waterdeep. Whether you dive into the Undermountain module; explore the Skullport module; or add both expansions to the game, you’ll get a whole host of new game boards, cards, and tokens with which to play.

Undermountain adds an interesting new mechanic that allows you to place resources on the game board spaces while also offering you more expensive but rewarding quests. Skullport adds the corruption mechanic to the game, which includes the new corruption track game board and 25 corruption tokens. These can rob you of crucial victory points and make winning the game that much harder. If you’re a fan of Lords of Waterdeep and are looking to further explore the magical Forgotten Realm, the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion is an excellent addition to the base game.

Take Over the City of Splendor with Lords of the Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep is playable by 2-5 players, so it’s perfect for small to medium groups of friends who are looking for a new strategy board game to add to the mix. Dungeons & Dragons lovers will enjoy the familiar fantasy elements, while fantasy lovers in general will marvel at the creative imagination of the game’s designers.

Lords of Waterdeep is a somewhat lengthy game, with a playing time of one to two hours. However, hardcore strategy gamers will find gameplay completely manageable, especially when compared to most D&D quests. Lords of Waterdeep is also suitable for ages 12 and up, so it’s a great game for younger players who are looking to get into more advanced concepts of strategy and fantasy. While there are many tokens and cards to keep track of throughout the game, both beginners and advanced players alike can enjoy the adventure that lies within the Lords of Waterdeep.

Adjust your mask and plot your way to victory!

 

Terraforming Mars: Build a New World

Popular board games like Risk and Pandemic deal with the incredibly high stakes of worldwide catastrophe and war.  Terraforming Mars, however, leaves Earth behind completely in an effort to build a sustainable life on our closest neighboring planet.  In the 25th century, giant corporations seek to initiate projects to make Mars hospitable.  As players of the game, you’ll have to work together to achieve these goals while also earning points for your own commendable work.

Playing Cards

Terraforming Mars comes with over 200 different project cards that you can buy and use during each round.  These cards represent different projects that aid in your overall goal of terraforming Mars, including small things like introducing plant life or giant tasks such as mining the moons of planet Jupiter.  Some cards will also give you immediate bonuses or help boost your resource production.

While buying the cards comes with a small cost, the cost of putting them into play depends on the size of the project.  You’ll have to build up enough income to afford some of the costlier projects if you want to beat your fellow competitors and win the most victory points.

Terraforming Rating

Your Terraforming Rating is a special indicator that determines your victory point score, your income, and the amount of resources you produce.  Every time you perform an action that furthers the completion of one of the three main terraforming conditions, you’ll boost your Terraforming Rating and become that much more powerful.

Successfully Terraforming Mars

In each round, players go through three phases.  The first phase is the research phase, where each player is given the opportunity to buy randomly drawn cards.  Then, during the action phase, players can perform 1-2 actions such as playing a card, using the action of a card in play, or small tasks like converting heat into a temperature raise that slowly help to terraform Mars. 

While each player’s goal is to obtain victory points through buying cards and completing projects, the ultimate goal of Terraforming Mars is to complete the three terraforming conditions that make Mars habitable.  Once the oxygen level and temperature have both been raised to sufficient levels and enough of Mars has been covered by ocean, then the game ends.  Players will then count all of their points based on their Terraforming Rating and achievements, and the player with the highest score wins.

Terraforming Mars Expansions

Terraforming Mars comes with five unique expansions that add cool elements to the game such as the planet Venus or a Martian government.  With the Hellas and Elysium expansion, you’ll play with a new double-sided board that can make gameplay last for hours of fun.  The Venus Next expansion transports the game from Mars to Venus, as mankind’s colonization of the planets knows no bounds.

The Colonies expansion adds different areas around the solar system that players can use to produce resources without needing to play cards.  The Turmoil expansion adds the intriguing element of a Martian government that players can manipulate to achieve their own ends and earn elusive bonuses.  Several more expansions are currently in the works as Terraforming Mars continues to be a popular game for all kinds of players.

Terraforming Mars Is Out Of This World

Terraforming Mars can be played by anywhere from 1-5 players.  The fact that the game is so versatile means that you can enjoy it just as easily playing it on your own as you can with your entire family or friend group.  While there are many interesting elements and complex strategies involved with Terraforming Mars, it’s not too difficult to comprehend, and should be suitable for ages 12 and up. 

Terraforming Mars is a bit of an endeavor, as playing time usually lasts around 2 hours.  If you add one of the optional expansions to the mix, you may be looking at an entire night spent building cities and hurling asteroids.  Still, Terraforming Mars is certainly interesting enough that you won’t become tired of it before the game is over.  With a creative premise and endless potential for strategy, Terraforming Mars is one of the top strategy board games on the market.

 

 

How to Play Terraforming Mars

Wealth and Prestige Reign Supreme in Splendor

Nobles and merchants abound in Splendor, a chip-collecting card game that requires you to earn wealth and prestige in order to be crowned the victor.  If you’ve ever had a longing for the days of nobility and art, you’ll love the Renaissance theme that brings back memories of a time filled with wealth and luxury.  Splendor is an intriguing wealth-building game that’s simple to learn but full of complex strategy and opportunity.

Tokens, Cards, and Tiles

The goal of Splendor is to buy as many gems and build as many shops as possible to earn prestige points and win the game.  Gems are represented by different poker-style chips called gem tokens, which come in seven colors from shining emerald to captivating onyx.  The combination of cards and chips may make Splendor seem like a game of poker, but there’s a lot more to this imaginative game.

Players will purchase and reserve 90 development cards, which each have their own price tag of a certain number of gems.  These development cards can be purchased to earn prestige points alongside certain special bonuses that may invite a visit from a Noble.  The game comes with 10 noble tiles that get triggered once a player reaches a certain amount of bonuses, gracing them with their presence (and extra prestige points, of course).

Buying and Reserving

Each turn, players are given one of three choices: they can collect gems, buy and build a card, or reserve a card for later.  When collecting gems, players can choose three different kinds or two of the same kind of gem depending on their needs and their long-term strategy.  If players buy and build a card, they have to pay its price in gems before they can add it to their playing area.

Reserving a card for later is one of the sneakiest elements of the game, as this move can either be used to ensure that you get a certain card or be used to prevent another player from getting it.  It pays to be devious, however, as reserving a card also earns you a golden joker chip, which you can use in place of any type of gem.

Prestige Points

Whether you choose to collect gems, buy cards, or reserve cards, you’ll have to come up with your own unique strategy for collecting the most prestige points and winning the game.  The winner of Splendor is whichever player manages to collect 15 prestige points first—if there’s a tie, then the winning spot goes to the person who purchased the fewest development cards.  This can upset your winning strategy at the last second, so it pays to keep in mind alternative routes to earning prestige points.

Splendor Spinoffs and Expansions

Splendor was first published in 2014, with an expansion titled Cities of Splendor released three years later.  This expansion is really four separate expansions that can each revolutionize gameplay in their very own way.  The Cities will replace the noble tiles with city tiles, forcing you to fulfill certain objectives in order to win the game.  The Orient is a particularly fun expansion that adds three decks of cards, giving you special powers that you can tap into to dominate the competition.

Splendor also came out with a Marvel spinoff version that brings together your favorite super heroes in a quest to stop the evil Thanos.  Players will gain Infinity Points instead of prestige points, and they’ll also enjoy a different endgame trigger and victory conditions.  The Splendor spinoff is any Marvel fan’s dream come true!

Splendor: A Renaissance Card Game

Splendor can be played by 2-4 players ages 10 and up, so it’s best suited for small families or groups of friends.  Playing time lasts about 30 minutes, which is enough to allow players to enjoy a quick game or two in a night.  

Splendor is definitely a family-friendly game that’s simple enough for the kids to enjoy, but it also allows for more advanced players to experiment with riskier strategies.  Splendor will have you brimming with anticipation as you pick your cards and amass your wealth.  Who knows, you may even attract the attention of the nobility!

 

 

How to Play Splendor

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