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Terraformers is a sci-fi simulation and strategy game with elements of resource management and roguelike gameplay. Set on the Red Planet, the game challenges players to explore and develop colonies while terraforming the planet with ambitious projects. Players can spread life and build spectacular cities while managing resources and making difficult choices.
The game offers a unique experience every time as the planet is procedurally generated. Players can send their leaders to explore mysterious locations to uncover rich resource depots, giant crystal caves, and stunning natural wonders. They can found new cities on craters and lava tubes, make them thrive, and meet their population’s rising demands. In this Terraformers review, we will take a closer look at the strategy and its mechanics.
At the start of every year, players can choose the best buildings from a selection of randomly proposed projects. They can plan their city layout efficiently and find strong synergies between buildings to grow their cities into utopian metropolises or industrial settlements automated by robots. They can also embark on ambitious terraforming projects such as restarting a volcano, constructing giant space mirrors, or nuking the poles to geo-engineer the entire planet. With each new life form they introduce, players must meet specific requirements while also considering the strategic benefits they provide. The game aims to inspire humankind to take its first steps out of the cradle and become an interplanetary species, starting with Mars.
Terraformers was released on March 9, 2023, and features a procedurally generated Red Planet for players to explore and terraform. The game has received very positive reviews from players on Steam and is available in seven languages including English, French, German, Spanish, and Russian. Terraformers includes 62 Steam achievements, trading cards, and cloud support. The game also offers a special edition and supporter pack for purchase on Steam.
Terraformers gameplay: what is this game about?
In this game, players are in control of a colony on Mars and must manage its development and growth. At the beginning of the game, players choose a leader with a unique set of skills and abilities. Each turn, players can use one of these abilities to perform various actions and tasks that will help their colony expand and thrive. The player starts with a small city and must gradually explore Mars, uncovering resources, and expanding their colony to new areas.
To progress in the game, players must complete various objectives that will teach them the ins and outs of colony management. It’s also necessary to pay attention to the loyalty of their citizens and ensure they are meeting their needs. As the game progresses, new buildings and projects to construct will be unlocked, such as terraforming stations, which allow players to create oceans, remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and produce oxygen. Additionally, players can trade with Earth to acquire valuable resources and must continuously explore Mars to find new locations with unique resources.
There is also an opportunity to found new cities in specific areas of the map, like craters, and customize them with unique names and colors. Cities can be expanded by adding neighboring areas with resources, and players can improve mining sites to increase resource production. This game offers a deep and engaging gameplay experience that challenges players to think strategically and manage their colony efficiently to ensure its survival on the harsh and unforgiving landscape of Mars.
Issues with the game Terraformers (personal opinion)
The main problem with Terraformers, in my opinion, is its excessively fast pace. I completed the first campaign, where you needed to score 300 points to win, in about an hour and a half. Although new game modes with different victory conditions open up after that, I was still unsatisfied with the gameplay, as everything ended too unexpectedly.
There is one more obvious negative aspect, it’s the graphics. It strongly resembles the graphics in browser-based strategy games. You can’t even rotate the camera around your buildings when placing them in cities. Given all the possibilities of modern game engines, it looks strange and clearly does not add points to the game.
On the other hand, the Terraformers strategy quickly captures you with interesting mechanics. If at the beginning of the game you don’t quite understand what’s going on and what all these nodes on the surface of the planet are for, after half an hour you’ll be fully engaged in creating oceans and saturating the atmosphere with oxygen. So, as I said, the game was short. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it – it was interesting.
How players rate Terraformers on Steam
The game was released on March 9th, 2023, and by March 11th, it had received over 875 positive reviews. Based on the reviews written by players on Steam, the following can be said about the game.
- The game is surprisingly fun, engaging, and offers nice graphics.
- The core mechanic of the game is resource management, and players need to use synergies between cards to keep up with demand and balance different resources.
- The game offers various difficulty levels for each scenario, allowing players to learn the game mechanics and cards gradually.
- The game allows players to terraform Mars, watch the oceans spread, and the planet looking more and more habitable over time.
- The game has unique aspects of game design such as trade routes, buildings that give players more choices, and more powerful and expensive cards.
- The game is rather repetitive, and players need to replay it quite often to unlock harder difficulty levels and late-game cards.
- The game has some bugs, especially when it comes to savegame handling while Steam is online or offline.
- The game relies on some science fiction elements such as importing whole oceans from space or creating an atmosphere with just a handful of factories.
Is Terraformers worth playing?
Terraformers is definitely worth playing for anyone who enjoys strategy and simulation games. With its well-designed gameplay mechanics, the game has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from players in a short time. One of the key advantages of Terraformers is its low system requirements, which means that players with less powerful computers can enjoy the game as well. Additionally, the game’s affordable price on Steam makes it accessible to a wide range of gamers.
However, some players have pointed out that the game can become repetitive after a certain point, and that it may not offer enough variety in terms of gameplay. Nonetheless, these minor drawbacks are outweighed by the game’s overall strengths, making Terraformers a highly recommended experience for fans of the genre.