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On Mars’ semi-cooperative board game expansion renamed to Alien Invasion

Extra-terrestrial treachery.

The first expansion for On Mars, the sci-fi themed board game about interstellar habitation, has been renamed to Alien Invasion.

Originally titled Surviving Mars, On Mars: Alien Invasion was renamed by publisher Eagle-Gryphon Games to “better reflect the theme and content” of the expansion. (Thanks BoardGameGeek.) The design of the upcoming board game expansion remains largely the same, with players set to experience an entire narrative based on the red planet. Alien Invasion will be split into four chapters, each one telling the story of a team of astronauts who have arrived on Mars looking to establish new colonies for humanity.

However, alongside the environmental threats posed by having a lack of oxygen and edible materials, the player characters will also have to cope with an incoming invasion of extraterrestrial enemies. The first chapter will see players responding to the alien threat and needing to decide how they’re going to stop their arrival and subsequent conquering of the galaxy’s habitable worlds. Players can choose to band together to prevent the alien threat, or even defect to the invaders’ side to help them establish their own colony on Mars and beyond.

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Alien Invasion will feature the option for players to work together cooperatively or compete against one another as the humans and the intergalactic invaders. The expansion will also include a solo game mode, should players ever want to tackle Alien Invasion alone. Each chapter can be played entirely separately or as a complete campaign, with the option to play each one multiple times over. Alien Invasion also comes with a new scientist for players to use - the microbiologist - and a security unit that they can control.

The original On Mars puts players in the shoes of settlers arriving on the red planet in the near future as astronauts for explorative corporations attempting to create their own colonies. They must compete as rival corporate astronauts set on forming the most successful colonies possible, whilst ensuring that they fulfill the desires of their companies. Each round is split into two phases - a colonisation phase and a shuttle phase - with players needing to travel between their colony on Mars and the company’s space station in orbit.

During the colonisation phase, players will be able to construct the various buildings they need to form their colonies, from oxygen factories to greenhouses, with the option to upgrade these further along in the game. The shuttle phase is spent gathering the blueprints needed to create these structures, as well as developing exciting new technologies and gathering the necessary supplies. Players will also be looking to complete various missions set by their corporations. Once three missions have been completed the game ends and the player with the most opportunity points - acquired by developing colonies - is the winner.

On Mars: Alien Invasion layout

On Mars and Alien Invasion were both created by Vital Lacerda, who is otherwise known for designing worker-placement game The Gallerist and the historically focused tile placement title Lisboa.

The Kickstarter campaign for On Mars: Alien Invasion is set to be launched on May 13th and will run until May 28th, pledge amounts and an estimated release date are yet to be confirmed.

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Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.