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Terraforming Mars’ Big Box expansion brings 3D terrain to the surface of the Red Planet

A new dimension.

Terraforming Mars is getting a Big Box expansion that brings a whole new level to the strategy game’s Red Planet - quite literally.

Terraforming Mars is a game for one to five players about humans shaping the face of Mars to make the planet a more habitable place. The players control competing corporations as they attempt to improve oxygen levels, produce sources of water, cultivate a more comfortable temperature and generally make the otherwise barren planet fit for human existence.

The players look to gradually cultivate Mars’ atmosphere and environment by taking on and fulfilling new projects. Obtaining certain projects can cost valuable funds, but in turn open up new opportunities for improving a player’s terraforming rating - which contributes toward their final score.

Projects, such as improving ocean coverage or constructing a new piece of infrastructure, require resources to complete. Resources are gained by players by laying down city, forest and ocean tiles, which furthers their progression in one of the three global parameters required to prepare Mars: temperature, oxygen level and ocean coverage.

Other than competing for a better terraforming rating, players can also work to obtain certain milestones and awards in order to collect victory points. Once all three global parameters have been met, the game ends and the person with the highest combined terraforming rating and number of victory points is named the winner.

The Big Box expansion for Terraforming Mars was announced by publisher Stronghold Games’ CEO Stephen Buonocore during an episode of the Boardgame Insider podcast. Buonocore revealed that the upcoming expansion would not just be a storage solution for the base game and all five of its current expansions, but will include several cosmetic additions, such as a selection of 3D tiles representing newly terraformed cities, forests and oceans. There will be six different types of city, five unique forests, nine varieties of ocean tiles and 11 special tiles.

Terraforming Mars board game layout

Furthermore, according to Bunocore, the Big Box expansion will introduce “three new tiles, never seen before”, as well as several new promo cards and unique global parameter markers to replace the plain white ones in the base game. Among the tiles will be a 3D mushroom cloud to mark the game’s Nuclear Zone.

The creator of Terraforming Mars is Jacob Fryxelius, who also designed co-op game After the Virus - a deckbuilder about surviving a zombie attack. Fryxelius co-founded FryxGames, the co-publisher of Terraforming Mars, alongside other members of the Fryxelius family.

The Terraforming Mars: Big Box expansion will launch on Kickstarter on June 9th.


Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Staff Writer

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.