by Delos

Terra Mystica

Hey all, time for a board game review.

The game in question is Terra Mystica. This game is built for 2-5 players and sits on the longer end of things at about 30-40 min per player.

The object of the game is to build a great civilization much like Settlers of Catan. You can build towns and cities and need to manage resources. The differences though are vast. The resources you gain is based on your towns. If you have a huge town on the board then you are producing a lot of resources. If you squander your resources and fail to think about the future soon you’ll be hard up for money or workers and will have to come up with some other way to deal with the shortage. The board itself is an interesting world full of rivers and terrain types that need to be conquered. One can not just build where ever they will without first making the land more habitable. A player needs to terraform each tile they want to inhabit and based on what kind of terrain your going to/coming from it can be cheap or very expensive to convert. For one race changing a desert to a forest is a huge task but for another race deserts are easy to deal with.

There are 14 races to pick from and each are paired up with another on the same cardboard tile, so you’ll never be fighting with another player for the same types of tiles. Each race offers a slightly different play style that changes how you approach the game and what ways you can win. In the end Victory Points are the road to victory (obviously) but how to get those points can be interesting. There are bonus points given out each round but the bonus changes each round and is randomly selected at the start of the game. You gain points from your cities and from your cults…oh yeah there are cults.

The four cults of Captain Planet allow for ways to gain power with the almighty. You can send followers to the earth, water, fire, and air temple and at the end who ever is most pious gets Victory Points. The temples help to also feed you power that you can use to buy more resources.

This game has a steep learning curve. There is a lot to track, but it is worth it. The amount of strategy involved is amazing, and there is no direct conflict in this game so you don’t get the feeling of people ganging up. You can’t attack your neighbor, but you can get in their way. I’d recommend this game to any group that enjoys strategic laid back board games that take a while.

Also what other game lets you say the phrase, “Put your purple power points in the pool to power your people,” and be totally serious.

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