iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • So, I woke up this morning and loaded up Terra Mystica on my laptop trying to finish a game I had started last week. As I believe I mentioned earlier this year, wrapping my head around Digidiced‘s excellent port of TM was on my to-do list in 2018. Upon starting the game, however, I was hit with a notification that the Fire & Ice expansion had arrived. One new game menu later and I was all set to lead Tyrion and Dany against evil bitch Cersei and her Gregor-stein only to find that this isn’t a Song of Ice and Fire expansion, but something completely different. Fire & Ice is still pretty cool, but I have to admit I’m a little bummed.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • I haven’t spent a lot of time singing the praises of Digidiced‘s digital port of the euro-game masterpiece, Terra Mystica. Not because it’s not a great port or the game itself isn’t my cup of tea, the reality is that the game is just too damn confusing. Yes, I’ve played it on the tabletop, but I’m not sure I ever got my head around TM’s wheels-within-wheels design that seems complex for complexity’s sake. Seriously, there are so many different rules, ways to play, and mechanisms that it’s a very hard game to truly understand without many, many playthroughs. And all complexity happens even before you take into account the 14 different races, each with their own tweaks to the base rules. On the tabletop you can take your time to figure out just what the hell is going on, but the app comes at you full speed. There are tokens flying, actions being taken, and points being scored and I JUST CAN’T HANDLE IT.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Digidiced‘s digital version of Terra Mystica brought one of the heaviest and most complex board game titles to our tablets earlier this year and, for the most part, did so successfully. I say “for the most part” because the digital version didn’t alleviate any of the game’s complexity, which is usually something you expect when the CPU is handling the rules and fiddly bits. I’m not saying they didn’t create a good port–I’m not sure how they could have fit everything TM has to offer in any other fashion–but it’s a daunting game to play and even those of us who have played the tabletop version need to dedicate our full attention to follow just what the hell is going on. It’s worth the effort, however, as TM is a pretty great euro game once you wrap your head around it. It gets even better when you add the Fire & Ice expansion which is currently being worked on in the Digidiced labs. Luckily, they need our help to iron out the bugs, so we’ll have a chance to try it out for ourselves over the holidays when it becomes available for owners of the TM app as part of an open beta.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • When Terra Mystica was released for iOS and Android back in April, I had hoped to get a review up about a week or so after release. Surely, one week would be enough time to get a few games in and form an opinion. You would think so, but then Race for the Galaxy happened and the rest is history. Luckily for me, this week I can give Terra Mystica a go on my Mac instead of my iPad, meaning I can play it without RftG softly whispering my name.
iOS, Android • Terra Mystica is a tabletop behemoth and, even though it sits at #4 on BGG’s list of the best board games ever made, my group likes it about as much as a fart in an elevator. As such, my pimped out copy with acrylic everything lies dormant in my basement, silently waiting for me to man up and get a new game group. Sorry, cardboard monstrosity, but you’re going to be waiting a long time. First of all, I kind of like my game group and, secondly, in a week I’ll be able to play as much Terra Mystica as I want without any eyes rolling or noses turned up in disgust. Actually, I’ve received a pre-release copy, so I’m playing TM right now, you damned old box filled with wood and plastic. Take that! Don’t worry, I talk to my games quite a bit. It’s a combination of being alone all day and staggering levels of mental illness. I’ve taken my pills, and I think it’s time to share a bit of how the digital version of Terra Mystica is shaping up. That, and we have the trailer just on the other side of the jump.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • If you’ve played the physical version of Terra Mystica, you’re aware that the game comes complete with enough chunky wooden pieces to heat a small home through an extremely bitter winter. Every building you can plop on the board is made of wood with the small individual houses all the way up to massive strongholds and temples. That’s just the wood, there’s also about 30 pounds of cardboard in the box to account for the 14 different factions, each one playing completely differently than the others. Each time a copy is purchased, there’s a copse in Germany that sheds a tear. Lucky for Gaea, there’s a digital version on the way and it’s coming sooner than we thought.
Of all the games I’ve tried to teach over the years, none has generated more blank stares than Terra Mystica. A heavy euro, the game features a confusing magic system, tons of different races to play each with their own special abilities, and enough wooden pieces to deforest a small nation. While complicated, once it clicks it’s a fantastic game.