A Paramount Picture

Want to see Terra Mystica in action? We’ve got the trailer.

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.

Terra Mystica is a bewildering game when playing the first time. The basic rules aren’t too hard to figure out, but there always seems to be one more rule that needs to be added. You understand terraforming and building? Good, but did you realize that if you build next to someone, you’re helping that other player? Oh, we didn’t mention the concept of towns yet? Sorry! Don’t even get me started on moving magic around in those three bowls. I don’t want your head to explode. There’s shipping, and terrain types, and so many different races to play that the entire package can be overwhelming.

And…there’s no random option. Great, picking my faction will now take longer than an actual game.

It’s not as bad as it seems when you actually start pushing pieces around, but TM is definitely not light game to play while waiting in line for your Acyclovir prescription to refill. Even Agricola looks at TM and wonders what the hell the designer was thinking. It’s a deep game, but it’s also a great one. DIGIDICED seems to know this and isn’t taking any chances with their digital port.

Let’s not spread rumors about Boris, okay?

The port is pretty snazzy with beautiful graphics, especially the factions which are all animated, and the music. Yes, music, that thing I usually turn off immediately upon downloading a game. Each faction has their own music which plays when you open their menus. Nice touch.

All the information and side boards are conveniently tucked off to the…um…side, leaving the board wide open and easy to see. Actions can be taken either by selecting your faction and choosing from a wheel of options (with options you cannot afford being grayed out), or by interacting with the board directly.

Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!

There is solo play against three levels of AI, although only the easy AI is currently available. You can also add AI players to a pass-and-play game, if that floats your boat. There’s also online multiplayer, either through ranked games which will pair you up randomly with someone with your skill level or with your friends via a friend list. The games are asynchronous with an added rule change that you must announce how many VP you are willing to convert to Power should someone build next to you on their turns. This prevents the game stalling during someone’s turn after they build next to an opponent. If you don’t like that rule, you can play with the standard rules as well, but the new rule is an option to speed up play.

See, it’s not so complicated after all.

The Fire and Ice expansion isn’t available in the pre-release version, but should be ready to go via IAP when the game launches next week.

And now for that trailer. Take a look and we’ll have more to say about Terra Mystica when it releases for iPad and Android tablets on April 20th.

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Notable Replies

  1. How’s the tutorial?

    The camera zoom looks vomit-inducing, but maybe that’s because it is sped up for the trailer. It concerns me, though. Might have to watch some actual gameplay.

  2. I forget how Digidiced works.

    Do you have to add friends individually in each game, or is it like Playdek where once they’re added, it covers all of their games?

  3. Pretty sure my friendslist carried over from Inland Port to All Creatures. Also, April / May of this year is like Heaven for digital board game enthusiasts.

  4. Yup, DigiDiced have one Friends List for all their games (so far at least). Which is why your, say, Inland Port opponents can have, say, Patchwork avatars …

  5. The tutorial is broken up into 7 or 8 different “chapters” that you can play through. It covers the basics, but I see it still being a mighty steep hill to climb if you’ve never played the cardboard version. I knew the rules going in, though, so I’m not a very good judge of the tutorial.

    Pretty sure that quick zoom is just for the trailer. There are different animation speeds and I have mine set to slow and haven’t vomited or been annoyed at delays yet.

  6. The AI is definitely slow to decide. My only qualm so far.

  7. js619 says:

    Bought it this morning, but having never played the cardboard, I think I’ll need some time with a playthrough before jumping in.

  8. Same here. The tutorial covers the basic flow well and gives you some good hints at what you should be considering in your strategy. I’ve tried and failed many times at attempting to play it on BGA from only reading the manual online.

  9. Terra Mystica is not on BGA

  10. So who wants to play?

  11. Give me a day or two to get used to the interface (I’ve only played the boardgame twice or three times, and it’s been a while).

    Then I’d love to play!

  12. js619 says:

    I’d be up for a beating too, but give me the weekend to figure out wth I’m doing.

  13. In Canadian dollars, this app is $13.99. I’ve never spent over $10 on an app.

    What is wrong with me??? :stuck_out_tongue:

  14. I’ll be up for a game in a few days. I’ve played the board game twice a long while ago and need to get up to speed.

  15. I’m up for a match. I think you’re already on my friends list.

  16. I’d play as well after I get used to the app this weekend. Sounds like we need a tourney!

  17. And I make 8, thats a good start. So we can pencil in a little tourney to start around monday then?

  18. I’ll play, too, but I need to figure out what I’m doing. Happy to accept friendly game requests to mgeiger9.

  19. hello guys, here i come runnin’ :nerd_face:

  20. Wow. I really forgot how to play. I’m athros on GC, and I’ll happily accept any casual games :slight_smile:

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