Terraforming Mars is in mobile beta – and it’s decent!

(Edit – 12/5/19) – The mobile app has finally been released! Take a look at my post to see why I’m not going to be buying it.

Original post still below.


Something I’m way behind on is telling you that the Terraforming Mars app (that came out to mixed reviews on Steam but I mostly liked) has been in beta on mobile devices for a little while now.

The game is published and developed by Lucky Hammers and Asmodee Digital.

This isn’t a news post, unfortunately, because I think both Android and iOS is full, but I’d like to report back a little bit.

First, I want to say that while it is one of my favourite games, I’m not so well-versed in it that I can say that it definitively gets all the rules right (there have been some threads about these types of issues since the Steam app came out).

However, from what I can see, a number of things seem to be working better than they were on Steam (and maybe the Steam app now has these improvements as well).

First, they’ve added the draft variant! This also appeared on Steam and it is much-needed. I was so happy to play a few games against the AI with the draft variant.

Secondly, online multiplayer seems to be working pretty good, much better than the Steam app (though again, maybe the Steam app updated this as well because frankly I gave up after one game in frustration).

You actually can invite friends to a game without waiting around in the room.  (Like most Asmodee apps, if you just want to play online with people you don’t know, you have to keep the room open until everybody joins).

This was much needed!

TM - Mobile

If I was posting this a week or so ago, I would have been able to say that you even get notifications when it’s your turn!

Sadly, that seems to have crapped out, though. I haven’t received a notification in quite a while. Hopefully that can be fixed!

It still has a maximum of 15 days to finish a game, which works ok if you check fairly regularly. However, I can’t see that working with the draft variant. Each “turn” would be choosing a card. With 10-12 generations, you’re looking at another 30-36 logins!

They really need to add more time.

In addition to this, it really needs to tell you who’s who in your game. It’s not bad in a 2-player game (obviously the person who isn’t you is the other player), but in a 3 or 4-player game, it would be nice to know if Jim is Thorgate or if Bob is.

TM - Mobile 2
I love how the language of the game name is in the creator’s native language.

Finally, even when we did receive turn notifications, you had no idea which game the turn was from! Now, with no notifications, I have to check all three just to make sure I’m not missing something.

This, along with the notifications, really needs to change as well.

Overall, though, I’m liking the mobile version of the game. I like playing it on the go, and I hope that many of the issues that we’ve brought up are addressed before it goes into general release.

I haven’t had it crash yet, which is also a plus.

It looks really good on my phone and iPad.

Here’s hoping!

Are you in the beta? Maybe hit me up for a game!

4 Comments on “Terraforming Mars is in mobile beta – and it’s decent!

  1. My feeling in general towards digital versions is that they are cool when travelling / etc by playing pass-and-play. I also noticed that the longer game, the harder is it to play (I have wonderful Through the Ages https://theboardgameschronicle.com/2018/04/27/eng-it-is-time-to-start-vacations/ but it is really hard to play in one go). Anyhow, good to see valuable products are ported to digital version – my favorite company in that respect is definitely Playdek, with their Twilight Struggle and Fort Sumter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: App Review – Terraforming Mars – Steam – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  3. Pingback: Why I Won’t be Buying Mobile Terraforming Mars – Dude! Take Your Turn!

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