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On Mars

On Mars is a strategic board game for 1-4 players where players compete to build and expand a colony on Mars, managing resources, researching technologies, and completing missions while facing various challenges.

8.19 / 10
BGG Rating
published year
1 - 4
player count
1 - 4
Recommended player count
90 - 150 mins
play time

How Complex is On Mars?

4.67 / 5

On Mars has a steep learning curve due to its many interlocking systems, but experienced gamers will find it challenging and rewarding.

How much Luck is involved in the gameplay of On Mars?

1.5 / 5

There is some luck involved with the draw of mission cards and resource tiles, but the game heavily relies on strategic decision making and planning.

How much Player Interaction does On Mars offer?

3.5 / 5

On Mars has limited direct player interaction, but there is competition for resources and missions, and players can block each other's plans. The expansion modules add more interaction.

How much Replayability does On Mars offer?

4 / 5

On Mars offers high replayability due to the variable setup, multiple paths to victory, and different player counts. The expansion modules also add more variety and complexity to the game.

Why you should play On Mars

Unique Theme

On Mars is a game that takes place on the red planet, Mars. The game's theme is unique and offers players a chance to explore the planet and build their own colonies.

Strategic Gameplay

The game offers a deep and strategic gameplay experience. Players must manage resources, build structures, and research new technologies to advance their colony.

Beautiful Artwork

The game features stunning artwork and components that immerse players in the world of Mars. The game board and player boards are beautifully designed and add to the overall experience.

Multiple Paths to Victory

On Mars offers multiple paths to victory, allowing players to pursue different strategies and playstyles. Players can focus on building the most advanced colony, completing research objectives, or exploring the planet.


The game has a high level of replayability, with different starting conditions and randomized events that keep each game fresh and exciting. Additionally, the game offers a solo mode for players who want to play on their own.

Why you should avoid On Mars

Complex Rules

The game has a steep learning curve and can be overwhelming for new players. The rules are complex and require a significant amount of time to understand.

Lengthy Playtime

On Mars is a long game that can take several hours to complete. This may not be ideal for players who prefer shorter games or have limited time to play.

High Price Point

The game is relatively expensive compared to other board games on the market. This may not be ideal for players who are on a budget or prefer to invest in more affordable games.

Overall, while On Mars is a great game for players who enjoy complex and strategic gameplay, it may not be the best fit for everyone due to its high price point, lengthy playtime, and complex rules.

Where to find the Rules of On Mars

You can find the community-driven rules summary, player aid, etc., in the On Mars files section on the BoardGameGeek website. You need an account on BGG to download files.

Beginner Strategies for On Mars

These strategies are for players who have either not played or played one or two games of On Mars.

Focus on building a strong infrastructure

In On Mars, it's important to build a strong infrastructure early on. This means building power plants, water extractors, and mines to ensure a steady supply of resources.

Plan your actions carefully

Each turn, you'll have a limited number of actions to take. Make sure you plan your actions carefully to maximize your efficiency and progress towards your goals.

Balance your resources

In On Mars, you'll need to balance your resources carefully. Make sure you have enough food and oxygen to keep your colonists alive, while also investing in research and development to improve your technology.

Explore the planet

Don't be afraid to send your colonists out to explore the planet. This will help you discover new resources and technologies that can give you an edge over your opponents.

Keep an eye on your opponents

Finally, keep an eye on your opponents and their progress. If you see them making a move towards a particular goal, you may want to adjust your strategy accordingly to stay competitive.

Advanced Strategies for On Mars

Focus on the end game

As you become more experienced with the game, it's important to start thinking about the end game from the very beginning. This means planning your actions and investments with the goal of achieving the most points at the end of the game.

Use the research track to your advantage

The research track is a powerful tool in On Mars, allowing you to unlock new technologies and gain bonuses. Make sure you invest in research early on and use it to your advantage throughout the game.

Take advantage of the solo player actions

In On Mars, there are actions that can only be taken by the solo player. These actions can be very powerful, so make sure you take advantage of them when you can.

Be flexible with your strategy

While it's important to have a plan, it's also important to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. Keep an eye on your opponents and adjust your strategy accordingly to stay competitive.

Don't neglect the importance of colonists

Colonists are the key to success in On Mars, as they allow you to take more actions and generate more resources. Make sure you invest in colonists early on and keep them happy throughout the game.


Tile Placement
Set Collection
Hexagon Grid
Hand Management
Variable Phase Order
Worker Placement
Solo / Solitaire Game
Tech Trees / Tech Tracks
End Game Bonuses
Delayed Purchase
Movement Points
Moving Multiple Units
Closed Drafting


Science Fiction
City Building
Territory Building
Space Exploration