One book to rule them all: week July 10 - July 16
5 Years to Mars is a game about the space race to Mars. However you don’t actually go to Mars, you want to earn the right to make the mission possible by wisely spending your government funds.
Game is played over five years. Every year you receive government funding of twenty Spucks (space bucks). Your goal is to gather as much victory points as you can, in this case representing the goals required for a successful Mars mission.
Each year you spend Spucks on:
Funding research - these can give you discount on project cards and other bonuses (Unavailable during fifth year)
Funding project - main source of gaining victory points (Unavailable during first year)
Replace displayed card for one Spuck
Give your money back to government - in case you don’t want to or can’t do anything else
You can keep spending your Spucks until you run out of money or choose to end things by giving your money back. At the end of year you advance tracks to your goals, earning victory points. Project cards also help you with budget, each year you get only twenty Spucks from the government, but the rest you need to get from project cards to stand a chance. After receiving a new budget, you discard project cards and start a new year. After the fifth year, calculate your scores.
In case the game becomes too easy, you can seed event cards into the project deck. These will hinder you in some way. Recommended seasoned difficulty is two event cards per player (so two in solo game), but you can also use more if you feel like you lack challenge.
My thoughts are revealed
Simple rules, no issues with the rulebook text wise. However the rulebook is white text on black background, which hurts my eyes. No idea if this is the final intention, I might ask in the comments. There is also no table to check your scores against, so pure BYOS. However, the cooperative variant says you win if you complete all the missions. Maybe just an omission for the solo game?
I haven’t posted anything for the last two weeks for lack of my own interest in the projects that weren’t canceled or postponed. I’m sorry for that. This little game took me by surprise, I wasn’t expecting it and even less I expected to be interested in it. Reminds me a bit of Ares Expedition not just due to theme, but also gameplay-wise, but in a much smaller package. I’ll be looking more into this one yet.
5 Years to Mars has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 23 more days. The game is also available to try on Tabletop Simulator.