Tharsis is a game about a mission to mars where we have spotted an anomaly and are on our way to research . You begin the game with a functional ship which has minor issues. However this changes very quickly after your ship goes through a meteor shower and your food pantry has a system failure.
After the meteor shower you send crew members to fix the food pantry. As they are working on the repairs the pantry suddenly explodes. Now you not only lose your food pantry but you are also short on crew members for the remaining journey.
The game consists of seven different capsules which all help the ship in different ways. The ships health is represented by the ships hull which can be found in the top left hand corner. The red bars underneath the hulls health show you the damage that will be taken the next day. However the damage can be averted if the repairs are made. You will have four crew members with different skill sets to fix the ship.
To successfully repair a capsule you will need to roll a set of dice. These dice must reach a certain number for your repairs to be successful. Some crew members will have one or two dice while others might have four. Knowing who to choose for certain missions is the second most important part of this game. The most important part of the game is to high roll. There are a lot of cool mechanics that take place with dice. If you roll a certain number you might make your dice unusable or cause immediate failure. Another mechanic is the ability to save some dice and reroll the rest. There are some missions that require you to roll something like a Yahtzee to be successful.
A successful repair can be followed up by keeping extra dice for research projects, class improvements, or module improvements.
Tharsis can be very difficult and I lost my first few crews in the first few weeks. A lot will start going wrong and if you don’t stay on top of it you will never catch back up.
You will be able to use each crew member once per week to repair a capsule. After you use all four members your ship may take hull damage. After the damage is taken you will see a decision screen where you will have to make a hard choice. You will usually have to choose from a calm and collected approach or a little bit of a crazy approach. Each decision will have a perk and a negative effect which may lead to your destruction.
After the first few weeks you will be given a choice to cannibalize the two crew members that died in the food pantry. This decision might seem easy to make but give the game a try. If you do you will see the importance of having the two extra dice.
I actually enjoy Tharsis and will certainly kill a few more crews before I give up completely. This game can be challenging but it is definitely beatable. You will learn something new every round to change your outcome next time. I have played four or five rounds and still haven’t made it to mars but I plan on getting there soon.
Tharsis is a game about a ship heading to mars which has a terrible accident. You must roll dice in order to save the crew and the ship. I personally love the games story but wish there was a mechanic other then dice to make repairs such as a mini-game. I love how the game progresses and has you make stressful decisions such as cannibalism for the food. I will be playing this game till I beat it and would recommend you do the same.