Succeeding in Tharsis requires you to make the best of what you have, even if it happens to be a pair of snake eyes. Certain factors may be outside of your control, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be overcome. Tharsis is not a game about facing the odds. It’s a game about changing them.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (420 reviews) - 65% of the 420 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mixed (1,376 reviews) - 67% of the 1,376 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 11, 2016

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Recent updates View all (8)

August 1

A huge new patch is available!

Hey everyone! We’ve just issued a huge Tharsis patch with bug fixes, new missions, a completely revamped tutorial, unlockable skull avatars, and more. We’ll post the full patch notes below, but I first wanted to remind everyone that they can always contact us at support@totallychoice.com with any bug reports, support requests, or anything else they’d like to chat with us about. We’re dedicated to making Tharsis the best game it can possibly be, so please don’t be shy about sending your feedback our way!

PATCH NOTES

  • Bug fixes galore
  • A completely revamped tutorial. We highly recommend you play through it if you’ve had a hard time understanding Tharsis!
  • Introduction of unlockable “skull” avatars. We’ll talk more about the unlock criteria as time goes on. For now, we want to see how many of you can figure it out without our assistance…
  • Smoother difficulty curve in Normal mode
  • Hard mode is now harder than ever
  • Five new missions available in Missions mode
  • Research mechanic now more streamlined and easier to understand

32 comments Read more

Reviews

“What sets Tharsis apart from other space survival stories is the meticulous attention to detail paid to its ever-worsening parade of disaster scenarios."”
Motherboard/Vice

“...extremely difficult and very fun dice-based strategy game...”
Kotaku

“Tharsis Is an Ingenious Space Game That Will Break You”
5/5 – Time

About This Game

A mysterious signal originating from the Tharsis region of Mars set us on a frantic mission. Who sent it? And why? Impossible questions, but in them lie the key to humanity’s survival.

Now, millions of miles away from home, a micrometeoroid storm has left us with a severely damaged ship, two deceased crew, and the sneaking suspicion this trip was doomed from the start.

Tharsis is a turn-based space strategy game. With dice. And cannibalism. It puts you in control of humanity’s first mission to Mars, just as it’s struck by a micrometeoroid storm. You must guide your crew through disasters, food shortages, and the unforgiving nature of space — all while maintaining your sanity amidst cryptic signals and warnings from Mars.

Defy the odds, make the difficult decisions, and embark on the most important mission in human history.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 x64
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 5xxx
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 11 compatible graphics card (Intel HD 5000, NVIDIA GeForce 400 or Radeon HD 5000)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 x64
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 5xxx
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 6xx or Radeon HD 7xxx
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.10
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 5xxx
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 5000, NVIDIA GeForce 400 or Radeon HD 5000
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: OSX 10.10
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 5xxx
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 6xx or Radeon HD 7xxx
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (420 reviews)
Overall:
Mixed (1,376 reviews)
Recently Posted
N.tony
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 31
If you ever played a mechanics-driven co-op boardgame with dice you can guess what's in store. It's a game that's designed for you to keep failing until one time you somehow manage to get to the end. Yes, if you are a statistics aficionado, you might find a perversed pleasure in minimizing the risks and trying to find that optimal play, that will still fail most of the time.

However, for the rest of us this game has nothing to offer but frustration. When you're rolling dice with your buddies getting your rears handed to you by the almighty random, you're at least bonding over the shared experience. Here, all you get is a pseudo-intellectual "story", that wouldn't impress me if I were 10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DucksGuts
3.6 hrs
Posted: August 31
Very... VERY challenging. I like the RNG aspects of the game a lot. It's a great amount of fun. I'm not sure as to replayability once you've accomplished everything, but I'm hoping for further missions, dlcs, whatever in the future.
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bla123bla123
3.1 hrs
Posted: August 30
It is a RNG driven game. Lots of 'not your fault' losses. Even though that is annoying, the game is fun. Not sure if I would say it is worth $15 though... I got this game as part of a Humble Bundle with a few others so I got it dirt cheap. I would say this game is for sure worth it if cheaper, questionable at $15.
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Delle(DK)
4.5 hrs
Posted: August 30
At first i worte a negative review, but I like to change it.

Well as you already know you have to survive your journey to mars.
Every turn you will be hit by 2-3 different random failures that you need your crew to fix.
You use dices that you roll and use to repair things.. But what you might not know is that your crews health and such things will all effect how many dieces you have, and special rules can make dices worthless or stadic so you cannot roll your dice again.
What this mean is that things very fast can become rather complicated and you will have problems you cannot fix and this will effect your ship and crew all the way to mars.

The game is NOT EASY, not even on EASY mode. Actual it tooke me more htan 15+ tries to reach mars. ( bye the way at the end turn all crew need to be in the command capsul and your ship need to survive all the failures at the end of the round ).

But here are some small advice that will make your journey to become more successfull.
First of all you need food, so try to role 2 or 3 of the same dices in the food section when you can. Next you need to pay special attention to the ships hull. meaning the events that damage the hull are your priority. To make the game a bit more easy you can use unspend dices for research/bonus things such as extra dice, or repair 7-20 damage or other stuff.. Use this without it you will have problems. All in all the game is easy to play, but difficult to master, and often you just have bad luck regarding the dices or damage to the ship that you fail and fail and fail again.
But once you actual complete the game its like, ohhh that is how you are supposed to play it, or this worked i will try that again.. that is also why i change my review from negative to positive since I was under the impression game was just impossible to win.
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unknowncity
11.1 hrs
Posted: August 30
Don't be mislead by the game's presentation: It's a less-than-deep sequence of randomized logic puzzles pretending to be a dice game. Seemingly random events aren't really that random. The mechanic of rolling the dice -- which is presented as a core part of the gameplay -- is largely there to give you something to click on. Most of what the game presents itself as is little more than window dressing.

Once you master the basics of the logic puzzles (it's a bit much to call this "strategy"), there's really not much to it. It's an exceptionally frustrating experience if you try to take the gameplay at face value (like thinking the dice results actually matter), and a completely underwhelming experience once you figure out how it actually works. Read the forums about the optimial strategies for each turn, and the challenge largely evaporates. Unless you like replaying the same-ish puzzles over and over, I recommend that you find another game.

The devs did a fine job with the presentation, but it's ultimately much less of a game than the one you're probably imagining it to be. The seeming unfairnes of the random event and the dice rolls -- which everyone is understandably hung up on (including me, for a time) -- is actually just misdirection. I do appreciate that the devs have tried to add some variety to the gameplay with various scenarios, but these are really just variations on the same theme.

Those people who gave up on the game after an hour? They were right. I liked this game so much more when I thought it actually was the hardcore, slightly unfair, randomized, dice-based survival board game it pretends to be. If you're going to pick this game up because it sounds interesting -- as I did -- do it on a steep sale or in a bundle. It's definitely not something I'd recommend buying at $15.
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MICK
5.8 hrs
Posted: August 30
Enjoyable for all about 20 minutes up until your friends start laughing at you through skype because you were so close to Mars then the Mexican ♥♥♥♥ed everything up for you.
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sarrowquand
8.9 hrs
Posted: August 30
I really like Tharsis. If you don't want to learn how to play before you play then you will have a very unforgiving start and lose a lot while you figure things out. That's what I did because I knew I'd find it more fun that way. I played it non-stop all evening until I finally managed to get to Mars (10th try).

After that I took a break from it for a bit, but this is one of those games you can keep coming back to when you feel like playing something old and familiar. It is turn based so it goes nicely in between chores or whatever else you are doing.

You can also eat crew members who fail you. Good times.
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Phill Wide
5.9 hrs
Posted: August 30
Hard, but fun game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sgt. Slaughter
3.6 hrs
Posted: August 29
I don't understand why people are downvoting because of the difficulty. I almost passed on this gem because of that. While it is challenging you are given enough strategic options to tilt the balance in your favour most of the time. You will lose yes, but I was lead to believe that "normal" is impossible and I beat it on my second try. Maybe I got lucky, but a good strategy is enough to get you out of most situations.
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[OvO]wl
8.5 hrs
Posted: August 29
The game is a really good idea. I love the concept, but the game is too difficult to be enjoyable, even on easy mode. To put it this way, i've died 10 times in a row in the 2nd training mission on easy mode. The strategic element to the game is so thin, it's often hard to see a distinct strategy at all.

The game needs strategic adjustments to allow a balance.

Played it some more, but it's no better. I got past the second training mission. So my mistake was, that i read the instructions which suggested i should go after the most serious issue. There were two issues, a Windows BSOD and a airlock breach that was leaking out into space. Apparently the trick is to fix the BSOD and ignore the fact that oxygen is venting into space, because BSODs damage the ship 1 hitpoint a turn and airlocks do not. I did not realise this because I didn't see the red line on the danger alerts. In part because my eyes aren't as good as they used to be, in part because i am mildly colour blind, and in part because i didn't see it mentioned in the tutorial.

Suggestions for how this game could be improved:

Injuries when you roll, sure you can get assists, but in my opinion hand of fate did assists better. See in hand of fate, they allowed you to reroll, before they injured you, so if you couldn't get a good result on the reroll, then you were screwed. It felt much more reasonable, than, you can have a reroll, but everytime you reroll you must die a bit. That frankly sucks and doesn't feel like you have any control over the strategy.

Also I think an injury for every single roll of the die with a special number is harsh, if the injury number is 2 and you roll 5 twos, then you're dead, even if you start from full health. It's even more harsh when something like that happens in a training mission and teh death wasn't scripted.

I don't think that fire should spread simultaneously throughout the ship instantly, i think it should spread section by section, that's a lot more realistic.

The tutorial despite being longer than charlie manson's jail sentence, doesn't cover how things like research works. It should be made shorter, and more optional, and should at least give you basic information about the game.

Other things the tutorial doesn't mention is the health bar, the fact that system failure is non-critical issue that can be indefinitely ignored (huh?), what the red lines are in the disasters, what the dice and the stress meters were. - this is something that might be useful to display in a diagram along with the other stuff.

The game would benefit from having some kind of dice crafting system where you can make permanent items to improve your luck, rather than just next turn fixes for issues that expire the turn after. It creates a feeling of helplessness over the strategy and there's not enough weighing up short term survival against long term benefit because of this.

It also feels like it's missing some kind of experience ranking system for the crew, like it feels like with experience the crew should become more specialist in particular areas. That's something that could be massively expanded on within the game and make the game far more interesting and engaging.

It would be pretty cool if you could click on the faults and get some kind of feel for the severity of the issue, what the issue is, the longevity of the fault, if there's any latency before things get more serious. That kind of thing.

All of the faults I found so far affect the gameplay now... it would be cool if some things didn't become serious until later.

If would be nice to see some totally different mechanics of fixing different faults, that breaks away from the samey feeling of fixing issues on the ship.

Respite periods in the gameplay between disasters would be welcome too, so that you could do things to consolidate your strategy / resources / etc.

The introduction of choice would be cool. For example when dealing with fire, do you vent air off into space to kill the fire, or do you go in with fire extinguishers? or do you seal off the unit and let the flames burn themselves out ? Choices like this could have far reaching consequences into future gameplay.

Luck should rarely kill you unless you make a strategic mistake.

I really hope that a sequel to this game is made which a lot more depth to the gameplay and balance to the luck, because it could be a really good game if these issues were addressed. Right now, the game feels frustratingly limited, and i think that's reflected in the reviews that some people have left.

Given that I could write a game like this in wxWidgets admittedly without such good graphics, but just the raw gameplay, in about a week, I don't think that 10.99 is a good price for this game as it stands.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
50 of 60 people (83%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
"Its the journey, not the destination that matters" -Said someone sometime

This is a dice game with a Random Number Generator at its core. I want to stress the word RANDOM. That means you will lose and lose a lot because the game randomly decided to make you lose. The same as when you roll dice in real life and they land however they land. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

If you do not like to lose, then do not buy this game. Your crew will die, your ship will explode, and you will lose the game because of a completely random bad roll of the dice and it will happen often, but everything can go good too and you can win. It is a RNG system, just roll with the punches and work with what you get.

Ok, if you are still interested, then the game does have other elements to it besides random dice rolls. You can use research cards with special abilities that help. Each module on the ship has a special ability that can be activated, and there are random events that occur in between turns that have choices that can help and hinder you. Your crew also have a different special ability each.

There is a easy and quick tutorial, gameplay is pretty straight forward and does not vary much throughout the game. You will get random events that you need to roll dice to resolve. These events themselves can be many different random things, but besides the random hazards, they all are resolved the same way by rolling dice. Hazards can be putting your dice in "stasis", "voiding" your dice, and causing injury to your crew if you roll the number associated with the hazard.

The dice themselves represent your crew members "energy". They can eat food or use abilites or cards (research) to get more dice. With no dice (energy) the crew will not be able to fix the ship. The ship itself has a health bar as well and when it takes too much damage from events not being fixed it will fall apart and its game over. Another mechanic that comes into play is crew stress levels. The higher the stress, the crazier the crew member gets and possibly worse consequences will follow if they do not destress.



I tried to cover as much as possible. Overall I find the game to be interesting and fun. It does get somewhat repetitive after playing it for a bit, but I am still having fun playing a round or two every once in a while. I am also excited to see what the developers will offer for DLC and patches.

Its fun and I would recommend the game to anyone who loves to play dice. I also like the space theme too so that helps some. Good game for the price in my opinion. Good Luck!!
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33 of 40 people (83%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
You Cannot Fix Everything: The Game.
— I’m not a fan of survival games.
— I think that dice games are meh.
— Tharsis is both.
— I dig Tharsis a lot.
Tharsis is a game about making hard choices. Let yourself immerse in the game, and it’ll tell you a story about the struggle for survival on a space station on its way to Mars. Things will go south, the odds are against you, but hey, it’s deep space, and it’s supposed to be unfair. And remember: you cannot fix everything.
Currently you can grab the game for $1 at https://www.humblebundle.com/survive-this-bundle
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
34 of 42 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
In my opinion a real gem.
An unforgiving dice game where the odds are against you.
A tale of brutal survival in space.
I won 3 out of something like 300 games.
The rules have a fairly steep learning curve. It takes knowing them all to succesfully launch a good strategy, but It's all worth it. Considering each game takes up to 10 turns (often less) it's pretty amazing that I've logged in 20 hrs and keep playing.

The developer is actively working and updating the game. The last couple of updates made some positive changes but even in the early stages this felt like a complete game.

If you enjoy making tough decisions and taking calculated risks this game is for you.
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
30.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
Tharsis is a turn-based strategy game where players roll dice to help a surviving squad of four astronauts as they try and repair a highly damaged spaceship. The crew is rapidly approaching Mars, and a mysterious signal provides an eerie backstory as players approach the planet. If the player can survive ten turns, they’ll get to see one of the game’s endings, but it will quickly become apparent how much of a challenge just surviving to see the end of Tharsis truly is.

The game comes courtesy of Choice Provisions, who certainly have experience with investing in success: they’re the studio that made Bit.Trip, one of the most successful indie games of all time. I'm no stranger to hard-to-survive space games, but even by my standards, Tharsis will bring even the most robust players to their knees as they learn the ropes.. The game follows the disastrous voyage of the fictional ship Iktomi, where meteors have damaged the ship to the point where the vessel is often only one in-game turn away from imploding.

As problems arise on different sections of the ship, crew members must roll their hard-earned dice to try and stem the flow of the figurative (and sometimes literal) fire. For every turn a crew member takes an action, however, they lose one of their dice for the next turn. So someone who had a turn with 4 dice will only have 3 to use the next turn, and so on. These can be replenished by rolling doubles or more in one of the ship’s specialized rooms or by acquiring a food item before the start of a new turn, and players will soon find that crew members with two or less dice are unlikely to help save the ship from destruction.

This isn’t helped by the fact that some disasters put modifiers in play when crew members attempt to roll dice to fix them. For instance, a fire in the medical bay might have things called void, statis, or injury modifiers. If it has 6 as a void and a player rolls that die, it simply disappears and can’t be used to count against the total damage that must be fixed to stop the fire. Similarly, statis means that players can’t re-roll that die if they hit the same number, and injury means the crew member will lose health if they roll that number.

Multiple injury modifiers stack as well, meaning sometimes players will even find relatively healthy crew members alive one moment and dead the next. Players can protect themselves by earning assists, which block the modifiers from effecting the roll, but these get used up very quickly. Players can also dump some of their dice into ‘Research Projects’ that provide boosts like assists, health, repair, and health. A well-timed research project can often be the difference between life and death.

Crew members on the Iktomi have two important stats: the aforementioned health, and stress. The first stat has obvious repercussions should it be depleted: the crew member dies, and players are forced to try and keep the ship together with even less people. The second stat, stress, impacts what happens after a turn ends. Surviving crew members present the player with a few mid-turn options: repair the ship at the cost of more stress, get some food at the cost of hurting someone, and other balanced sacrifices. The more stress a crew member has, the more awful their suggestion becomes, potentially forcing a player to make moves they wouldn’t ever want to make.

Then cannibalism comes into play. The game starts off with a dead crew member on board, and after a few turns players have the option to deprive certain crew members of their humanity and get them to eat pieces of the zero-gravity carcass. These chunks of meat will restore dice for the crew members and can truly be a saving grace, but resorting to cannibalism drastically increases the stress on the hungry crew member, and their virtual avatars certainly reflect that they’re not exactly sane anymore. The dice they roll from then on are covered in blood as a reminder of their actions, and the player – should they succeed in reaching Mars – will lose some points for having to resort to it.

It’s evident that Choice Provisions didn’t have the largest budget for Tharsis, and it shows the most in the bland and generic graphics put into each crew member’s face. It makes them all look similar, and we felt like more unique-looking crew members would have helped in terms of presentation. That said, the ship Iktomi actually has plenty of little details put into it, and the haunting soundtrack does the game justice. All-in-all, a turn-based dice game doesn’t ultimately need to rely on impressive graphics, and Tharsis gets along well without them.

Tharsis is a game for those who love tabletop gaming and a challenging experience. At its heart Tharsis is as unforgiving as it is entertaining, but it offers very little variety in terms of the overall game. There’s one ship and a limited selection of crew members to unlock, and players will bear witness to the same cutscenes game after game, which after the first playthrough are likely going to be skipped forever. Tharsis has a surprisingly addictive quality, and tabletop fans who want to roll the dice on it should find it well-worth the price – but be warned, a voyage on the Iktomi isn’t for the faint of heart.
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18 of 21 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 14
There's a special class of games that I've taken to calling "risk management" games. These were pioneered by the XCOM series and, more recently, popularized with Darkest Dungeon. Whereas most games are wholly or mainly skill-based, risk management games lay your fate at the mercy of the random number gods. This isn't to say they don't take skill into account, but rather that skill plays a very different part in winning.

I'm yammering about this because Tharsis is a particularly vicious risk management game, and if I'm going to recommend it then you need to know what that means. Tharsis is the story of the unluckiest expedition to Mars ever, even moreso than Ice Cube and his crew. A signal has been detected on the Tharsis plateau of the red planet, and en route to investigate the ship gets hit by meteorites. This destroys the supply stores, kills two of the crew, and gets you through the tutorial and into the action. If you've ever seen the film Sunshine, you'll feel right at home.

The action here, mind you, is dice rolling. You have 10 weeks to survive to reach Mars, and every week a host of problems crop up on the ship. Each of your four remaining crew members can move to a problem and try to fix it, by rolling dice and trying to beat the value of the disaster. Dice roughly translates to stamina in this game, each of the crew can have up to five dice to roll but deploying them each week costs one die for the following week. Dice can be used for other actions as well, as each section of the ship has a different purpose like restoring dice or repairing the hull. Your crew also has special abilities that can be activated with a die at 5 or 6, and there's a research system where you can bank one of each die value to spend on special effects. Most crew members get one re-roll per turn as well, and dice can be held between rolls if you like how they came up but need to see how things shake out before spending dice.

As you may have gathered, there's a ton of simple systems that add up to a wide array of interconnected options. And you'll need them all, because the situation is often stacked against you. Disasters can take over 20 points to resolve, and wreck your ship if you fail to reach the quota. Disasters can also put special effects on rolls like injuring crew or deleting dice (which can be countered by Assists granted by yet another ship system!). And if you don't address a problem one week, it carries over to the next. Your crew also has health and stress to manage, killing them if the former bottoms out and making them dangerous an unpredictable if the latter gets too high. Between weeks there are also trade-off choices to make, usually between health, hull, stress, and dice. You can also grant food rations to restore dice, or resort to cannibalism if you're desperate. I haven't tried eating my crew yet, but it adds a nice bit of flavor (heh heh) to the game.

The fact that all of these options are limited by dice rolls is the key. It would be simple to work out plans and assign resources if all of your actions were of static value. But you will absolutely have situations where you send a crew with five dice to resolve an 8-point problem, and they roll all ones. This is where the risk management element comes into play, because you're not playing to solve every problem. You're playing to minimize your losses and prepare for the worst. Sometimes your crew is going to fail you, and it's going to mean someone will die, and the challenge will be finding a way to mitigate the damage and soldier on. There are no perfect runs in Tharsis, and that's the way it's meant to be.

For people rubbed the wrong way by that, a recent patch DID add an easy mode that I managed to beat on my second attempt ever, so I imagine it's balanced around being very beatable. My first attempt at normal was also a success, but the second spiraled out of control in a way that I'm not sure I could have recovered from. I don't know if every game is winnable or not, but I'm also enjoying learning and experimenting until I get to the point that I can determine that. You can unlock additional crewmembers to use, along with spookier portraits for them. There are also ten challenge scenarios to attempt as well, so it's not like I'll run out of people to kill or ways to kill them.

The presentation is polished and inviting, with fully 3D ship dioramas and horrified crew to enjoy. The menus are equally clean, with clear buttons and descriptions of what they do (a must in a game like this). Sound design is appropriately somber and technical, striking just the right tone for eating your shipmates so you have the strength to stop the fire in life support. In the end, the only question that really matters is, do you have the patience for a game like this? There is skill to the gameplay, but moreso even than XCOM or Darkest Dungeon your success is measured in how far the dice rolls will go to meet your skill. Sometimes you're going to lose, and you'll feel helpless in the face of annihilation. If you're not cool with that, give this one a pass. But if you want to tax your problem-solving skills, and live on the razor's edge of a dice roll, Tharsis delivers the goods.
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64 of 108 people (59%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
I want to like it. Interesting concept, interesting execution, smooth controls, tense and stressful... but utterly imbalanced. You start with the ship nearly destroyed, too few crew, next to no food, etc. Fine, but then don't ALSO make it so punishing that you will lose resources every turn too. If I start next to empty, maybe make it possible to go up from there? "Easy" mode is brutal.

But really, it's the "not my fault" kills that feel unfair. I have a guy with 5/5 dice and 4/6 health, almost maxed out stats... but then go in a room and roll poorly ONCE and he's dead. One. Bad. Roll. Dead. And without him, I need to restart because you CANNOT win without all four crew alive and near-max. One bad roll and the game is over. That's not fair or interesting. If I lose, can it at least be related to something I did?
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
While I believe that Tharsis is a truly underrated game, I think it's not for everyone - it's a dice game afterall.

In my opinion, the gameplay it's indeed heavily luck-based, BUT there's a good portion of strategy too. Every choice matters and a cautious management makes all difference here. Tharsis works in a similar way of 100% Orange Juice - a brutal game of dice that can be overcomed with careful planning.

The graphics are really well made and the soundtrack...oh boy, is marvelous. That being said, I think there's little variety for the asking price (but it's addicting and if you like it, you will play a lot) and, despite my liking for Tharsis, I can only recommend it if you buy it with at least 50% of discount or in a bundle, but this is just my opinion.

What makes me sad about all this are the mixed-to-negative reviews of people who clearly aren't the target audience of this kind of game. Imagine how it would be if people started complaining about The Binding of Isaac being "too random" or Dark Souls being "too difficult" and start writing a lot of negative reviews. Tharsis were made as a labour of love, but sadly it gets little love back.

Finally, let's balance all this:

Pros
*Really addictive gameplay
*Great amount of depth, despite the lack of variety
*Awesome immersive soundtrack - a mix between FTL and the theme from Stranger Things
*Good connection with your characters

Mixed
*Heavily luck-based game, but with a decent amount of strategy
*The blood dice effect cannibalism may shock some people. It's really well done

Cons
*Lack of variety (just one ending - Edit: there are multiple endings, but I've seen one at the time of writing - no other ships [scenarios] to play)
*The story gets old really fast, since you're replaying a lot to get your wins
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 23 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
The problem with games that rely on RNG is that people to don't recognize that the game isn't "spin to win," it's about managing the RNG. Everyone complains that RNG games determine win or loss based on the roll of the dice, but in reality, that's not the case. In Tharsis, you can manage your resources and prepare yourself for bad rolls. Even if you got horrible rolls, there's a chance you could survive if you strategize. All in all, great game. Don't let the RNG-haters skew your view on this game.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 15
Quite fun, basically a cooperative boardgame where you are playing all the roles. Particularly similar to Elder Sign, but the theme is quite fun. I do wish it weren't in 3-D because it doesn't play on laptop very well because of it, and it's not the sort of game made to be played on a desktop. I also wish you could see what precisely each room is looking for in a roll without entering the room (though you can back out after and go somewhere else).
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
I really can´t understand those negative reviews. This game is really hard, but it´s well made. The soundtrack fits perfectly. The graphics are nice. The design is solid. RNG is a horror, but anyone who has spent long nights on board games or pen&paper rpgs knows that already.
If it is on sale (like on humble right now) get it!
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