Fans of the strategy game Terra Mystica will soon trade magic for stardust in an upcoming successor set in the vastness of deep space. Publisher Z-Man Games has announced Gaia Project, a game it bills as the spiritual follow up to Terra Mystica from designers Jens Drögemüller and Helge Ostertag.
Interestingly, the designers have chosen to scale back the player count for Gaia Project from five in Terra Mystica to instead be playable by between one and four players. The game also departs from Terra Mystica by introducing a modular board similar to other 4X games like Eclipse or Xia, allowing for a more varied experience every time.
Aside from the game’s new sci-fi setting, Gaia Project again asks players to choose from between 14 different factions and then work to try to expand their territory. Unlike in Terra Mystica, however, this time players will complete to colonize unknown worlds and research new technologies to help grow their galactic footprint. Much of Gaia Project’s gameplay will no doubt still feel familiar to fans of Terra Mystica, particularly as planets will often require players to terraform environments before they will be usable by their given race.
Other worlds, called ‘Transdim’ planets, offer another wrinkle to the game. These worlds must be terraformed by initiating the titular Gaia Project, which once completed results in a so-called Gaia Planet that strengthens a player’s foothold in the galaxy. Players who have colonized Gaia Planet may claim other planets not otherwise suited for their race without first undergoing the costly terraforming process.
No official release date for Gaia Project has been announced, though Z-Man notes on its website that the game is ‘arriving soon.’ All we know is that it can’t arrive soon enough.