With the human population growing and technology rapidly developing, Victorian-era Earth is in dire need of land, fuel, and other natural resources. Fortunately, automated probes sent to Mars have discovered celerium, an ore that can be combusted to produce ten thousand times more power than a traditional steam engine, and sylvanite, the densest substance ever found. More incredibly, the probes found ice that could be used to terraform the planet, bringing the idea of colonizing Mars even closer to becoming a reality.
You are the head of a mining corporation, and these minerals and ice found on Mars could make you unfathomably wealthy – if you can reach them before your competition. You have ten rounds to send your astronauts into space, occupy the planet's most resource-rich zones, and harvest as much sylvanite, celerium, and ice as possible. You have a team of nine professionals at your command. Each member has a unique skillset, from blowing up spaceships before they launch to helping your astronauts traverse the Red Planet.
In each round, players start by deploying one of their character cards secretly, with this card determining both which special action they take during the round and when they place astronauts on the spaceships awaiting launch to Mars. Each spaceship has a specified destination, and until an astronaut arrives in a region, no one knows which resource they'll find. Players collect resources (worth varying points) three times during a game, and each have a secret mission card that may grant them additional points at game's end. During the game, players might acquire an additional mission or a research card that changes the value of what awaits them on Mars.