When it comes to strategy games there are crowds with pretty different tastes out there. Some prefer to have only a milder challenge, enjoying some strategy mechanics but not averse to erring on the side of easier to simply enjoy the overall experience. There are others, though, who like a bit more of a crapshoot approach, where in order to be successful you’ll not only need to bring your “A” game but a truckload of luck in the eyes of the RNG gods as well. As a whole the sci-fi space strategy title Tharsis falls heavily into the second camp, and at least for my tastes perhaps turning the frustration dial up a little too far. There’s a difference between feeling challenged, either just scraping through some adversity or even losing outright but walking away with some insight on how to do better the next time, and essentially getting curb stomped by change and feeling helpless. Making tough choices, and even being pushed to bend some moral boundaries to survive is at least interesting, but given that the outcome was usually complete failure anyway the choice to sacrifice humanity along the way felt generally pointless. Perhaps I’m just not the target audience for the experience but I just wish it didn’t feel so geared towards failure from the get-go pretty well every time.
Justin Nation, Score: