This game has been on my horizon since it first came out last year at Gencon, where it quickly sold out. A second printing is also close to selling out. The game has proven to be very popular. I won't go into an in depth review, but will point you to this excellent review on BGG:https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1751741/rogers-reviews-make-mars-home
I got the chance to play in a three player game of Terraforming Mars last week with another new player and one who had 4 games under his belt. After what a less than 10 minute explanation of the game rules, we were off. As it turned out, the short explanation was more than ample for learning the mechanics of the game.
So my impression of the game? This was very engaging. It is a bit long coming in at just over 2-1/2 hours. However, with experienced players, the time would certainly come down. The game has a bit of a 7 Wonders feel to it. As a tableau building game, you are constantly looking to add cards to your collection that will gain you victory points. And it is all about the victory points. In addition to gaining VPs for raising the oxygen level and temperature, you can gain VPs for technological advancements. In the game I played, I came in second by 4 points. The leader had quietly gained 5 VPs on special technologies.
There are over 200 cards in the deck so one cannot be assured of any particular cards will be available. So players have to be opportunistic. Planning is possible but only a move or two ahead.
I really enjoyed Terraforming Mars. The game has a strong theme and simple mechanics and offers a gaming experience that is immersive and fun.