Terra Mystica

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Terra Mystica
Terra Mystica - detail.jpg
Designer(s) Helge Ostertag and Jens Drögemüller
Players 2 to 5
Setup time Approx. 10 minutes
Playing time 30 minutes per player
Random chance Very low
Skill(s) required Resource management, economic planning
Website http://www.terra-mystica-spiel.de/en/

Terra Mystica is a Euro-style board game for two to five players designed by Helge Ostertag and Jens Drögemüller. The game was first published by Feuerland Spiele in Germany in 2012, and was later published in English and French by Zman Games and Filosofia Édition in 2013. Feuerland Spiele released a second German edition of the game in 2013.[1]


The game starts with each player picking one of fourteen fantasy factions, each with its own unique special abilities and costs associated with actions.[2] Players expand their territories by building buildings on the game board.[3] Each faction is limited to building on only one of seven different terrain types found on the game board, and one of the key aspects of the game is terraforming spaces so they can be built upon.

The game is split into six rounds during which players take any number of actions to improve their society. Improving a society may involve settling new spaces, improving existing buildings, improving infrastructure like shipping, or moving up a cult track to show devotion to a religion.

One unique aspect of the game is its power point mechanic. Power points are used to cast spells, and may also be converted for resources. Power points are split among three bowls. When points are gained, they first move from bowl one to bowl two. When bowl one is empty, they can move from bowl two to bowl three. Power points can only be used when they are in bowl three, at which point they return to bowl one.

Victory points are accrued throughout the game for a variety of actions. After six rounds additional victory points are given for end game goals, and then the player with the largest number of victory points wins.[4]


Four additional town tiles were handed out as a free promotional expansion at Spiel 2013.[5]

An additional bonus tile was included in the June 2013 edition of Spielbox.[6]

A full expansion to the game, Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice, was released in November 2014. It introduces six new factions, two new terrain types and new rules variants.[7]

The fan-made expansion Artifacts was made in 2015. It introduces bonus cards in the final round. It is free to print and play in BGG.[8]

A new promo expansion known as Terra Mystica: Erweiterungsbogen, or Terra Mystica Mini-Expansion in North America, was released in 2015. It contains the previously released town tiles and bonus tile along with a new scoring round tile and new tiles for each faction to better balance the game. Suggested rules for the faction town tiles were created as part of a contest by the Board Game Geek community.[9][10][11][12]

A mobile app of the game was released in April 2017 with plans to release the Fire & Ice expansion as an add-on for separate purchase in the future.[13]

A new expansion, Terra Mystica: Age of Innovation, was announced in May 2018 and is expected to be released in 2019.[14]


Critical reception and influence[edit]

As of May 2017, the game was ranked fourth on BoardGameGeek.

Shut Up & Sit Down gave the game an overwhelmingly positive review.[20]

Ryan Meltzer of the Dice Tower gave the game a generally positive review,[21] and Tom Vasel, also of the Dice Tower, gave the game a mixed review, saying that he could not be sure how well balanced it was without first playing the game many more times.[22]

Terra Mystica's upgrade system was the inspiration for a similar system in Scythe.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Terra Mystica". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Vermeulen, Jan (April 23, 2017). "This board game blew my mind". MyBroadband. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  3. ^ Bishop, Todd (September 8, 2015). "Geek of the Week: Seattle entrepreneur Mina Yoo invents products that provide an 'extra hand'". GeekWire. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  4. ^ Terra Mystica Rule Book (PDF) (English 1st ed.). Zman Games. 2013. 
  5. ^ "Terra Mystica: 4 Town Tiles". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Terra Mystica: Navigation Round Bonus Tile". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "Terra Mystica: Fire and Ice". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  8. ^ BGG
  9. ^ "Terra Mystica: Erweiterungsbogen - Bonus Landscapes Rules - Unofficial draft". Board Game Geek. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  10. ^ "Terra Mystica: Mini-Expansion". Z-Man Games Store. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "Terra Mystica: Erweiterunsbogen". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  12. ^ a b Guarino, Ben (September 16, 2016). "The Most Hyped Board Game of 2016 Earned It". inverse. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  13. ^ Lazarides, Tasos (April 13, 2017). "Check Out the First 'Terra Mystica' Trailer, Game Releases April 20th". TouchArcade. Retrieved September 22, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Terra Mystica second Expansion in development". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 2018-05-23. 
  15. ^ "Priestrager". Friedhelm Merz Verlag. Archived from the original on 29 December 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "2013 Winners". International Gamers Award. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Gouden Ludo 2013". Goudon Ludo. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  18. ^ Monsieur Phal. "Le Tric Trac d'Or 2013 est..." Tric Trac. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "2013 Nederlandse Spellenprijs Best Expert Game Winner". BGG. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  20. ^ Review: Terra Mystica (Streaming) (web). Shut Up & Sit Down. 2013. Retrieved Feb 22, 2014. 
  21. ^ Ryan Meltzer (2012). A review of Terra Mystica (Streaming) (web). The Dice Tower. Retrieved Feb 22, 2014. 
  22. ^ Tom Vassel (2014). A review of Terra Mystica (Streaming) (web). The Dice Tower. Retrieved Feb 22, 2014.