It’s a great concept for a turn-based strategy game but be prepared for its unforgiving nature because you’re definitely going to die more than you survive.
For the board game people, they will find this to be more up their alley. People looking for a more action type experience will have to look elsewhere. If you do decide to pick it up, just keep in mind, it is brutal, unforgiving, and takes a lot of patience to get into. When you do, you may very well find some enjoyment out of it maybe two times out of ten.
If you're a fan of constant raising stakes with no reprieve, then this is certainly the sort of thing that will appeal to you. Even if not, it will still appeal, but in smaller doses. Either way, Tharsis is a compelling, but polarizing, game.
A tense, challenging, and addictive strategy game with strong atmosphere, weakened by excessive randomness that too often pushes things past "hard" into "hopeless."
From its toying with morality to the pure ecstasy it provides when defying the odds and having a successful flight, there really isn't anything else like it.
Tharsis, you hate me, but I like you. Your small and meticulous craftsmanship. Your board game sensibilities. Your dancefloor rhythms thumping out the soundtrack to my cyclical death. I couldn't stop myself from voyaging (and dying on the way) to Tharsis again and again.
There aren't many games like Tharsis and that's the main reason why you should check it out, but what it's able to do with so little will keep you playing it. It may not be for everyone and is at times unforgivingly difficult, but it's a title that has some undeniable charm.
With a few tweaks and maybe a more casual-friendly difficulty level, Tharsis could be a fun strategy alternative for those who don't enjoy building large kingdoms or waging wars that take hours to complete. In its current state however, Tharsis is little more than a sadistically cruel game of digital roulette.
If the thought of losing at a game over and over until you finally understand all of its nuances does not sound like a good time, then you can safely pass on Tharsis. If, however, you love tabletop games, or enjoy the challenge of micro-managing several scarce resources at a time in an almost vain effort against nearly insurmountable odds, then by all means buy Tharsis. There's a great challenge to be had, and some replayability in the form of chasing an ever-higher score by not resorting to cannibalism so easily, taking less damage, and keeping ship morale high, as well as new characters to unlock. This is not a game for everyone, but for those who know what they're getting themselves into, Tharsis is well worth the effort.