I’d heard a lot about Terraforming Mars, how it combines engine building like Race for the Galaxy with a board and enough depth to really get your engine going. And part of me feels like it should have been the star of the visit.
But... a two-and-half hour game with a curious four-year-old was tough. I liked what I saw but I didn’t fall in love with it. I’d like to play Terraforming Mars more to get a better idea with the overall structure of the game and how it plays out. But that chunk of time is very hard for me to carve out, even if I wanted to try exploring it solitaire.
(Funny now at one point, being a grown up meant I could play longer games and now it means I really shouldn’t :D)
Santorini, on the other hand, hit a serious sweet spot for me. I am really into short, dynamic abstracts where each turn can dramatically change the board. Santorini does that in spades. And with the god cards, every game becomes a different nut to crack.
Santorini was the star of the gaming part of the visit for me. And he bought a copy for us so I think it is something we will really enjoy exploring.