Ark Nova in about 3 minutes -

Ark Nova in about 3 minutes

3 Minute Board Games
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Like: 233
Ark Nova in about 3 minutes

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Designer,Mathias Wigge,
Artist,Steffen Bieker, Loïc Billiau, Dennis Lohausen, Christof Tisch
Publisher,Feuerland Spiele

3 minute board games theme Music by Vic Granell

“Tech live” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

“Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act
1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

Sound effects from

3 minute board games are J Carmichael and S Rodgers


  1. Now, just to head off anyone who gets rarked up at someone not loving Ark Nova. Yes its a fine game, yes i enjoyed it. No i don't think every game needs new and novel mechancis to be interesting. But the core issue with Ark Nova for me is the gameplay loop was so familiar to me that by the end of the rules teach I already knew how to play to win, and have won every game i've played of it pretty comfortably. I felt like the discovery phase of the game was very short and I was straight into the mastery phase. Now, as i view games as puzzles that are there to challenge my noggin, Ark Nova just didn't do enough for me to find it engaging after 5 plays. Now, i've played hundreds of games of Terraforming Mars, so my experience base is probably very different to most. But these reviews are my opinion after all. Hope you find this comment helps explain my position.

  2. Thanks for the great review! I fell for the hype and bought this game. Haven't tabled it yet but am hoping it doesn't get stale too quickly for our group.

  3. I feel like since we have not got the other games that have the mechanics you highlight, I could get this one?.. ..or not.
    Another well crafted review J'

  4. The plus tokens, which + the strength of your actions, are x-tokens and the game is oddly clear about this for some mystical reason 🙂

  5. I don't think your review or feelings about the game are misplaced. Anybody with as much depth as you have with TFM and have touched New Dawn will find familiar elements. Doesn't mean Ark isn't good. Like you said, it's a good mixtape. Probably one of the best ones in recent times. Not every top 100 is gonna wow us. I did get my copy two days ago and I am thrilled. I'm okay with the familiarity. Its theme is enough to keep it in my collection.

  6. Great review, of my family who all love TM, our strongest player hated it, our middle son enjoyed, I love it and my wife felt too long too many decisions she could not weigh up or mitigate. So much to like and many things might annoy so your review is bang on imo! Thanks for balance…its the theme I love1

  7. I really enjoy Ark Nova, I didn’t think I would but I think the mechanisms fit the theme and it is absolutely a mix tape but it hasn’t become stale for me yet. Every game has been different. I get that it won’t scratch everyone’s itch 🤓

  8. I'm half disappointed you weren't as into this game as other reviewers, and half relieved. As my tastes do seem to coincide with yours more than a lot of other reviewers I'm disappointed in that this was one to look out for, however I'm relieved as my wallet will thank you 😀

  9. i dont think that this game is that complex! i teatch to some people that doesnt play boardgames that often and they learn it very well and clear

  10. Great review I wish the game had more interaction. I enjoy playing it but it's a very multiplayer solitaire with lots of luck of the draw.

  11. I fell for the hype and got it, and enjoy it. I’ve played TM 200+ (mostly on the app) but never Civ. We house ruled to pick up more cards based on other reviews. 100% agree a prelude expansion would help, and I always like more cards!

  12. I like it a lot. The card play is definitely the stand out mechanism for me. It's just the soup of iconography that keeps me from playing it more often.

  13. A small but significant correction: the graduation cap is actually called your reputation in-game (weirdly) so every time knowledge is mentioned in the review, it's actually reputation that's being referred to

  14. Ark Nova is poised to dethrone Teraforming Mars at my table for almost every person who has played it.

  15. This is still sitting on my Shelf of Opportunity. Have a handful of games much higher on my interest list to table first, before I crack this one open and try it out. Hopefully, I'll enjoy it. 🙂

  16. Yes I think the 'stale regurgitation' of others games is the major repeated criticism. Now there are few genuinely unique games out there, but this one feels like it borrows too obviously, especially from TM, with just the theme a potentially refreshingly original highlight. That said I'm a little less positive about the wider concept of zoos, and I suspect others are even more strongly against them.

  17. I'm relatively new to the hobby and I buy this game and I love it. Haven't playing original terraforming mars but I have Ares expedition, and I love that game, that's why I was excited about Ark Nova

  18. Love this game! It’s what my wife and I play once a week. She wasn’t into board games until this

  19. Glad I was able to hold off on this one. It was really the theme that just didnt do it for me. Now i think I’ll go play some TM 😙

  20. I was chuffed when one of my better results playing the game was with building around Australian Reptiles. I'm not sure about the Polydomino side of the game. A card tableau would have been fine, I think. It essentially just uses that anyway. The planned expansion is Aquariums, hopefully with sharks.

  21. It weirds me out when games use photo clip art type images. Terraforming Mars was bad in this way too.

  22. I do wish it was shorter but it is a lot simpler than terraforming mars

  23. This is one of those games where I have to admit, I got Planet Zoo simulator instead. I am a terrible human being, but I think it’s a better implementation of the same concept, of equivalent complexity. And the art in this is really flat. I have to go out now and flog myself with birch twigs for being a heretic.

  24. This game has never appealed to me. But weirdly now it does because you compared it another game I haven’t played before 😂

  25. For me this game is alot like Terraforming Mars, but better:
    1. The cards and tiles feel more like they actually do something
    2. A bit more player interaction (some cards hurt other players directly, but you can also take the goals and the cards that they want, making them not have it)
    3. The action selection system makes every turn feel different than the last, and rewards players who like to plan ahead.

    I can totally see where all the hype comes from

  26. Between this and the other reviews I've seen I'm pretty confidant I don't need both this and TM in my collection. I'd be happy if one of my friends got it it and suggested playing it though.

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