Deep Sea Adventure
Designed by Jun Sasaki & Goro Sasaki
Published by Oink Games Inc
20 -30 Minutes
Several divers are attempting to go deep into the sea in search of treasures. Over three rounds they will try and secure some loot before the air runs out of the submarines. Whoever’s lot is worth the most at the end wins!
How it plays:
Players will take turns rolling two 3-sided dice and traveling down a track of treasure chits. They then decide if they would like to like to take the treasure chit they are on and replace it with an empty chit. On subsequent turns players move a shared oxygen tracker based on how many treasures they have. Then decide if they want to push on or start their return to the ship. Movement is hampered by carrying treasures, minus one per each one held. Players must return to the submarine before oxygen runs out in order to keep their treasures. If they fail to do so they must drop them to the bottom of the track in groups of three. At the end of the round the points are revealed, the empty chit markers are removed, the oxygen is replenished, and play resumes. After three rounds points are totaled and a winner declared.
The game comes in a very small box. In it are six wooden diver meeples, several treasure/track chits, a submarine, and an oxygen marker. The components are all very basic. I do like the diver meeples. Everything else though is very minimalist and basic. Its doesn’t need to be flashy though, it gets the job done. The muted blue and sea foam green colors are pleasant enough. Don’t expect any big production or fancy artwork. Even the dice are made of a light wood.
Here is a theme that works perfect with a push your luck style game. I’ve gone scuba diving a few times and we are always tracking our air. It’s something you definitely don’t want to gamble with. When making your plans its perhaps the most important thing to consider. So it makes perfect sense to make it the driving force behind the game. True air is only shared in emergencies, but the idea that other peoples actions are affecting how you breath and what you can do is very true.
How it feels:
You have to really read the table and try and figure out what the other players are likely to do. Its not just a matter of what you want to risk but also what do you have to do to mess with the risks other players are taking. This may involve taking treasures you may not want just to use up the oxygen, messing up the other players who are going too deep. It may be anticipating that the other players willing be trying for those deeper, nicer treasures as well. Not knowing what treasures your opponents have till the round is over is a nice way to keep everyone guessing. You may want to keep it safe, but some of those top level treasure chits are worth zero points.
What I like:
I’m usually not a huge fan of push your luck. This, however, has a lot more going on with it. Reading the other players and deciding how much of a risk to take is great. There is a lot of tension in grabbing those treasures, then hoping the dice will be kind to you so you can get back. Trust me, you will always run out of oxygen the first time you play. You think you have more time but it creeps up fast. So there is a bit of a learning curve. Add in the fact that it will keep changing depending on who you are playing against and you have a lot of replay ability.
What I don’t like:
It’s a little too minimalist. While everything is still very functional, I feel there could have been a little more artwork added. Maybe some small pictures of treasures instead of just numbers. AS small as it is the box still could have been smaller, about half the width. It maybe could have had a bag in it as well, a la Love Letter.
This game is a keeper. I’m really happy to have a filler that isn’t just cards, a Roll n Write, or just a simple dice game. I’m thinking there will be a lot of replay ability. It is very easy to teach and understand. So this has made its way onto my game shelf, and will probably spend a lot of time in my backpack as well, as I will be taking it around. For those special moments when I get to break
Recommendations, reviews, and top 10s.
- [+] Dice rolls