Board Game: Otys [Average Rating:8.65 Unranked]
Itai Perez
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Soon in retail !
Ok, Richard, I just came back from Paris est ludique convention, and just as last year (where I was able to get to your attention great games like Shakespeare or Bloody inn) here's the games I played which I think might interest you.

Let's start with Otys, from Pearl games.

It is a game in which each player has a team of explorers diving in the ocean to try to find treasures in the ruins of Atlantys.

Every player has 7 explorers at different depths of the ocean, each of them with different abilities: find a particular type of treasure, sell a treasure to get money (merchant), improve your diving equiment (engineer) or either get a private order from a museum or pay another player explorer to do an action (sponsor).

Players all start with a card for each depth level (1 to 5) and a special card.

At each turn, each player selects one card enabling him to use the ability of the explorer in that particular depth, which will apply to that level, added to the bonus of that level.
Once it is done, the diver will go back to the surface for air, which will make all explorers above him go down.
Also the special card mentioned above enables to select any explorer, but it also makes the bonus for each level rotate (which changes considerably things).

Once a card is played it stays on the table. The cards can only be taken back in the hand once a certain number of cards are played (7 at the beginning, but that number can be decreased by using the engineer).

The main way to get points is to discover combinations of treasures which must all be in the same depth level, according to contracts given by museums (cards with particular combinations of treasures). There are 3 public ones (which are replaced when a player accomplish them), and a specific explorer enables to get private ones.

So it's a kind of brain burner, since you have to think on which depth you are going to play, according to the cards you still have in hand, in order to play the explorer you need on the depth you need, with the right bonus. And if you can, do it in such a way, that when that explorer goes back to the surface, it enables another explorer you'll need next to get to the depth you want.

There are not too many aggressive elements. There is the competition for the contracts, since only one player can do them before they are replaces, the use of the joker which requires the players to rethink their strategy by rotation the depth bonus, and the sponsor second ability. When you use it, you pay a player to use one of their explorers abilities, and of course, once it is done, that explorer will get back to the surface, which might mess the selected player strategy. But this can be easily averted by playing a special card (the oxygen tank), which is not too hard to get, and enables an explorer to stay where they are after they did their action.

If that last point is not too much of a problem, I think you'll like this game, which has an interesting thematic (diving for treasure) which is emulated by many of the mechanics of the game.

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