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Ark Nova Expansion Announced

best board games of 2021 ark nova cover

Fresh from a surprise map pack released at GenCon, Capstone Games have revealed some new details about the new Aquarius expansion for their smash hit, Ark Nova. We’ll come back to the map packs in just a second but let’s focus on the big news. The Aquarius expansion will introduce new elements to the game, including sea creatures with must be played to special enclosures built next to water spaces. A good chunk of these creatures live on a reef and will trigger the abilities of every animal which also lives there when played. In order to deal with the added randomness of the cards, all the sea cards include an icon which triggers when it is the first card drawn when replenishing.

Also, a fourth university will be available when you take an Association action, letting you claim one of the six special universities, which have an animal and a research icon. You then can reveal cards from the deck until you find one which matches your university and keep it for later.

Draftable varied action cards are also introduced, replacing the standard action cards and creating even more asymmetry. Finally, new bonus tiles and final scoring cards are also included. No official release date has yet been announced, but expect to see something around mid-2023.

Now those map packs I mentioned are two double-sided maps to give players even more choices when picking an advanced map to play with, and teasingly named as Zoo Map Pack 1, suggesting there will be more in the future. These maps were exclusively available at GenCon but are coming to the US market in October 2022, with future distribution to be announced some other time.