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Deep Sea Adventure

RRP: 21.99
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RRP €25.99
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Deep Sea Adventure might best be described as a whole lot of game in a small box. It’s part of Oink Games, a Japanese company, whose insistence lies in that their games come in teeny-tiny boxes. Deep Sea Adventure comes in a cerulean-blue package, and it’s about the same size as a packet of cigarettes. It’s handbag size; you can fit it in your pocket, no problem. This is a pus…
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Category Tags , , , , SKU ZBG-ONK0001DSA Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Pick-Up & Play
Value For Money

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • The diver meeples.
  • The ebb and flow of the game (no pun intended).
  • The two D6, naked pine, are lovely and light to roll.

Might Not Like

  • (This took some time to consider) Being behind, depending on the player(s) you might catch up, but might not win.
  • Whilst the tiles are random and sorted by distance, the randomness of it.
  • Quite easy to knock the air counter down.
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Description

Deep Sea Adventure might best be described as a whole lot of game in a small box. It’s part of Oink Games, a Japanese company, whose insistence lies in that their games come in teeny-tiny boxes. Deep Sea Adventure comes in a cerulean-blue package, and it’s about the same size as a packet of cigarettes. It’s handbag size; you can fit it in your pocket, no problem.

This is a push-your-luck game, where up to six players are divers on board a rickety submarine, and each are looking to claim as much sunken treasure as possible. The ‘treasure’ are triangles (0-3 points each), squares (4-7 points each), pentagons (8-11 points each) and hexagons (12-15 points each) and are placed face-down so you cannot see their exact value. The triangles are nearest the surface and the hexagons are on the ocean floor (it’s always the way, isn’t it?).

You roll two dice on your turn (each go up to three, you’ll roll between two and six) and move that many spaces down. No two divers can share the same space, so you’ll leapfrog over people, meaning you can and will move more spaces that the total you roll. You decide whether to claim the treasure you land on, and if you do, you replace it with a generic space token, so everyone still has to include this space on their descent, or ascent back up.

Importantly, as soon as you pick up a piece of treasure, the sub’s collective oxygen supply begins to diminish. It starts on 25 units, but goes down by the number of treasure pieces a diver has at the start of their turn, so it runs out fast! Also, for each trinket you possess, you have to lose a pip from the dice total you just rolled. So your climb back to the surface can be agonisingly slow if you were too greedy and picked up too much booty!

Ah yes, treasure is theoretically worthless underwater – you need to get it back up to the surface to actually score its points value. And herein lies the decisions: do you carry on diving to get another piece of treasure? You’re so close to getting a pentagon piece! Or do you cut your losses now, play safe and head back to the sub?

If you’re still underwater when the oxygen runs out, divers have to drop their treasure where it sinks to the bottom of the ocean into bundles, and they kick to the surface, gasping for air. Alive, but no treasure for their efforts.

Deep Sea Adventure lasts for three rounds. Treasure tokens are only revealed at the end of the round, so you’ll know for the next round how much of risk you’ll need to take to try and beat the current leader… But keep a close eye on that oxygen meter! Deep Sea Adventure never fails to entertain and amuse – good things come in small packages, after all.

Player Count: 3-6 Players
Time: 30 Minutes
Age: 8+

 

Deep Sea Adventure is a push your luck party game that takes 30 minutes. You are wreck divers venturing from a Submarine sharing air as you roll and move out to collect treasure.

Playing Deep Sea Adventure

When playing a game of Deep Sea Adventure you look at the value of the treasure (arranged in four types; 0-3, 4-7, 8-11, 12-15) and keep it hidden.

For every treasure you take you subtract one from your dice roll (two D6s and they are valued 1-3). Thus you can get stranded. You can return a treasure to a salvaged wreck (the spaces are replaced with void circular tokens) and empty/salvaged wrecks are removed between rounds – Thus, shortening the distance to the higher value wrecks.

Should you not make it back to the sub (once you have a treasure the air counter decreases equal to the treasures you have), due to no air being available on your turn, you pile in groups of three, your face down treasures starting with the further back to the Sub. The next round starts with the first player back (handy for the others and you leap frog others when moving – you can’t be on the same wreck). Rinse and repeat and the player with the higher score after three rounds wins the game!

Thoughts on Deep Sea Adventure

When I first played Deep Sea Adventure a few years ago the owner said “you can win this game with one point”. This sounded intriguing and I have since passed the wisdom on to others….don’t be greedy!!

The box size from Oink Games puts Tiny Epic to shame (and the games as well in my opinion).

This is one of my main games I get out on the table for newbies. It scales to six players well, it fits in your coat pocket, you literally open the box and tip out the pieces, it is quick to set-up and takes 30 minutes or less to play.

The push your luck element is fun and many players, in the first of the three rounds, have not made it back to the sub (with treasure, due to lack of air). It’s a great learning game where you change your strategy from round to round. There will also be a gung-ho player or two, and those that are conservative, and their attitudes will change depending on their haul after round one and two.

The game could be as short as two turns per round (if players get one treasure). Deep Sea Adventure is also a game of who blinks first….to collect more treasure / who turns around first (this latter point you need to emphasise, as I too have forgotten to announce a few times before turning back).

To get the nautical theme (partially) we even took this on our first cruise last year and attracted some passersby. Plus, with the rather favourable weather (both on the ship and in Europe), we even played it on deck/outside).

Risky Business

I don’t know if your group of friends is the same as mine but somehow I don’t think buying an old submarine is one of our goals. But here in the champions of tiny box games, Oink Games presents Deep Sea Adventure and this is the story line we are presented with. In the Teal-tinged box ‘game board ‘is ready to adapt to any surface you might find yourself on.

Deep Sea Adventure is a risk-taking game, where you and your friends have to share the same oxygen supply. I suppose that’s what you get when you buy an old rusty submarine! Up to 6 players take turns rolling the two dice and dive deeper and deeper for treasure. Each of the ruin chips has points ranging from 0 to 15 points for the level 4 chips. However, there is a twist! Every time you pick up a piece of treasure you pick up means you move one space less than your roll. Each time your turn comes around the oxygen level decreases.

One of the best mechanics of this game is the method of jumping over other players. It means the game scales well. If you encounter another player you do not count the space they occupy. You simply dive deeper! Deep Sea Adventure is also a reactionary game, if one person picks up then everyone else almost always follows.

You Didn’t Say “I Am Turning Around”

In Deep Sea Adventure, once you have dipped your toes in the water you then have to decide when to return to the surface. This is one of the best player interactions when someone forgets to say the line. It’s a bit like Uno but in this case, if you do not say you are coming back then diving deeper is where you will go.

The game is played over 3 rounds which is great for new players who will almost always finish with no points in the first round. Players begin to understand that sometimes making it back with one or two lower-scoring pieces can be better than that temping level 4. When I have played it with different groups, everyone always wants to play another game. It is extremely addictive to see how many points you can get!

As treasure is picked up their slots are replaced with blank chips. These are removed at the end of each line meaning the better points get closer each round. Another good feature is that when a round comes to an end and players haven’t made It back to the surface the treasure sinks to the bottom in a big pile. If a player is brave enough they can pick up a pile of up to three treasures for the price of 1. This means the oxygen only moves 1 space each turn as well only one movement is lost.

We All Live In A Teal Submarine

Whoever was the one to buy the submarine in my group would never hear the end of it. But in Deep Sea Adventure, everything works perfectly. Gameplay is tight and competitive especially as people play more and more games. The hidden scoring on each of the level chips means you do quite know how many points others have on each round. The use of the dice with only faces with 1, 2 & 3 means that with one treasure you’ll not be able to move. In my experience, most people want just one more piece.

The main problem with this game can be if you have a risk-averse person. This can make it seem as if they aren’t trying. Often they settle for one piece of treasure while everyone

scrambles for better scores. Often in the game, people do not score points until the final round so scoring a few points the other two isn’t a bad tactic. I have found most people want to play a risky strategy and bring lots of joy to the group.

Another issue that I have just touched on is that sometimes people can score zero points. This is more of an issue if you have children or people who aren’t into board games. it can be frustrating as it is hard to gauge how fast the oxygen falls. However, I think as people learn it they get used to this feature of the game.

Stick Deep Sea Adventure in your bag, and take it to friends’ houses, it is a good gateway game. Most people tend to remember the novel concept and enjoyable playing time. For the price and convince I would highly recommend Deep Sea Adventure. You can be a seasoned gamer or a newcomer I think it deserves the tiny spot on your shelf and may you not turn back!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • The diver meeples.
  • The ebb and flow of the game (no pun intended).
  • The two D6, naked pine, are lovely and light to roll.

Might not like

  • (This took some time to consider) Being behind, depending on the player(s) you might catch up, but might not win.
  • Whilst the tiles are random and sorted by distance, the randomness of it.
  • Quite easy to knock the air counter down.