The Refuge: Terror from the Deep

The Refuge: Terror from the Deep

RRP: £59.99
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RRP £59.99
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The Refuge: Terror from the Deep is a new, standalone version of B&B’s 2016 board game The Refuge: A Race for Survival. In Terror from the Deep’s Competitive Dive, 2-6 divers compete by racing to the goal and planning movement to outwit their opponents — all while escaping from the Kraken’s wrath! The object of the game is simple: Be the first to an unlocked …
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Tag SKU ZBG-FLURF001 Availability Out of stock
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Awards

Rating

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

You Might Like

  • Great quality miniatures
  • Quick setup time
  • Player turn flows nicely
  • Two different game modes
  • Up to 6 players, great for larger groups

Might Not Like

  • The artwork is inferior to the quality of the miniatures
  • Poorly thought out internal storage
  • Competitive mode can be unforgiving
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Description

The Refuge: Terror from the Deep is a new, standalone version of B&B's 2016 board game The Refuge: A Race for Survival.

In Terror from the Deep's Competitive Dive, 2-6 divers compete by racing to the goal and planning movement to outwit their opponents — all while escaping from the Kraken's wrath! The object of the game is simple: Be the first to an unlocked escape pod, and you'll escape with the cargo and win!

On your turn, you take a single action:
-Move your character orthogonally
-Draw a Salvage card
-Play an Salvage action
-Use a Character Ability

As you move you activate spaces on the board. For example: the Spawn space adds pesky tentacles that slow your opponents down, and the Lair space controls the Kraken's tentacles. Combining your hand of cards with your movement allows you to string together combos — propelling you toward the final goal. Don't wait too long for the perfect combo – the board will fill up quickly with tentacles, and the Kraken is always hungry!

The Refuge: Terror from the Deep also features new 1-4 player solo and cooperative gameplay in which players work together to defeat the Kraken! In a Cooperative Dive, you and your teammates will have to work together to accomplish a series of challenging objectives as the Kraken threatens to overwhelm you. Can you escape?

I have to admit that I never played the previous release from B & B Games Studio, The Refuge: A Race for Survival. As such I was able to go into this game with a completely open mind, ready to be immersed (or should that be submerged) in the promised cinematic experience of Terror from the Deep.

So what’s it all about? Well, that really depends on which mode of gameplay you choose… and, happily, they are both different enough to justify their existence and not just provide an easy mode versus a hard mode.

Without further ado then it’s time for us to dive in… I’m sorry but it would be wrong not to include at least one thematically based pun.

I Want To Stay Friends…

The Co-operative mode requires all players to work together to vanquish a hungry Kraken and it’s many tentacles. Take down the beast and you can finally escape from the depths unscathed. You’re racing headfirst into the maw of the beast to be victorious and save your team. To do this, players will need to complete a variety of different objectives to beat the Kraken. These randomly drawn objectives can vary from recovering shipwrecks to researching the legendary sea monster. At times you may even need to jump into the belly of the beast to be victorious and to make it harder the pesky Kraken will be making its presence felt around the board by spawning tentacles and attacking your team. Too many tentacles on the threat marker or an empty draw pile of tentacles and it’s game over! Teamwork is absolutely essential in this mode and you will quickly notice the tables turning in the Krakens favour if any players let their guard down. Collecting and sharing salvage cards amongst your team is key to have enough might to defeat the Kraken. The different objectives are what give the game its cinematic feel as you will be presented with different situations for your divers to encounter.

I Just Want To Win…

So that’s the way to play Terror from the Deep nicely… but how about the competitive dive? Immediately you will notice a change in story: now the treasure hunting divers are out for themselves… the first diver to reach an escape pod will float away to victory, leaving their rivals at the Krakens mercy. The competitive dive really has the power to test your relationships, it’s a fast and furious race to the finish. And let’s be honest, it’s here where ‘The Refuge’ comes into its own as players will be decimating each others plans by moving tentacles around the board, switching places and stealing salvage cards at the worst possible moment. Turns are pretty fast, with just one action available at a time: take a move, draw a card, use a character ability or play a card. Thankfully, this means there isn’t much downtime between players turns and, as such, you never really feel like you have to patiently wait to get back into the action.

The aim of the competitive mode is relatively simple: Be the first to the end of the board and have a key to unlock an escape pod, therefore escaping with the treasure. You will need to complete objectives or collect ‘unlock’ cards to be able to use these escape pods. So while you want to reach the end first, you definitely don’t want to run the gauntlet empty handed.

My What A Big Mouth You Have…

Let’s talk about the Kraken for a second and how it operates, particularly in competitive mode. First of all whenever you move into a tentacle space the Kraken spawns an extra tentacle and I’ve got to say that these little nightmares can make things very difficult. Unless you have armed yourself, any tentacle that enters your space will drag you back to the start of the board. Moving into a tentacle ‘spawn’ space will enable you to place a tentacle on the board whereas moving into a ‘lair’ space allows you to move an existing tentacle one space. This means that tentacles are rapidly moving around the board blocking your path or dragging you back. In one game, I was just about to enter the final stage of the game when a tentacle spawned and took me right back to the beginning. Spoiler Alert: I did NOT win that game. Having the right cards is a must if you are to protect yourself and fight off these slippery beasties!

The closer you get to the escape pods, the more the pressure ramps up. As soon as a player enters the Krakens area of the board they must draw a card from the Krakens card deck and move the monster accordingly. The Kraken can push players around the board or just straight up devour them all whilst spawning fresh tentacles and moving existing tentacles down the play area. But funnily enough this is one of those rare games where it might actually pay to be devoured. Being devoured takes you back to the halfway point on the board but let’s you choose your starting place. Further to that, some objective cards require you to be eaten by the Kraken to gain the card.

Miniatures

What really brings this game to life is the components. The miniatures are stunning and have great detailing on the various divers. There are 8 different playable characters and each one has their own unique ability that will influence gameplay (some are heavy hitters with combat based moves whereas others are more strategically geared for token placements etc.). The Kraken itself is huge and commands a big presence on the board. As for the artwork on the cards, it’s really nothing special but when so much is going on on the table you don’t have much time to sit and analyse the printed artwork. Not bad art but hardly great, especially considering how much effort has gone into the miniatures.

Final Thoughts

Do you like monsters? Do you like quick and fun games that can accommodate a nice sized group of players? If so then this is definitely worth your time. ‘The Refuge’ really lends itself to those nights where you can sit around a table lamenting how your loved ones could treat you so badly as to steal your propulsion device leaving you surrounded by pesky tentacles ready to drag you to your doom. Whereas the competitive dive is more of a family/party style of gameplay, the cooperative dive really leans into careful team planning and you will want to sit as a group planning your next moves to conquer the Kraken.

We have found that the quick and straightforward approach of ‘The Refuge’ has meant that it is a very accessible game for new players whilst providing enough strategy and fun for more experienced gamers. Even the little ones will quickly pick this up and be able to hold their own. Honestly, my only real gripe with this game is the storage solution or should I say lack of! As the game comes with so many miniatures there is no space in the plastic insert for holding the cards. It all ends up being a bit of a mess and it means that all the cards have to be placed underneath the insert if you want the box lid to close. As a result the cards easily get jumbled up… It doesn’t break the game or take away from the enjoyment but it plays havoc with my need for things to be neat and tidy!

At the end of the day we highly recommend ‘Terror from the Deep’ for its varied gameplay and quick turn around. It’s not as scary as the title would have you believe but it definitely creates tension and frenzy. So if that’s what your looking for then put on your diving suit and grab your harpoon. Things are going to get manic!

Zatu Score

Rating

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

You might like

  • Great quality miniatures
  • Quick setup time
  • Player turn flows nicely
  • Two different game modes
  • Up to 6 players, great for larger groups

Might not like

  • The artwork is inferior to the quality of the miniatures
  • Poorly thought out internal storage
  • Competitive mode can be unforgiving