Ever wonder what it looks like under the sea – all the coral, animals, and ecosystems? Well, now is your chance to expand your own coral formations and build diverse habitats to draw in the best marine animals! Will you attract enough creatures to secure a win? Let’s sea!

Open Drafting – Each round, players will take turns drafting a new coral tile to add to their play area.

Tile Placement/Pattern Building – Players will have to connect new coral tiles to their hot spot, or previously placed coral tiles. They must color match at least one side of the newly placed tile. If their placement forms a hexagon, they create a habitat and get to place a small animal tile. If they have created a formation of diverse small animals that match a large animal’s shape, they may also attract that large animals to their area, placed on top of the small animals. If they have a connected group of 4 or more of the same color, that do not form hexagons, they have created a reef, which will help them score extra points on their small animals at the end of the game.

End-Game Bonuses – Each small animal is native to an ecosystem, each which has unique scoring conventions at the end of the game.

  • 1 to 4 Players – Solo is good, and some some fun options. It scales well overall. Definitely a bit short at 2. I like it best with 3.
  • Ages 8 & Up / Light Strategy Gamers – Fairly simple play overall. Some scoring features may be tricky for younger players, but the family variant can help with that.
  • Fans of tile laying and pattern building
  • Fans of variability in scoring game to game

Family – Don’t score reefs or ecosystems, just score point on big and small animals – Good for younger or less experienced players for sure. If you’ve played other similar games though, you’ll want the extra ways to score.

Advanced – Instead of using only the 6 core ecosystems, mix all 24 together and use 6 random – Nice change to the game to vary scoring opportunities and some definitely add a bit of challenge too.

Solo – Can play a pretty standard game with the minor change of discarding un-selected tiles each round. Compare your score to a chart to see how you did – It’s fine, maybe a bit dry on its own. It plays fairly quickly, so it’s easy to play a few games on your own.

Scenarios – Pre-built scoring set-ups with a target score and additional objectives – Adds a bit of of a puzzle element and gives added variety to each play. Definitely a go-to for solo for me.

Challenges – After your play, check if you completed any challenges and choose one to mark off – I like this. It’s very simple to “use” and just have little goals you’re working toward with every play without actually having to add anything into the game.

Modifications – Changes some core rules (i.e. less tiles to choose from, remove some small animals, et cetera) – Nice variant to change the game a bit, especially as you get more familiar with the game.

  • Aesthetics – Gorgeous look; lots of color!
  • Components – Nice tiles, and a great insert
  • Rules – Overall well-written and clear
  • Variability – Nice array of scoring tiles to change up each game, plus the variants you can utilize. Lots of different strategies to try too
  • Nice balance of luck and strategy
  • Also a nice balance of “open” building versus restriction
  • Quick turns/rounds, and good game flow
  • Puzzley nature works well
  • Most turns I feel good about my options. Even if you can’t make a habitat, you can often set up nicely for a future turn
  • Fun animal facts in the rulebook!
  • I thought the rule about taking the snail tile was weirdly confusing and kind of out of place. I rarely saw it being taken by players, and it mostly just shifted. It seemed unnecessary and I wish it was just a “rotate first player each round” rule
  • I also thought some of the ecosystem scoring was confusing/convoluted at times. Maybe it was in the wording, or it was just hard to “click” at first
  • While I like the challenges and such, I don’t love the idea of writing in my rulebook, personally
  • A little too short at 2 players

I thought this was a pretty neat tile laying game. I like the look and the flow, and I like that there are a lot of ways to score. I have seen people win by having a ton of small animals and no reefs, others with lots of points off of reefs, and others with a heavy focus on ecosystem scoring, and I think a good game should have that balance in strategies, so it is great to see that in action.

I do wish that scoring was a little bit cleaner though. Most games, across many different players, we found ourselves re-reading some scoring conventions multiple times to ensure we understood how they worked.

Overall, a nice game with a great look that I think is pretty inviting to a large range of players!

Additional Information:
My Final Rating – 7/10

Designers – Dan Halstad, Tristan Halstad
Artist – Vincent Dutrait
Publishers – The Op Games, Sidekick Games
MSRP – $39.99

*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*

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