Do you ever wonder what secrets, treasures, and creatures lurk within the ocean depths? Well, now we know. In the deepest waters, a civilization of sea-folk have built an entire world! Now that their resources are exhausted though, they will need to explore the depths to find more and keep their civilization alive. As one of the ocean kings, it is your duty to help your people by exploring, conquering, and recruiting. There is no time to waste!

Hand Management / Action Retrieval – Players have a hand of action cards and play+discard one each round. They don’t get them back unless a special effect allows it, or they play the card that lets them pick them all up

Open Drafting – Players will buy and conquer new locations from the main board to add to their own player boards

Slide / Push – Players must use location abilities and resources to push locations up on their boards. Only once a location has been pushed all the way up can players eventually add it to their score pile, with a scoring action

Deck Building – This is pretty minimal, but players will be able to purchase a few new action cards to expand their hand/options

Variable Player Powers – Advanced variant – Players can use King cards in their starting hand. Some are one time use, some are replayable, but they are the only unique card players will have

  • 1 to 4 Players – Solo is fine, I thought it might be a bit too short; Otherwise it seems to scale well and was good at any player count
  • Ages 10 & Up / Family-Weight – Straightforward rules overall. Not super heavy, so it’s pretty approachable
  • Fans of action retrieval, hand management, and ocean themes
  • Players who don’t mind unequal turns

Advanced Mode – Use variable goals instead of the starting ones on the board and/or use King cards to give players one unique starting card – I think I would pretty much always use the variable goals. I thought the basic ones made for much too short of a game, so I found the variable goals more interesting. I think the King cards are fine and I’d probably use those in most games too just for a bit of variability.

Solo – Use less character cards, use a king card, and play using most standard rules. Whenever you play the Matrona card or do the Scout action, place a “virtual rival” Manta on one of the goals. The game ends when the rival has placed all their mantas – This was a fine variant if you’re interested in trying out a strategy or just seeing some cards in action. I did think it was a little too short, so it could be hard to build up a good engine of sorts, but worth a try if you’re a solo gamer.

  • Aesthetics – Really nice art and great ocean color scheme
  • Components – Overall nice quality; mantas are fun; player boards are great
  • Pushing locations up to use abilities and make them able to score felt unique and I thought you could be pretty tactical with your options
  • I like the variability with the different goals, and the King cards
  • Simple set-up / clean-up
  • Turns / game flow are very smooth
    • At any count, I thought the game was a pretty good length
  • Replay value – Since cards come out randomly each game, and you always start with all your actions in hand, each game you can have a different strategy depending on what’s available
  • Wild Mantas – The purple text on the gray wild mantas is very hard to read
  • If you aren’t careful, the end of the game can come abruptly, and you may find yourself with a lackluster final turn
    • Potential for unequal turns for players, for what seemed like no reason
  • Some character cards had a take-that element, while others gave benefits to all players, it seemed strange to have both extremes in there

I find the action retrieval mechanism kind of hit and miss in games, but I didn’t mind it here. I thought I had a lot of options before I was forced to pick up my cards, and I liked that there is the possibility to get some cards back with the pushing actions at times too.

I also really liked the pushing mechanism overall. It was neat, and it was interesting to balance which locations you grabbed since you didn’t want to necessarily fill up your board too early and block off your options.

I saw in many of my plays that the first player often got an extra turn, if they ended the game, and usually that led to a win. Since there is no benefit to going later in turn order, I did think it was weird that there were not equal turns.

Overall, if you like the mechanisms of this one, and love a good looking game, then you should definitely check it out!

Additional Information:
My Final Rating – 6/10

Designer – Ivan Tuzovsky
Artists – Irina Kuzmina, Andrew Modestov, Oleg Proshin,
Artur Varenyev, Marat Zakirov
Publishers – Arcane Wonders, Cosmodrome Games
MSRP – $49.99

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

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