In Deep Sea Adventure, a game by Oink Games, you are a poor diver looking for precious treasures. Unfortunately, you are too poor to rent your own submarine and therefore you have to work together with a number of other divers. And if it is not difficult enough, you have to fight with each other to decide who gets to sit near the window during the boat trip, it will be even more difficult once you start diving. Because the submarine has only one oxygen tank that you have to “honestly” share.
At the beginning of Deep Sea Adventure a submarine marker is placed on the table on which the amount of oxygen in the tank is displayed. Under the submarine there is a trail of chips with treasures. The further the treasures are from the submarine, the more valuable the treasures become (usually).
Each player receives his own pawn (in the form of a diver). During your turn you throw two dice ( every dice has two 1’s, two 2’s and two 3’s). The number you throw indicates how many steps you can take. Boxes where other divers are standing should be skipped. You may pick up the treasure-fiche from the field where you end up (you then place a round-fiche to indicate that that spot is empty).
You can take the treasure but this is not necessary. Perhaps you would prefer to dive a little deeper before you decide to pick up the treasure. There are big risks to picking up treasures in this game. First you start consuming oxygen as soon as you pick up a treasure. Every turn you consume as much oxygen as you have picked up treasures. The more treasure everyone has, the sooner the combined oxygen tank is empty.
If that is not difficult enough, the treasures are heavy, so moving becomes a lot harder. Every treasure that you take will reduce the number of steps you can take with one. The way back will always be harder in this game.
As soon as the oxygen tank is empty, the round is over. All players who have returned to the submarine with their treasure will score as many points as their treasures are worth. The players who were still underwater, however, end up in an anonymous sailor’s grave.
This way you play 3 rounds. Between rounds, the empty spots are removed, which means less diving to the more valuable treasures and the treasures of the drowned divers are placed in piles of up to 3 at the back of the track. In the next round(s) these piles count as one treasure. Whoever has collected the most points after three rounds wins the game.
Conclusion: Deep Sea Adventure, beautiful and hilarious.
Deep Sea Adventure is a beautifully designed push-your-luck game where the bad luck of others guarantees a lot of hilarity. It is not uncommon that in the first round a lot of players don’t survive. But do not laugh too hard because before you know it, a player who has already lost his life, in revenge, picks up some treasures so that he uses more oxygen and you can not return in time as well. Because of the dice there is of course a luck factor in the game, but that is just extra chance for a lot of fun. Not everyone likes games where luck plays such an important role. Because the game only lasts three rounds it’s not that big a deal, you can always hope that it goes better in the next round. Usually you’re not the only one with bad luck and you can always laugh about other people’s suffering as well.