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Deep Dive

Designed by Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin and Shawn Stankewich, and published by Flatout Games and AEG, Deep Dive is a light push-your-luck set collection game for 1-6 players. Art is by Dylan Mangini.


The game is played using five shades of blue tiles, with the depth of colour representing the aquatic depth of the tile - so the lightest blue tiles are at the shallowest depth and the darkest blue tiles are the deepest water. If you have difficulty distinguishing the different shades of blue, the tiles can also be distinguished by the number of dots on the back (1 through 5). The fiddliest part of the game is the set up because you need to lay out all the tiles for each level so that they are all face down on the table. Laying them out creates a thematically appropriate display but it would make the game easier to play if it had instead come with five shaded blue bags for players to draw from.



Players each have three penguin meeples. The idea is that the penguins are diving for food and the deeper they dive the tastier the seafood (ie: the more points it'll be worth). On the other hand the deeper levels harbour a greater proportion of predators: in the shallowest waters there are just 6 predators among the 44 tiles but the proportion rises to around 50/50 at the deepest level.


On your turn, you place a penguin in the shallows and either take a face-up tile or flip a tile. If you flip food or a rock, you can either take the tile or leave it face up to dive deeper (ie: flip a tile in the next level). Food is worth points - the full face value for each complete set of colours (pink, green and yellow) and half face value for incomplete sets. If you flip an 'open water' tile (one showing bubbles) you must continue your dive to the next level. If you take a rock, it lets you commence your next turn's dive at any level, so you can, for example, choose to dive straight into the deepest level. Finally, if you reveal a predator, your penguin remains in the sea for the time being and you collect nothing that turn, tho' you have the option on your next turn of starting your next dive at the level below your currently trapped penguin.



Because unclaimed tiles remain face up, players increasingly have the option to take a safe lower-value choice rather than risk going empty handed by encountering a predator, and the set collection scoring system can make it worthwhile taking a lower value food tile if it's the colour you need to complete a set.


This all makes for an easy-to-play game that all the family can enjoy. We're just on the lookout now for a set of shades-of-blue drawbags we can use to streamline the gameplay...


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Nikolas
4 days ago

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Jul 10

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