Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Publisher: Oink Games Designer: Jun Sasaki, Goro Sasaki
Players 2-6 Time:30mins Age: 8+
Greedy Divers, as it is affectionately known in my gaming circles, is a cute looking game in a cute looking box, but is it any good?
The idea is that you and your friends are a bunch of poor divers, that can't afford anything better than a single cheap submarine with one shared supply tank of oxygen. At first this isn’t a problem. On their turn everyone rolls a pair of dice (with only 1s, 2s, and 3s on them) moving them ever deeper into a submerged ruin. But then someone's eyes light up as they decide that they’re picking up some treasure.
Now this extra effort of hauling the precious shiny cargo, means the even more precious oxygen level that you all share, begins to dwindle. Pickup two treasures and your oxygen depletes even faster. Three, even faster still. Four, yeah you might as well move into the Titanic.
Basically, it’s a push your luck game where everyone wants to grab the best loot. Whilst players don’t consume the air supply so long as they don’t pick anything up; so you could dive all the way to the bottom of the sea floor to grab the best loot but you run the risk of having your fellow divers consuming all of the precious oxygen before you can ascend back to the safe haven of the sub. Maybe you'd be better advised to just dip your toe grab the first bit of cheap tat and jump straight back to the sub, and hope nobody else can rival whatever you haul back.
It might sound almost too easy, but there’s still a bit more to it. For one thing, hauling treasure not only means you’re sucking limited oxygen, but also that your movement slows through the water. Carry too much sunken delights, and you run the risk of nothing more than treading water whilst everyone else is back at the sub enjoying a nice cuppa coco.
The full game of Deep Sea Adventure is played over three rounds, with each new round seeing the the route changing, as all the looted spaces are removed, shortening the path to the best treasures located towards bottom levels. Any treasures that are held by divers that failed to return are stacked into larger treasure piles at the deepest point creating a tempting bargain basement, full of three for one special offers. Knowing the perfect time to cut and run is the key. While it’s almost impossible to get to the bottom on the first dive, by the third it’s entirely feasible.
As divers jump over opposition divers when they move, generally means more players lead to deeper dives and tenser finishes. I believe the sweet spot for this game is 4-6 players.
Whilst a very basic design in both looks and mechanics. This game is perfect as a filler game for a slightly bigger group, short downtime between turns and keeping everyone engaged as they watch air gauge deplenish, it’s just about perfect to create a nice tidy tense atmosphere. Excellent effort from such a small box.