Oceans is a 2-4 player strategy game in the Evolution game series where you create a vibrant web of marine life through millions of years of evolution. Whatever version of Oceans you pledge for, it will automatically come with a 5-6 player expansion.
The Evolution games are known for vivid themes, easy rules, and hidden depth. With many thousands of play-tests, years of non-stop design, over 100 unique illustrations, and more content than we’ve ever put into a game before, Oceans is our most ambitious project to date.
At the game’s start, the only food source is plankton, the foundation of the ocean food web. It populates the beautifully illustrated Reef and Ocean boards, shown here as prototypes:
Your goal is to create and evolve species so they find their niche in the growing ecosystem, by giving them helpful combinations of traits. This is a what a species looks like:
Each species is defined by its population (the fish tokens above), and its traits (the cards above). Through the game It’ll gain and lose traits, and gain and lose population depending on what it can eat, and what can eat it. Despite your best efforts, some species will go extinct! It’s natural selection at work.
Because you can build species from any combination of traits, thousands of species are possible, and they all interact in their own particular ways as the ecosystem builds. Every game creates a one-of-a-kind world, never to be seen again.
Many species will be predators, each bigger than the next, all the way up to the dreaded apex predator. But some will eat in other ways, for example by scavenging on the sea bottom or filter-feeding on plankton. Below are examples of trait art – each a watercolor painting by famed nature artist Catherine Hamilton:
Then there’s a whole other side to the game. It’s called The Deep.
Huge regions of deep ocean are unexplored, and what little we’ve seen of them can seem like fantasy:
We had to put this mysterious world into the game. Hence The Deep.
The Deep will contain, at minimum, 50 unique, powerful traits, which dramatically boost the range – and strangeness – of species you can evolve. We commissioned scores of illustrations from a variety of fine artists to make them. Here are examples:
Through unlocked stretch goals, at least 32 additional Deep cards may become permanently added to the game.
Beyond those, there are also 8 foiled Deep promo cards to unlock. These foiled traits are more aggressive and/or complex than the other cards in the game.
With all stretch goals unlocked, you’ll get more than 90 unique Deep cards in total. They raise the number of distinct species you can evolve from thousands to about one million.
Each time you play, there are 2 scenario cards in play (chosen at random at the start of the game from a deck of at least 25). Each creates a major ecosystem-shift when activated, altering the whole game. It’s another way the evolutionary timeline changes each play.
The standard scenario deck can create about 600 distinct Ocean histories to evolve through, but we’re also offering up to 13 more scenario cards as stretch goals. With those added, about 1500 Ocean histories are possible.
We’ve packed all this into rules that are simpler, more intuitive, and easier to teach even than Evolution, which was already known for being easy to teach. Nonetheless you’ll find tons of hidden tactics and strategies…under the surface.
- Includes 240 deluxe translucent acrylic fish tokens in addition to the cardboard fish of the standard edition, so you can decide how you want to play. The acrylic fish are more durable, easier to handle, and they refract light beautifully. Our goal is to make them as delicious-looking and as tactile as possible. We’ll have done our job if your first instinct is to eat them. Prototype:
- Includes custom-printed, premium food bags for up to 6 players for storing your points, instead of cardboard player screens. They feel super-silky, they have drawstrings, and they help keep your playing area neat and compact.
- Includes 220 custom Oceans premium matte card sleeves, for sleeving both the core trait cards and The Deep trait cards, plus spares.