Oceans is a 2-6 player strategy game in the Evolution game series where you create a vibrant web of marine life through millions of years of evolution.
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 a 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
Through unlocked stretch goals, up to 30 additional Deep cards may become permanently added to the game.
Beyond those, there are also 10 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 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. Once unlocked, each will become a permanent part of the game. With those added, about 1500 Ocean histories are possible.
Deluxe Edition Pledge Level
You get Oceans’ Deluxe Edition and all unlocked stretch goals. The Deluxe Edition improves on the Standard Edition in the following ways:
- Includes 215 deluxe translucent acrylic fish tokens in 6 colors, instead of the cardboard fish tokens in the standard edition.
- Includes custom-printed, high-quality food bags for storing your points, instead of cardboard player screens.
- Includes 220 custom Oceans card sleeves, for sleeving both the core trait cards and The Deep trait cards, plus spares.