Published by: Iello Games
# of Players: 2 to 5
I have reviewed a lot of games from Iello, and one aspect they all have in common is really good art. Iello Games continues to elevate their games by the artwork and finish polish they put into their games. Oceanos continues that trend with very colorful cards that depict the 3 levels of the ocean that you will be exploring. Each player has their own unique sub that is various pieces that can be upgraded throughout the game. Each upgrade compliments the design but shows how it is an upgrade. They also provide a much needed scoring pad to keep track of the score during the 3 rounds of play. I wish there was an insert because there are a lot of cardboard pieces and 3 levels of cards to keep separate. The rule book is extremely colorful and full of illustrated examples. The rule book explains everything in great detail so that there are no questions left unanswered. Iello did a great job of making us feel like we are taking a journey into the deep ocean.
Oceanos is a set collection game with a touch of card drafting. The goal in Oceanos is to have the most points at the end of 3 rounds. During each round, players will be exploring a level of the ocean during 5 turns. The first round will start with level 1 explore cards that are exploring the surface of the ocean. The second round cards will be placed below it and the third round will place level 3 cards below the previous 2 rounds. Each player starts off with a full level 1 sub. During the game a player will be able to upgrade a part of their sub when they play a card that has a base on it and already played a card with a crystal on it. A single crystal and base can be used to upgrade a level 1 part to level 2. If you have played a yellow and green crystal plus a base, you can upgrade a level 2 to level 3. Upgrading a sub part enhances your ability to play the game or earn points. Upgrading the propeller provides additional victory points each round. If you upgrade the hull, storage tank or front of you sub, you will increase the capacity of what that area can hold. You can also upgrade the cockpit to increase the number of cards you get to choose from each turn.
Each round consists of 5 turns. Each turn one player will be the expedition captain and the rest will be regular explorers. The expedition captain will rotate to the left each turn. During a turn, the captain will pass out exploration cards to each player. The amount of cards that player receives is one plus the number of periscopes on their cockpit. Each of the explorer players will select one of the cards they were given to lay down in front of them to make up their ocean area. After they have selected their card, they will pass the remaining cards back to the captain. Once all the explorers have made their choice, they will all reveal their card at the same time. Explorers can choose an additional card with a fuel token they have on their sub. The captain then chooses one of the cards that was returned to him for his own ocean area. If a player has played a base and has a crystal on another card, they can upgrade their ship at that time. The person to the left becomes the next captain and you will repeat this for a total of 5 turns. You will move into the end of round phase.
Players will have the opportunity to upgrade a part of their ship if they have a unused crystal. Players will then count victory points from different animal collected (pay attention to the capacity of your hold), the propeller of your ship and the player with the most Kraken eyes showing on their cards receives a Kraken token that has a random amount of negative points. Once this is completed you will refill your fuel tokens and start the next level of cards. Once the third level (round) of cards has been completed, players will do a final tally. Players will score for the propeller and different animals like they do at the end of the previous rounds and a Kraken token will be assigned as usual. In addition to the usual scoring, players will count up the number of coral in your biggest coral reef. A coral reef must be orthogonally adjacent (vertical and/or horizontal) connected to each other to be counted. Players will also select treasure tokens from a bag based on the number of treasure your scuba diver collected while heading to the surface. When you play an explore card that has a treasure icon on it, you will have the option to place a scuba diver token on the card. You have a limited amount of scuba diver tokens. The scuba diver token will collect a treasure for each icon displayed on the card the token starts from and each card above it. You will total up the victory points from everything and the person with the most is the winner.
Oceanos has a new way of doing card drafting that is refreshing and different. The set collection aspects along with the upgrading of the sub make for some interesting card choices. The risk/reward of when to place a scuba diver can make or break your game. All of this in a easy to learn, family game is very impressive. This is my favorite Iello Game to date. The designer Antonie Bauza once again delivers a very entertaining game that is fundamentally solid. Jeremie Fleury helped the games theme stand out with very colorful art and unique subs. The lack of an insert is disappointing. I found the game was enjoyed by a wide skill and experience range. The theme was well liked and everyone wanted my copy after we were playing. I would use Oceanos as a way to tech card drafting and set collection mechanics. I would highly recommend everyone to play this game and feel it is a great purchase for families and those who love low to middle weight games. Oceanos will be staying in my collection and I have a feeling it will make my end of the year rankings for 2016.
+Great art and unique subs
+Underwater explore theme is felt with art and gameplay
+Great way to teach Set Collection and Card Drafting mechanics
+Easy to learn and teach
+Plays in under an hour
+Enjoyable to a wide range of skill and experience level
- Lack of an insert that is needed
- Art may be too cartoonish for some