BENGALURU: The first thing you’ll notice about Deep Sea Adventure is just how tiny it is. This is a box that will comfortably fit on your palm; heck, it’s smaller (although taller) than most current smartphones. Don’t let that fool you, though — there’s more game packed into that little box than in many thrice the size. Deep Sea Adventure’s premise is as wacky as it is promising — you and your friends are a bunch of treasure hunters/deep sea divers on a hunt for as much underwater loot as you can find. However, treasure hunting isn’t what you might call a reliable source of income, so all of you are pretty broke; which is why you’ve all pooled in and rented a submarine that each of you will dive from.
This isn’t a cooperative game, it’s every diver for himself/herself — this just means that you share a communal supply of oxygen. And out of this tiny detail is born one of the most frantic and savage push-your-luck games I’ve ever seen. You see, every round (of 3) in Deep Sea Adventure starts brightly. Everybody’s diving deeper, probably ignoring the lower-value treasures in the hopes of picking up some of the more lucrative pieces of loot that’s further away from the submarine. However, that’s a problem too because you can collect all the loot in the world, but it doesn’t count unless you make it back to the submarine. Still, it’s all fine, nothing to worry about — and then somebody picks up a treasure.
That starts the countdown, and suddenly things aren’t quite as rosy as they seem. Until this point, nobody has really been using up the submarine’s air supply — your personal tanks have sufficed. However, once treasure are picked up, the supply is depleted for every piece of treasure the active player is carrying. This starts out slow, but it accelerates at a blistering pace if you don’t watch out. And, just to complicate things even further, the more treasure you have, the slower you move. So if you were greedy and picked up more than what you could reasonably take, congratulations — you are not going to get back alive, but you might just have ensured that your friends won’t either! Deep Sea Adventure is a brilliant, brilliant game, one that equally provides howls of anguish and roars of triumph aplenty.
Because it’s entirely possible that all of you might sink together, you’re often as invested in other players’ turns as you are in your own. It’s not just about playing the odds and being cautious above all else, either - if you don’t predict what your opponents are likely to do, well... hope that it’s better down where it’s wetter? I can’t think of a game that better embodies the expression ‘a lot of bang for your buck’ — Deep Sea Adventure should be in everybody’s collection.