Deep Vents

(1 customer review)

£28.50 inc. VAT

In stock

SKU: RVM026 Category: Designer(s): , Publisher:


Along cracks in the ocean floor, plumes of black and white superheated water pump relentlessly into the depths. They provide precious heat to the near freezing abyssal waters of the deep as well as a bounty of minerals. Microscopic archaea and other extremophiles live off the heat and minerals to form the base of a unique food chain that hosts a variety of exotic deep sea creatures.

In the Deep Vents board game, players each control their own hydrothermal ecosystem to which they add new life and geological features each turn, competing to survive in the unforgiving depths by being efficient and preying on nearby systems with a host of strange and deadly predators.

Start each turn by drafting a tile from the five on display — placing one archaeon, the currency of the game — on each tile you skip. Place this tile adjacent to each other tile in your ecosystem, then either grow or trigger each tile in your ecosystem, moving through them from top to bottom, left to right, and growing or triggering them individually as you like. When you grow a tile, you place archaea on it, whether a set amount or a varying number depending on other tiles in your ecosystem; when you trigger a tile, you remove archaea from it to carry out its unique effect: attacking opponents, gaining shells to defend against attacks, moving archaea to your personal supply, and decimating tiles, which leaves them as nothing but a heat source for the remainder of the game.

If you ever need to discard archaea due to an attack and cannot do so, you must take a shortfall token and ten archaea, then discard archaea as needed. On your turn, you can pay ten archaea to remove a shortfall token — which you want to do because as long as you have one, you can draft only the first tile on display. If you end your turn with two shortfall tokens, you’re out of the game.

The game ends if only one player remains in play (with that player winning) or after eight rounds, with players scoring points for archaea and shells in reserve and archaea on tiles. In this case, whoever has the highest score wins.

Game Details
NameDeep Vents (2020)
ComplexityMedium [2.73]
BGG Rank6043 [6.61]
Player Count (Recommended)2-4 (3)


1 review for Deep Vents

  1. Kevin Mc Gowan (verified owner)

    This game is about colonising deep sea vents with archaea (single cell microorganisms) which count for victory points at the end of the game, on a turn you take a tile from a tile row and add it to your personal display then you act each tile in your display in strict order to either grow archaea as per its growth rate or spend the archaea on them to do special actions which may be applied multiple times. A lot of the game revolves about where you place your tiles to get the best out of the new one and those already in your display, the game lasts 8 rounds but a lot can happen within your turn as the actions allow you to attack, defend, collect and transfer archaea. This is a good game but you will find yourself reaching for the rulebook throughout your first game due to the iconography which can be a little daunting, the rules are clear but easily forgotten so the whole thing may not all click together until your 2nd or 3rd game but I would say the perseverance is worth it.

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