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Rating: 7.3 Good
Players: 2-5 players
Playing time: 75-25 minutes

Created by: Nick Bentley, Dominic Crapuchettes, Ben Goldman, Brian O'Neill, Guillaume Ducos, Catherine Hamilton

Published by: North Star Games


Two years in the making, Oceans is the next stand-alone game in the award-winning Evolution series.

Enter a vast, underwater cosmos: a mysterious interconnected world of sharp teeth, glowing eyes, and black ink, where your survival depends on your ability to adapt to the unknown.

The foundation of the oceanic food chain are billions of one-celled organisms that capture the sun's energy through photosynthesis. Every other oceanic species is a predator, each bigger than the next, all the way up to the dreaded apex predator.

And even bigger than apex predators are enormous filter feeders that gently swim through the ocean scooping up everything in their path with their baleen.

Gameplay Oceans is a continuation of NorthStar's quest to make heavy hobby games that are easy to teach. Game designers Nick Bentley and Dominic Crapuchettes want to give an immersive experience without a rules explanation that takes 30+ minutes.

The foundation of Oceans is a simple turn structure and a deck of 12 traits, making it easy to learn all of the cards and wade effortlessly into the first game. The 12 traits were chosen because of the rich thematic interconnections, providing a tapestry of synergistic card play.

Additionally, there are 2 randomly chosen scenario cards that activate (and sometimes deactivate) at various points during the game. The scenario cards impact the basic tenets of gameplay, encouraging people to vary their play style and strategy each game.

This foundation loosely mimics a scientific oceanic ecosystem, similar to what you've come to expect from games in the Evolution series. This core is fully playable on its own, but there's more if you're willing to dive a bit deeper...

Oceans also includes something which will break the seams of the scientific reality you've come to accept: The Deep. The Deep is a deck of 75 unique power cards that require an additional cost to play. These power cards range from things you might discover in nature to the fantastical Kraken or Leviathan.

Oceans is an engine builder where the world of science is disrupted at the seams by scientific phenomena too outlandish to be believed.

Players must adapt to the changing environment with an interconnected ecosystem that can thrive in the face of the inevitable march of time, and the natural struggle of predators seeking to survive.

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Enter a vast, underwater cosmos: a mysterious interconnected world of tentacles, sharp teeth, and black ink, where your survival depends on your ability to adapt to the unexpected


  • 200 Population Tokens
  • 24 Species Boards
  • 1 Reef
  • 1 Ocean
  • 25 Scenario Cards
  • 120 Surface Cards
  • 89 Deep Cards
  • 1 Cambrian Explosion Card
  • 4 Player Screens
  • 4 Bonus Tokens
  • Instructions


Reef Variant: Oceans was originally designed to be played without Scenario cards and without the Deep . If anyone at the table has never played Oceans , we recommend playing the Reef Variant. Otherwise, prepare to venture into the Deep! …

Population Tokens

Population is central to this game! You'll want the population of your species to thrive because each token, regardless of color, is worth 1 point at the end of the game.

Species Boards

These boards represent your species. Each one has 10 spaces for population tokens, but the species will overpopulate if a population token must be placed on the space with the fishbones. Overpopulation leads to disease, which means a huge decrease of that species' population.

A species feeds on the population of another species by using the attack icons on their traits: …

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