Deep underneath the sea, corporations mine for precious resources in a race to create the supply and demand that will create immense wealth and set them for life. It’s a dangerous mission, deep-sea work isn’t for the weak of heart. It takes skill, cunning, a deep understand of submarine tactics and a nautical know how to be the best, the fastest and the most cunning in race and a brilliant economic mind to beat the market. Do you have the ability to be this mogul? Do you have what it takes to brave the harsh sea, the even harsher economic market and the backstabbing corporate greed in Nautilus Industries?
Publisher: Lamp Light Games
Game Designer: Leif Steiestol
Artwork: John Ariosa, Peter Wocken
Players: 2 – 6
Ages: 8 to adult
Playing Time: 60 Minutes
Game Mechanics: Action/Movement Programming, Modular Board, Stock Holding, Take That, Worker Placement
Suggested Retail Price: Currently on Kickstarter
Parental Advisory: Safe for Kids
Nautilus Industries is the third board game from Lamp Light Games designed by Leif Steiestol. Lamp Light Games has previously released Space Junk and Don’t Get Mad Get Evens. Nautilus Industries is a giant leap forward from their previous effort Space Junk.
Nautilus Industries is a game that uses worker placement, stock buying and a modular board to include a take that element that is finely wrapped a unique theme to gives it a completely different feel from most games of this type. This game keeps everyone involved the whole game and there is no real down time. It keeps the pace moving, the game exciting and the players engaged. The players compete to generate the most money by the end of the game through mining and stock manipulation and ownership.
Nautilus Industries is broken up to three phases: The Action Phase, The Market Phase and The Upkeep Phase.
The Action Phase – Each player is given three actions during this phase. The choices are: Place submarine, upgrade warehouse capacity, switch to resource cubes, switch the modular board mining order and purchase company stocks.
The Market Phase – This phase is resolved in the following order: Collect resources, sell/hold resources, adjust stock and commodity values.
The Upkeep Phase – This phase has the modular game board restocked with five more resource gems per board.
The game ends when a resource gem lands on the x10 space on the stock/commodity chart.
Nautilus Industries is a very easy game to learn but very difficult to master. It is a simple game with a ton of depth and strategy which belies its look. This game is much deeper than one would anticipate by the rules alone. The theme is fresh, which I have to admit is nice. The fact you can have a solid economic game that isn’t to heavy and scratches that is itch is also very nice. The pace of the game fits very nice into a game night in which you have limited time and want to get in some solid gaming. The designer thought through this pretty well.
The action phase is very clean and simple to understand. The only things to get to figure out are buying an upgraded sub and why that is important and learning how to manipulate the modular board to benefit yourself or hurt an opponent. The simplicity of Nautilus Industries is its strength. It’s a ton of game in a very easy package. The Market Phase is where the rubber meets the road. Do you have enough space to store anything? Do you sell? Do you hold and wait a couple of market cycles to try get more money. This game also has a ton of re-playability due to the boards never being the same and the enormous amount of difference in the stock market from game to game.
The game can end pretty quickly if you are not paying attention and someone is very good at understanding economic games. This can surprise a lot of players so pay attention and plot hard to get as much as you can each turn. It is vital to really understand the market and how to best manipulate it.
The issues I have with this game are this. First of all, some of the colors of the gems are very tough for color blind people. We had this issue at one of our game nights. The player who goes last is at a very big disadvantage and having the player token move one spot to the left after every round doesn’t really fix it. Maybe having the first player token move to the right after a round might help fix this issue or giving people money to start the game starting small and increasing from person to person.
We had a little confusion about the upgrading the sub as well. It might be a bit easier to offer to regular subs and one “super” sub that a player has to pay $5 for to limit the confusion of pulling a gem from the bag and putting it back after while remembering to take one from the board.
The biggest issue of all was the stock certificates. The biggest number is at the bottom of the certificate. It is so overbearing you don’t even see the little number on the bottom left corner that is actually the most important number to see. The actual cost of the shares. These two numbers need to be switched so that people are paying the right price for the stock and it is easier to understand the economic part of deciding on whether or which stock to purchase during the action phase. This was missed by everyone at the table during one game and we are all experienced gamers.
A couple of cosmetic issues which really don’t apply maybe because it’s a prototype but there may not be enough gems included in the game unless the supply is meant to be limited and having much nicer pieces for subs in the final version would be a very nice touch to the game. The rule book needs a good going over as well as somethings could be said better to make the game even easier and quicker to understand.
Again this game isn’t in it’s final form so some of this may not even be applicable. I will say this. Nautilus Industries is a strong game. It’s a major improvement for Lamp Light Games and I am sure by the end of the Kickstarter, some improvement will have been made.
Nautilus Industries is one my favorite Kickstarters sent to me this year. It’s a very fun, light weight economic game that provides a quick pace, lot’s of options, strategies and a bit of that gaming tension we all love. I would highly recommend you back this game and get your shot under the sea for riches and glory!
Kickstarter Page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/112392540/nautilus-industries
Club Fantasci Scoring (Based on scale of 10):
Rules Book: 7
Component Quality: N/A
Club Fantasci Overall Score: 7.5
I am giving Nautilus Industries 7.5 out 10 stars because it is a very good game with a unique theme and feels so different from anything else I have played in a long time. If some of the issues are addressed. I would bump this up to an 8 for sure.
This game is Club Fantasci Certified!
Company Website: www.lamplightgames.org
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Note: A review copy of this game was provided to me.
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