“On a beautiful day, the sea lay calm under the warm sun. The water was so clear that even from the boat’s edge, in your complete diving gear, you could see the corals and the fascinating marine life. You planned for a long day of diving, likely splitting it into two or three sessions. After double-checking your equipment, you leaned back and immersed yourself in the board game “Aquamarine,” a creation by the talented team of Matthew Dunstan and Rory Muldoon from Postmark Games.
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The World of Roll-and-Write Games
All that changed when I got to try “Aquamarine” at the UK Games Expo this year. Rory Muldoon, one of the game’s designers and the artist behind Postmark Games, alongside the prolific Matthew Dunstan, had announced they would showcase their latest game at the expo. Intrigued, I decided to give roll-and-write games another chance. We also write articles on the Roblox Unlimited app.
After all, I admired Rory’s artistic work in board game design and had enjoyed playing his game, “Skora.” Matthew’s designs were always interesting, and their previous game under the Postmark Games label had been quite successful. So, I decided to dive into “Aquamarine.” Its visuals were appealing, and the concept was intriguing.
An Underwater Adventure
In “Aquamarine,” your goal is to dive from one of three ships into the deep sea, where you can explore corals, fish, and shipwrecks. I won’t go into the rules here, but I’ll mention that the game is split into two phases: day and night. This division matters because some creatures only earn you points during the day, while others count at night. Planning your dives is essential.
What makes “Aquamarine” truly captivating is that with each round, you venture deeper into the water. You’re not obliged to keep going down; you can explore near the surface. However, the deeper you go, the more points you can earn. With each turn, you chart your course through the water using dice results to enclose shapes. Each new shape connects to the previous one, illustrating your progress.
You can’t cross your path, though there’s technically nothing stopping you from diving down and then returning to the surface. But this is where planning comes into play. When you reach a certain depth, your oxygen supply starts to deplete, and you need to manage it. Unlike some other diving games, running out of air doesn’t mean you lose the game; you simply start your next turn from a different boat with a fresh oxygen tank.
Immerse Yourself in Aquamarine
In the game, there’s some bookkeeping to do, but it’s quite minimal. The setting is highly immersive. As you look at your player sheet, you can imagine yourself in a wetsuit with an oxygen tank, ready for a mesmerizing dive. There’s no rush, and depending on your style, you can try to go as deep as possible or take a leisurely exploration of the shallow waters. Running out of air starts a new round, potentially earning you bonus points. It’s all quite calming and relaxed.
I’ve played “Aquamarine” with various people, and each person found something different to enjoy. Everyone was drawn in by the beautiful artwork. Each player would comment on what they discovered on their turn, whether it was a school of fish, a majestic ray, or an intriguing shipwreck. The game’s setting captivated everyone.
A Game for Everyone
You can play “Aquamarine” on your own, trying to beat your high score, or you can play it with a large group. There’s no player interaction; everyone can play independently. The only shared element is the results of two six-sided dice. Each player picks one of the two numbers and draws their rectangular path. Theoretically, you could play “Aquamarine” with a hundred people at once.
This game is easy to explain and doesn’t require much time to play. It’s best to teach it as you play, as all the necessary information is right on your player sheet. It’s a game that people of various ages can enjoy.
“Aquamarine” is the first roll-and-write game I’ve tried in a while, and I must say, it’s quite enjoyable. “It felt like I was underwater, and figuring out how to use the dice in the game was like solving a fun puzzle.”
Adding an element of randomness keeps things interesting, making sure that each game stays unique and continues to hold your attention and you can enjoy the game.
if you’ve given up on roll-and-write games like I did, I strongly recommend giving “Aquamarine” a try. You’re unlikely to be disappointed. The stunning artwork and the game’s simple yet clever mechanics create an immersive and enjoyable gaming experience. Matthew and Rory have done an exceptional job! So, take the plunge into the depths of “Aquamarine” and enjoy the journey.”
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