Nautilus: Rules

Designed By: Brigitte and Wolfgang Ditt
Published by:
Kosmos, 2002
# of Players:
2-4 players, age 12 and up.
Translation by:
Bob Scherer-Hoock (Usual disclaimers pertaining computer-assisted translations by a non-German speaker apply)
Small Format, Player’s Aids, and Editing
: Idris Hsi

Game Overview
In ancient times, people dreamed of exploring the depths of the sea and looking for unknown treasures.  You can make this dream come true in this game. Your mission is to build an undersea city that will be the starting point for your exploration and to explore the ocean, seeking its hidden treasures.

You have two objectives:
1.      Recover as many Sea Discoveries as possible.  Each Sea Discovery brings you points.
2.      To have a chance for victory, you must make these points multiply.  Your points can multiply if you have many research stations on line; the more of a research type, the better.

You may earn additional points as well as cash for recovering the ruins of Atlantis.  At the end of the game, whoever has the most points, wins the game.  

Game contents

1.  The game board shows the sea divided into 4 different depth-zones:

·        Lagoon (the light area in the middle)

·        Incline (the somewhat darker area around the Lagoon)

·        Deep Sea (the even darker area around the Incline and in 2 corners)

·        Canyon (the very dark ditch)

The deeper the region, the more expensive it is to construct stations there.  However, the deeper regions of the sea hide the more valuable Sea Discoveries.

2.  The Sea Discovery tiles cover spaces on the game board, marked in the color as the depths.  One can recover these discoveries (i.e. take them from the game board) if one moves a submarine onto these spaces.  These tiles score different values of victory points.

·        60 Sea Discoveries (also including 15 Atlantis Discoveries)

3.  The base station is the first station tile that is placed, and it is the starting point for construction of the undersea city.

·        1 Base Station

·        1 Start-Player Disk

4. Players buy stations in order to build the undersea city.  There are two types:

Residential stations do not score victory points, but they are required to bring researchers onto the board.  There are two types: green stations with straight connections (passages) and blue stations with diagonal sluices.

Research stations score victory points at the end.  Each player is allowed to use any research station - no matter who built it.  The builder is paid a utilization fee for it.  The more research stations of a type one has, the better.  There are 5 different types that also have special functions in addition to scoring victory points.

·        20 Residential Stations;

·        20 Research-Stations

·        80 round Station Markers (20 in each player color)

5.  Researchers move in the undersea city by passing through the colored passages from stationto station.  They operate the research stations to activate various functions and to earn victory points.  Researchers are also needed to use the submarines.

·        60 Researchers (15 in each player color)

6. Submarines are used by the players to explore the sea and to recover Sea Discoveries and earn victory points.

·        12 Submarines (3 in each player color)

7.  Special discovery tiles under the sea: the “Atlantis Discoveries”.  If they are found, they are put on the Ruins of Atlantis board with a station marker of the player who made the discovery.  The more Atlantis Discoveries a player makes, the more victory points they receive at the end.  If all the Atlantis Discovery tiles are recovered, the game ends.

·        1 Ruins of Atlantis board

·        15 Atlantis Discovery tiles

8.  The special goals cards are given to players at the beginning of the game and are kept secret by the players up to the end.  The Sea Discoveries portrayed on the card can be increased in value at the end.

·        4 Special Goal cards

9.  To purchase and build stations and to recover Sea Discoveries, you must have income.  In the undersea city, this currency takes the form of Nemos.  You must manage the Nemos that you receive at the beginning.  You only earn a little income if a player uses one of your research stations or if you find a Treasure Chest under the Sea Discoveries.  So, spend your Nemos wisely.  At the end of the game, you will need Nemos to activate your special goals. 

·        1 packet of “Nemos”

·        40 x 1 Nemos, 40 x 5 Nemos

10.  At the end of the game, the victory points generated by the research stations are multiplied by the points generated by the victory points for Sea and Atlantis Discoveries.  Whoever has the most points wins.  Therefore you must engage in research as well as recover Sea Discoveries.

·        30 square Marker Chips (20 x 0/1, 5 x 3/3, 5 x 1-5)

·        4 Overview Cards with short rules

Game setup
Before the first game, the tiles must be removed from their frames.

1.  The game board is placed in the middle of the table.  It shows the sea with its different depth zones.

2.  For your first game, the base station with 8 passageways should be placed on the board as illustrated on page 2.  In subsequent games, it can be placed on any space within the Lagoon.  Place it so that the silver cross in the center of the base station points to the edges of the board, and the brown passageways point the corners of the board.

3.  Sort the different stations into 7 stacks.  These are placed with the picture-side face up beside the board.

·        10 blue Residential Stations

·        10 green Residential Stations

·        4 Training Stations (green)

·        4 Engineering Stations (gray)

·        4 Sonar Stations (brown)

·        4 Testing Stations (blue)

·        4 Analysis Stations (black)


The 60 square “Sea Discovery” chips, including the “Atlantis Discoveries”, are sorted according to the colors on their reverse sides.  There are 3 groups:

·        26 chips for the Incline (orange);

·        20 chips for the Deep Sea (red), and;

·        14 chips for the Canyon (purple).

All the chips in each group are placed face down and are thoroughly mixed.  They are then placed face down, by color, on the matching colored spaces on the game board.  There are no Sea Discoveries in the Lagoon.  You will find a table with the exact distribution of the Sea Discoveries at the end of the rulebook.

5.  The storage space board for the “Atlantis Discoveries” is placed beside the game board.  The following marker chips are placed beside this storage space:

·        with 4 players - 5, 4, 2, 1;

·        with 3 players - 5, 3, 1;

·        with 2 players - 4, 2

These marker chips declare the points that players get at the end for securing Atlantis Discoveries - the more Atlantis Discoveries a player recovers, the more points they will get.  The remaining marker chips for the Atlantis Discoveries are put back into the box.

6.  The 5 marker chips with the number “3”, in the five colors of the different research stations, are placed beside the game board.  These will go to the player who has the most research stations in operation in each type of research.

7.  Each player gets:

·        All the game pieces of one color: 15 researchers, 3 submarines, 20 station markers

·        Initial Income:

·        with 4 players, 45 Nemos;

·        with 3 players, 50 Nemos;

·        with 2 players, 55 Nemos.

(The remaining Nemos form the bank and are placed beside the game board.)

·        1 Overview Card and 5 different colored marker chips that are placed with the “0” side face up on the same colored spaces of the board in the first column marked “Base Value” (Grundwert).

·        1 “Special Goal” card.  The 4 special goal cards are shuffled face down.  Each player draws a card; any remaining cards are hidden and placed back into the box.  Each player looks at their goals and sets aside the card face down in front of them.

·        8. Whoever can remain under water the longest gets the start-player disk and begins.  If that cannot be determined, the eldest player begins.

The Overview Card
(refers to diagram on Page 4 in the rules)

·        Das Übersichts-Tableau ® The Overview Card:

·        Punkte für Forschungs-Stationen ® Points for research stations

·        Punkte für Meeres-Funde ® Points for Sea Discoveries

·        Kurzregel ® Short rules


Research Stations

·        The left half of the Overview Card shows how many research stations the player has placed.  At the beginning, all marker chip are placed with the “0” face-up in the first column (Base Value) since nobody has activated any research stations.  If a player places a researcher on a research station, they push the marker chip one space to the right.  If they move a researcher into a second station of the same research type, they push it one space to the right again and turns the chip to the side with the 1.  Now, the player’s research is worth 1 point. 

·        If the player has occupied most of the research stations of this type with researchers, they get the chip with the “3” on it in the color of this research type and puts it on their board.  Now, the player’s research is worth 3 points.  This player loses these “3” chips to another player if that other player occupies more research stations of the same type.  As soon as a player occupies all four research stations of one type, they can no longer lose the “3” chip. 

·        The position of these marking chips also declares which particular abilities a player has acquired through their research stations.  If the marker chip for the Engineering Station lies in the “2” column (2 research stations in operation for example), they can move each submarine 6 spaces.  If the player has 1 Training Station in operation, they can move two researchers 4 spaces.

Sea Discoveries

·        Sea Discoveries are placed on the right half of the Overview Card.  If a player recovers one of the pictured Sea Discoveries with one of their submarines, they put it on the corresponding space.  The number beside it declares how many victory points there are for this Sea Discovery. 

·        The Atlantis point-chips are placed on the space beside the “?”.  The more Atlantis Discoveries a player finds, the more points they receive.

Game Summary

·        The Overview Card also has a description of the individual game phases with the most important details.

Game play

·        The game proceeds in rounds.  Each round consists of 3 phases.

·        The start player begins the round, playing completely through Phase 1.  All players follows in clockwise order: all play through Phase 1.

·        In this sequence, Phase 2 is played through, then Phase 3 is completed.

·        After all players have completed Phase 3, the round is finished.

·        If a round is finished, the left neighbor of the start player becomes the new start player.  The start player begins again with Phase 1.  The other players follow in clockwise order.

·        Phases 2 and 3 follow again.

·        Them comes the next round, etc.

Phase 1: Building the undersea-city
In this phase, players build residential and research stations to extend the undersea city.  First they buy the Stations then they build the purchased stations onto the city.

a) Purchasing a Station

·        A player can buy at most 1 station per round on their turn.

·        A research station, of any type, costs 1 Nemo, which is paid at the bank. 

·        A player can take 1 residential station for free.  However, a residential station must be occupied with researchers:  For each researcher, 1 Nemo is paid to the bank.  The researchers are immediately put on the residential station.  With 2 and 3 players, a maximum of 3 researchers are allowed on a residential station, with 4 players at most 4 researchers are placed.

·        A station that has been purchased is placed in front of the player making the purchase.  Now, the player can immediately continue by building stations.

b) Building Stations

·        If a player has 1 or more stations in front of them from this or previous rounds, they can use them in the second half of this phase to expand the undersea city.  However, the player can also store the station(s) and build them in a later round.

·        The player whose turn it is takes a station and places it on the game board.

·        The station should be placed so that a passageway of the station is connected to an identically-colored passageway of the base station or with the identically colored passageway of another station.  To help with orientation, each station carries a cross with 4 arrows.  These arrows must always point to the edges of the board, never to the corners.

·        If a player expands the city by more than 1 station, the second and additional stations must connect at a station that the player has placed in this phase.  Therefore the stations that a player plays must be connected to each other.

·        If a player has expanded the city by one or more research stations, they immediately place a station marker in their color on these stations.  Residential stations are not marked.

·        Building stations costs money (Nemo) that is paid to the bank.

·        The total cost of a station depends on the type of undersea landscape (depth zone) where the station is placed.  If several stations are placed simultaneously, the cost of the entire expansion is only the cost of the highest station.

Depth Zone

Cost in Nemos





Deep sea




·        If a station covers different types of landscape - even if it is only one corner - the cost of the most expensive landscape is paid.

Station Expansion Rules:

·        Stations must always have at least one access to a neighboring station through an identically colored passageway.  However, it is permissible to place a station so that it has access to one neighboring station at a passageway, but at another passageway there is a wall at different neighboring station so that there is no way to pass through (see example above right, page 6).

·        Stations cannot be placed on spaces that contain a submarine, even if the station only partially covers that space.

·        When a new station completely or partially builds over a Sea Discovery tile, the Sea Discovery chip in question must be removed.  These are set aside beside the game board.  If Atlantis Discovery chips are among them, these are put face up on the Ruins of Atlantis board.  However, nobody can place a station marker on these chips.  (See Ruins of Atlantis section)

·        A player can buy stations and save them to build them in a later round all at once.  However, a player can only accumulate at most 4 stations this way.

·        If the player wants to expand the city, they must use all of their stations this turn.  All unused stations have to be placed back under their stacks.  These can be bought again later but the money paid to buy them is lost, of course.  A player cannot build one or more stations and save up the remaining purchased stations for a later round.

·        If on their turn, a player neither buys nor builds stations, but has stations sitting in front of them, they must hand over all their stations and place them back under the stacks.  This is to prevent station “hoarding”.

·        If a player has finished this phase, the player to the left takes their turn.  Once all players have finished this phase, the start player begins the second phase.

Examples of Station Building

Building the blue residential station costs player Orange 1 Nemo.  For the residential station, Orange has previously paid 4 Nemos, since Orange occupied it with 4 researchers.

For building the two Training Stations and the green residential station, player Violet must pay 2 Nemos, since the stations are covering the Incline.  Even if Violet had built only the first Training Station along with the residential station, the cost would still have been 2 Nemos since the residential station partially extends onto the Incline.

Player Red is allowed to the place the blue research station, since it fits against the brown passageway of the base station.  It doesn’t matter that there is not an open passageway to the green Training Station.

Phase 2: Deploying The Researchers

Researchers in residential stations are not yet doing research.  Researchers begin the game in residential stations and must be brought into the research stations.

a) Moving Researchers

·        On a player’s turn, they can move 1 or 2 of their own researchers.

·        The two researchers have 3 moves at their disposal that the player can distribute between them.  The moves can also be assigned to just one researcher.  It is permissible to use fewer than three moves and give up the rest of the movement.

·        If a player has 1 Training Station in operation, they can distribute up to 4 moves between one or two researchers; with 2 Training Stations, up to 5 moves.  This advantage is immediately available after the startup of a training center operation.  If the player has not yet moved a second researcher in this round, they can immediately move it one space more (see example on page 7, below left).

·        Researchers can move through any station.  It doesn’t matter whether it is the base station, or a residential station, or a research station.  It is also not important which player built the station.

·        If a researcher finishes movement in a research station in which no researcher of its color already stands, it automatically begins working at this station.  It doesn’t matter whether the player has placed this station himself or if another player did so.

·        Player Violet moves a researcher left and another researcher right into Violet’s Training Stations.  Since Violet has already moved 2 researchers, the remaining moves are lost. (Upper-left Diagram on page 7)

·        A researcher that stops in a research station built by another player must pay the owner of the station 1 Nemo in order to work at this station.

Player Violet moves a researcher into their Training Station at the left.  With this move the player immediately has 1 more movement step at their disposal.  With the remaining 4 movement steps, Violet moves into the research station of player Red.  The player must detour over the base station since there is no passageway to the neighboring research station from the left Training Station.  (Translator’s note: The example seems to presume that Violet already has one Training Station in operation. Lower-left diagram on page 7)

·        If a player has only 1 researcher standing in a research station, this researcher may not be moved.

·        A player cannot “park” a researcher in a research station if the movement number is not enough, and then move the researcher further in the next round.

·        If a player has several of their own researchers in a research station, then all except one may be moved.  Thus “parking” is possible in this case.

·        In each station, no matter whether base, residential, or research station, an unlimited number of researchers can be placed.

B) Operating Research Stations

·        A research station is operational if a researcher is in the station.

·        Important: Each research station can be operated by several players!

One Research Station In Operation

·        Each research station that a player builds belongs to that player.  It is marked with a station marker of that player’s color.

·        If a researcher is moved into a research station in which no researcher in its own color is standing, it takes over the operation of this station.  The researcher can now no longer leave this station.

·        If another player has built this research station, an opposing station marker lies there.  The player whose turn it is must pay 1 Nemo to the builder for the joint use of the research station for the rest of the game.  If the player enters the same station with another researcher later, the player does not need not to pay again.  However, other players who enter this foreign station for the first time must pay 1 Nemo to the builder.

·        After placing a researcher in a station, the marker chip of this research type is moved on the player’s Overview Card one column to the right.

·        The player activates an Engineering Station (diagram on right-side of page 7)

·        The research in one single station (this one type) still brings no points for the final result - the marker still shows the value “0”.

·        If a player has several researchers in a station, this has no effect on the research itself.  However, the presence of 2 researchers (of one player) is prerequisite for the use of a submarine, see Placing Submarines.

Several Research Stations of the Same Type in Operation

·        When a player has placed researchers in more than one station of the same type, their research station score increases.

·        Whenever a player begins operating a second station of a type with one of their researchers, they move the marker chip of this research type one space to the right.  The chip is now under the column with a “2”.  Afterwards, the player turns the marker chip over so that it now shows the number “1”.  The red line is a reminder that the marker chip is turned because there are now 2 stations of a type in operation.

·        If a player has at least 2 research stations of a type in operation and also has the most operating stations of this type, the player takes the corresponding 3 points station chip of this type and puts it over their marker chip on the Overview Card.

·        If the marker chip with the “3” is the property of another player and the active player can legally take the “3” marker, the chip changes ownership (with the previous owner again displaying the “1” marker again).

·        With a tie, the ownership of the “3” marking chip does not change.

·        If one player has all 4 stations of a research type in operation, they can no longer lose the corresponding 3- point chip.

The Research Stations

There are 5 different research types, each represented by its own research station.  Each research type has a special function in the game.

The Training Station

Training Stations improve the mental and physical abilities of researchers.  Without Training Stations, a player can only move two researchers up to 3 moves.  With a Training Station, the movement limit climbs to 4 spaces; with 2 Training Stations the limit increases to 5 spaces.  Improvements past 5 spaces per round are not possible.  This increase to the movement limit is immediately valid after the station startup.  If the player has not yet moved a second researcher in this round, they can immediately move this researcher one more space.

The Engineering Station

Everyone is allowed to pilot a submarine 4 spaces without a Engineering Station.  Engineering stations improve submarine performance by increasing their movement range.  With 1 Engineering Station, each submarine can move 5 spaces, with 2 Engineering Stations 6 spaces.  Further improvements past 6 spaces per round are not possible.

The Sonar Station

Sonar stations allow players to gain a better picture of the ocean floor, leading to more Sea Discoveries.  A player who wants to look at Sea Discoveries without sonar can “scan” Sea Discoveries up to 4 spaces away from their submarine.  With one Sonar Station, the scan-distance climbs to 5 spaces, with 2 Sonar Stations to 6 spaces.  A scan-distance of more than 6 spaces is not possible.  Even if one has a Sonar Station in operation, one must pay the scan cost of 1 Nemo (see Sonar Scanning).

The Testing Station

The Testing Station works only if a player’s own submarine has recovered a Sea Discovery.  With the recovery of a “Seashell” or a “Snail” (value 0) the station immediately makes a discovery!  The player can look at any face down Sea Discovery on the board. With 2 Testing Stations in operation, the player may examine 2 facedown Sea Discoveries.  These discoveries must, if possible, lie in different depth zones.

The Analysis Station

Analysis Stations allow a player to performed detailed studies of recovered “Treasure Chests”, increasing its value past the basic 2 Nemos.  With one Analysis Station, the value of the Treasure Chests climbs to 3 Nemos, with 2 Analysis Stations to 4 Nemos.  However, no Treasure Chest can have a value more than 4 Nemos.

Phase 3: Exploring the Ocean Floor
Once all players have finished the Moving Researchers phase, each player can send submarines on diving trips in turn.

A) Launching the Submarines

A submarine can be launched if a player has:
1.  At least 2 of their researchers standing in a research station, and
2.  This research station has at least one blue passageway that leads to a free sea space.

Whoever wants to deploy a submarine, 
1.  Removes one of their researchers from the research station (this researcher is returned back to the player’s reserve).
2.  Places a submarine on a free sea space beside a blue passageway of this research station.

(Diagram on Page 9) Player Orange puts in a submarine.

A player must first place all the submarines they wish to move before moving the submarines.

B) Sonar Scans

A player who has one or more submarines in use can use sonar in order to scan for Sea Discoveries in reach.  Sonar allows the player to look at Sea Discoveries and can only be used before the submarine moves.

·        If a player wants to use a submarine’s sonar, they pay 1 Nemo to the bank.

·        They can now secretly look at all Sea Discoveries that are in the scan range of this submarine and replace them face-down where they were picked up.

·        The scan range without a Sonar Station is up to 4 spaces from the submarine, not counting diagonally (see middle Diagram on Page 9).  If the player has 1 Sonar Stations in operation, the scan range rises to 5 spaces, with 2 Sonar Stations in operation, to 6 spaces.

·        The player must pay for each submarine that uses sonar.

·        Sea Discoveries in the Canyon can only be scanned if the submarine itself is on a space in the Canyon.

(Diagram on Page 9) If the player has no Sonar Station in operation ,they can only look at the Sea Discoveries marked with X.  If the player already has 1 Sonar Station in operation, the submarine’s scan range increases to 5 spaces and the player can now also look at the Sea Discovery on Y.

C) Submarines Move

On their turn, a player can move their submarines on the board, one after the other.

·        Each submarine normally moves 4 spaces.

·        If a player has 1 Engineering Stations in operation, each of their submarines is allowed to move 5 spaces; with 2 Engineering Stations in operation 6 spaces.

·        Submarines move in straight lines, never diagonally.  Turning at right angles is allowed, even multiple times.

·        A submarine does not have to completely use the allowed number of spaces.

·        A submarine may pass over other submarines, but not over Sea Discoveries.

·        The trip must always finish on a free sea space or on a space with a Sea Discovery.

·        A submarine CAN move over a station.  The spaces covered by the station are counted normally.

(Diagram on Page 9) Player Orange has no Engineering Stations in operation, so the submarine can finish its move on any one of the spaces marked with a white dot.

The Canyon

The Canyon, the dark area on the game board, contains especially difficult waters.  A player needs to have all 5 different research stations in operation before they can drive a submarine into the Canyon.  However, as soon as one player has driven into the Canyon, all other players can also drive with their submarines into the Canyon.  They are allowed to do this even if they themselves do not have 5 different research stations in operation.

Hint: If the undersea city should expand so far that a submarine is built directly in the Canyon, each player can drive submarines into the Canyon afterwards.  The 5 different research stations are no longer necessary.

D) Recovering Sea Discoveries

If a submarine moves onto a space with a Sea Discovery tile, this discovery must immediately be recovered.  The movement of this submarine is finished for this phase.

·        Recovering a “speed chip” or a “Treasure Chest” (beige-colored background) is free.

·        The recovery of all other Sea Discoveries (with blue backgrounds) costs 1-2 Nemos per Sea Discovery:

o       on the Incline and in the Deep Sea: 1 Nemo,

o       in the Canyon per Sea Discovery: 2 Nemos.

·        With recovery of a “speed chip”, the player is immediately allowed to move any of their submarines up to 3 additional spaces.  That can also apply to a submarine that has already moved in this round.  It is thus possible to reach another Sea Discovery and recover it.

·        With recovery of a “Treasure Chest”, the player gets 2 Nemos.  If they have an Analysis Station, the player gets 3 Nemos, and 4 Nemos with two Analysis Stations.

·        If a player recovers a “Snail” or “Seashell”, and has one Testing Station in operation, this player can immediately look at any 1 Sea Discovery on the board, cover it, and put it back in its place.  This includes Sea Discoveries in the Canyon.  With 2 Testing Stations in operation, the player may look at 2 Sea Discoveries.  However, the two Sea Discoveries, if possible, must lie in 2 different depth zones.

·        All Sea Discoveries with blue backgrounds on them (exception: Atlantis Discoveries) are put on the player’s own Overview Card as points received towards the player’s final score.  Beige-colored Sea Discovery tiles are placed back into the box.

·        If a player does not have sufficient money to recover the Sea Discovery, it must be placed face up back on its space.  Exception: Atlantis Discovery chips are put on the corresponding fields of the Ruins of Atlantis board.  However, the player does not score any points for this chip.

The Ruins of Atlantis

As Sea Discoveries are recovered, parts of the ruins of Atlantis may be found.  Recovered Atlantis tiles are placed on the space on the Ruins of Atlantis board with the same number, with a station marker in that player’s color placed beside it.

Player Yellow has recovered the Atlantis tile 10.  It is placed on space 10 of the ruins board and a Yellow station marker on the round space next to it. (Diagram on page 10)

·        As a reward, the player making the recovery is immediately allowed to move one of their researchers up to 2 spaces, as they spread the message of the finding.

·        Under these circumstances, a researcher can begin operating a station - with all the consequences – such as changing the ownership of the 3-point marker chips or allowing more movement for the submarines.

E) End a Diving Trip

A submarine’s move ends if it has moved its allowable distance or if it has recovered a Sea Discovery.  The submarine’s explorations can be continued in the next round.

In addition, a submarine can be deactivated:

·        If the submarine moves onto a free sea space that is beside a blue passageway of a research station, in which at least one researcher is present (not necessarily their own).  Then the player takes a researcher from their reserve and puts it into this research station.  If through this action the player gains the majority in this type of operational research stations, the 3-point chip changes ownership.  If the player begins operating another player’s station by this action, the player pays the owner 1 Nemo.

·        The submarine is taken back into the player’s reserve.  It can be put into service again the next round, also from another research station.

·        If a player has no researcher in their reserve, they do not get one back.  Nevertheless, the submarine can be taken out of service.


End Of a Round

·        After the Submarine Exploration phase is completed, the round ends.

·        The player to the left of the start player now becomes the new start player, receives the start player disk, and begins phase 1 of the new round.

End of the game
For the end of the game, there are these possibilities:

·        All the Atlantis Discovery chips have not been found, however the chips 13, 14, and 15, of which two are in the canyon, are recovered.  The current round is played to its end and one more round is played after it.

·        If the last Atlantis chip is found in a round, the current round only is played to its end.

·        The game ends prematurely if, in a round, no player buys a station, builds a station, or recovers a Sea Discovery.  Then the game immediately finishes after this round.

Game scoring
Atlantis Chips

First, the Atlantis point chips that lie on the Ruins of Atlantis board are scored.  Whoever has recovered the most Atlantis tiles gets the highest score, the player with the second-most discoveries gets the second-highest, etc.  The scores are based on the number of players.

·        with 4 players - 5, 4, 2, 1;

·        with 3 players - 5, 3, 1;

·        with 2 players - 4, 2

If there is a tie, it is broken in favor of the player who found the higher value Atlantis tile.  Players who have recovered no Atlantis tiles get no points.  The points for Atlantis are placed on the Overview Card with the points scored for the Sea Discoveries.

Special Goals
Now each player uncovers their special goals and can increase each of the portrayed Sea Discoveries 1 point in value.  (The Sea Discoveries are pushed to the left a column.  The 1-value discoveries are moved to the Gold space to reflect their increase to 2 points). This increase in value costs 1 Nemo for each Sea Discovery Tile that is increased in value.

Sea Discoveries
Each player adds the points earned from Sea Discoveries, including Atlantis points.  Then the values of the Research Stations are added up.  The value of the Sea Discoveries is multiplied by the value of the Research Stations.

Remaining Nemos
Now each player adds 1 point to the final total for each remaining Nemo. 

The Winner
Whoever now has the highest total wins the game

Example: This player scores 1+3+1+3+0 = 8 points with their research stations.  With the Sea Discoveries, they can pay 3 Nemos to move three Seashells to the 1 column to increase their value.  They cannot use the Horseshoe Crabs as the second Sea Discovery of the special goal since they did not recover any Horseshoe Crabs.  The player also cannot increase the deep Sea Anemone and the two Snails in value since these Sea Discoveries are not portrayed on the special goal tile.  Their Atlantis Discoveries score second place which brings in 4 points.  The total for the discoveries is 4 (Atlantis Discovery) + 2 (Gold) + 3 (3 Seashells) + 1 (deep Sea Anemones) = 10 points.

Multiplying the points from the research stations and Sea Discoveries yields 8 x 10 = 80 points.  Adding the 2 remaining Nemos gives a final score of 82 points.


Tips before the first game

·        Money is scarce and hard to get.  You only earn money if players use your research stations or if you find Treasure Chests.  Towards the end of the game, you need money to pay for especially valuable recoveries in the canyon and to fulfill your special goals.

·        In order to win, you should try to secure the “3-point chips” in two or three research types.  By doing this, you get a good multiplier for your Sea Discoveries.

·        Don’t wait too long to build stations.  Other players may beat you to the place you wish to build.

·        Keep an eye on whoever is the start player in each round.  In some situations, it is very important to go before a fellow player.  Another player can build a station later in the turn and takes away the valuable “3-point chip” from you.

·        Remember that submarines can be “deactivated” at any time and a researcher can go “ashore” again.  Thus it is sometimes possible to let a researcher operate a station that you did not originally count on.



Game Summary

Phase 1: Building the Undersea City

a) Buy 1 Station (Research Station – 1 Nemo, Residential Station – Free)

Each Researcher costs 1 Nemo.  In a 2-3 player game, a maximum of 3 researchers is allowed on a residential station.  In a 4 player games, a maximum of 4 researchers is allowed.

b) Building Research Stations

Stations must connect to open passages so that the passage colors match.

Building them costs 1, 2, 3, or 4 Nemos (depending on Depth Zone)

The player places a station marker on the station after building it.


Phase 2: Deploying the Researchers

a) 1 or 2 Researchers Can Be Moved

3-5 spaces (improved by the Training Stations)

b) Operating a Research Station

A researcher ending its movement in an unoccupied research station activates it automatically.  A player wishing to operate another player’s station with a researcher pays them 1 Nemo.  The marker chip for this research type is moved to the right on the Overview Card.

c) Scoring the Research Stations

If the player has 2 stations of the same type in operation, the marker chip for that type is flipped over to “1”.  If the player is operating the majority of that station type, they get to place that station type’s “3” marker chip ontop of their marker chip for that type on their Overview Card.

Phase 3: Exploring the Ocean Floor

a) Launching the Submarines

The player must have 2 researchers in a research station and the research station has at least one blue passageway leading to a free sea space.  1 of the researchers is returned to the reserve to place the submarine.

b) Sonar Scans

Costs 1 Nemo, allows submarines to scan Sea Discoveries 4-6 spaces away (improved by Sonar Stations)

c) Moving Submarines

Submarines can move 4-6 spaces (improved by Engineering Stations)

d) Recovering Sea Discoveries

Costs 1 Nemo to recover a Sea Discovery (2 Nemos in the Canyon).  Treasure Chests pay 2-4 Nemos (improved by Analysis Stations); Speed Chips allow submarines to move 3 extra spaces; Atlantis Discoveries are placed on the Ruins of Atlantis board with a station marker; Snail or Seashell Discoveries allow the player to examine 0-2 Sea Discovery tiles (improved by Testing Stations).


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This site is created and maintained by: Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson