Deep Regrets preview

Deep Regrets Preview

I’ve never been much of a fan of fishing, but fishing GAMES are a whole different thing. I’m a fan of reeling in a big catch without the risk of sunburn or a hook through the hand. Throw in a horror element and I’ll all in! Deep Regrets is a fishing game that challenges players to press their luck and manage the effects of “Ocean Madness”.

Deep Regrets - depth levels

Setting Sail

Deep Regrets takes players through 6 days (rounds) as the captain of their own vessel. In each round, players declare whether they will go fishing or go back to port for that turn. Most of your rounds will take place on the high sea, reeling in horrifying catches across 3 distinct depths.

Players can flip over a card at sea and make a decision on whether they want to reel in the creature found on the other side. Creatures come in small, medium and large sizes which are shown as shadows on the backs of the cards. This is such a great way to give players an indication as to what they might find at sea. There are 3 depths available with each of these depths giving you different odds for finding “fair” or “foul” creatures. A fresh die has to be spent for each depth that you want to fish.

Deep Regrets - creature size

When flipping over a card, players resolve any text that immediately triggers then you’ll need to decide whether you want to reel in the creature. Players use fresh dice to meet the value on the creatures card. Sometimes you may overspend when meeting this value or choose not to reel in a specific creature. In this case, you can just spend any die to take a “dink” card. These are small fish have perks attached to them that can be incredibly helpful when taking the fishing action in the future.

The wild and horrifying creatures found in Deep Regrets are what initially attracted me to this game. Flipping over any card at sea will result in finding a creepy fish or something from your nightmares. The day, or round, is over when all players have passed or have taken all the actions available in the location of their ship.

Land Ho!

If you choose not to fish during a round, players can head to port where they can prepare for future days at sea. At port, you’ll be able to purchase new dice, buy rods or reels to equip on your players board or sell the items you caught for money. The port actions can feel like you’re wasting a day away from your main objective. Players will begin to realize that their time at the port is setting them up for bigger and better fishing trips in the future rounds.

Deep Regrets - the port

Players can also mount fish that were caught at sea. These will be added to the players board as trophies or a prize catch. These fish have multipliers given to them at the end of the game.

Lean Into the Madness

Revealing, catching and even selling fish can cause players to accumulate regret cards. This is what makes Deep Regrets so unique. Players have to manage the amount of regret they take on during the course of the 6 days. This regret will cause prices for their catches to fluctuate and even dictate the number of dice they can have. All of this is tracked on the Ocean Madness board.

Deep Regrets - madness tracker

Regret cards come in a couple different point values, with each card having hilariously dark flavor text on them. A single regret card may give you as much as 3 regret points. With each regret card holding a value between 0 and 3 points, it’s essential that you manage these cards that you earn throughout the game.

Deep Regrets will let you lean into the madness as you catch and sell foul creatures, leading you further into regret, but possibly making you a lot of money. The game offers players plenty of opportunities to shed regret cards. Some opportunities show up during your time fishing, but players can always discard a single regret card when going back to port.

Deep Regrets - regret cards

You’ll definitely see people try to stay away from collecting regret cards while others dive right into the madness. While I haven’t found a perfect balance in this, I’ve really enjoyed playing around with this mechanic.

At the end of the 6th day, players will evaluate who has the most points worth of regret. The player with the most points will immediately lose their most valuable mounted fish on their player board. Players then count all the creatures they caught that are still in their hand, modified by their standing on the madness tracker. The player with the highest score will win the game.

Deep Regrets - player board

Final Thoughts

Deep Regrets was designed and illustrated by Judson Cowan. This game has a level of polish to it that is commonly seen in larger game releases that had a team of people working to bring it into the world. I was floored by the number of cards in the game, all illustrated and given their unique feel.

Deep Regrets - player hand

The fishing mechanic has a press your luck aspect as you flip over cards, hoping to find something great below the oceans surface. Instead of using regular dice, the nautical themed tackle dice really work well. Our preview of this game was done with a prototype which honestly feels more like a final release. Deep Regrets gave us a unique theme, fun gameplay, and something that was creepy in all the right ways.

Deep Regrets launches on Kickstarter on July 1, 2024. Check out the campaign to get your copy of the game from Tettix Games.

A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.

Ryan Gutowski

I'm a huge fan of strategy games and pretty much anything that involves "city building". My love of board games goes back to my childhood and passion for building relationships with others.

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