Update: The Mariana Trench has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 29 days. You may pledge for a copy of the game, or get it together with the playmat. It is also available as a PnP.
Our preview post below was published on October 24.
The Mariana Trench is a 1-2 player set collection card game in which you travel into the depths of the Mariana Trench to collect species for research. It will launch on Kickstarter on October 26.
In the solo mode of the game, you will play against an artificial opponent submarine. Each submarine has certain characteristics, e.g. it can hold a certain size of fish and can move up to two spaces at a time. The cards you find as you explore the sea are arranged in a column. You will move your submarine one or two spaces down, and flip the card in that space to see what creature you come across. If it is, for example, a giant octopus, it damages your rivets and you may not be able to carry it because it's too big. If you place it on the back of the submarine, however, you can use its ability of scanning cards ahead.
The AI will descend as far as it can and it is never damaged. It collects any creature it finds, and if it cannot carry it, it places it on the back of the submarine as an upgrade. It receives research tokens when it reaches the bottom, and then rises up to the surface to offload. You and the AI will continue going up and down until the third oxygen card shows up in the deck, which signifies the end of the game.
You score points for the research tokens you collected from the bottom of the trench, for how many cards of the same kind your have, and for how many different cards you have. You also count the score for the AI, and subtract your score from theirs. The result is your final score. The Kickstarter campaign will include the Creatures From The Deep expansion, free for all backers.