I have a fascination with games in small boxes. I love the idea of a game you can pop in a pocket and can pull out if you want a quick game to play whenever. A lot of the time these sort of games have little depth, but there are times when you find that little gem. Pocket Sub is one of those gems.
It’s not a particularly deep game but it is one that requires some planning and strategy. The goal is to be the last sub standing/floating. This is done by strategically moving around the tiles and leaving mines in the hope the other players will hit them. Each turn you must move and lay a mine. The must part it crucial as if you can’t your sub explodes. It takes some plotting to successfully navigate while also leaving an escape route.
The contents inside the box may not look like much, but what it contains is great. I love the sub meeples and it’s amazing how the addition of some of the supplied stickers for different nation’s can add a weird level of immersion. The small rulebook is straight to the point and is pretty simple to understand. It also features a couple of beginner scenarios to get you used to the mechanics (not that they are hard to learn).
There is a good level of depth to be had with different strategies and different tiles to be used. You may sacrifice one of your own subs simply to free up space for another to move through. You might decide it’s worth crashing into one of the enemy to take them out of action too. With each time having a different layout of rocks and sea, different placement will always lead to different strategies.
The components are very well put together and the boards seem sturdy, which is great considering they will often get bumped about in transport. As mentioned before the sub maples are awesome and are the perfect size to play with.
With a short playtime and only taking up a small amount of room, Pocket Sub is one of those perfect games to take with you on holiday or if you need a good filler game in between much deeper and longer games. I would recommend it as it’s fun, feels fresh and is all housed in a wonderfully small box.