by Søren Brandborg & Mark Elsdon.

Embark on a daring voyage in ‘Perils of the Deep’, a thrilling card game where bold seafarers navigate treacherous trade routes, employing cunning strategy and deck-building prowess. Balance speed and caution, race against rivals for valuable rewards, and face unpredictable perils, from Jagged Rocks to the deadly Kraken! Will you master the seas and emerge as the most cunning captain?


  • Time: 90-120 min (incl. rules)
  • Players: 2 – 4
  • Language: English

In ‘Perils of the Deep’ two to four players take on the roles of intrepid captains, each commanding two ships over a series of expeditions, through an ever-changing landscape adorned with intricate islands and winding waterways.

The gameplay is deceptively simple, as players will draw three cards each round and play two – one for each of their ships. This keeps the turns fast but still offers plenty of room for tactical choice.

The core of the game lies in skillful deck-building, as whenever a player earns coins, they can immediately spend them to buy new cards, allowing for the customisation of their ships' abilities, armaments, and crew. Players will be able to create powerful combos, and gain bonuses for playing a pair of cards of the same type, meaning there is plenty of variety in the strategies that can be employed.

Players will want to race ahead as quickly as possible to grab the treasure that is strewn across the map, but a twist lies in the fact that each player’s rearmost ship is the one that gains the game-winning points at the end of the expedition, based on its progress. This creates the need for a delicate balance between speed and caution; players must strategically manage both vessels, making every move a calculated risk.

A further twist is added to the game through the Peril mechanic. When a powerful card is played, or a dangerous route chosen, it will often come with an associated Peril cost, causing the loss of a number of brave crew. Players have only 10 crew counters to last them each expedition, and if they run out, all is lost – for that expedition at least! To make matters even trickier, a Peril Card is flipped at the end of each round, and will affect all players. From navigating Jagged Rocks and enduring Storms to confronting the looming terror of a Kraken, each turn towards the expedition’s end becomes a gamble.

‘Perils of the Deep’ offers a thrilling combination of strategic deck-building and tactical risk taking, where players strive to outmaneuver rivals, conquer perilous odds, and tame the unforgiving tides to emerge victorious.

About the designers

Mark Elsdon
My background in gaming stems from the tabletop miniatures world – I’ve been collecting and painting models for about 30 years, which is a sobering thought!

This is my third time entering Fastaval, after 2021’s Riding Shotgun and Stellar Scramble in 2022, which both managed to win prestigious Ottos! Most importantly though, this will be my first time actually attending the event in person, which I’m really looking forward to.

It’s great fun developing games alongside Soren, as our styles and skill-sets complement each other well. My dream is that we’ll soon take a game through to publication and see it on shelves at our local gaming stores.

Søren Brandborg
Greetings, I'm Søren Brandborg, one half of the creative duo behind 'Perils of the Deep.'

Since 2020, I've been collaborating with co-designer Mark Elsdon, overcoming the distance barrier as he resides in the UK and I in DK. A three-time game design participant at Fastaval, I'm proud to have received two Otto statues for our previous game submissions.

What drives me in game design is the iterative process – the thrill of generating ideas and methodically refining mechanics. There's nothing quite like the joy of engaging with playtesters and watching people having fun playing our game designs.