New details for Ark Nova: Aquarius announced
As hinted at in a previous Dice Tower News article, publishers Feuerland Spiele, Capstone Games and designer Mathias Wigge have announced more details on the upcoming Aquarius expansion for Ark Nova. As it sounds by the title of the expansion, Aquarius will build on the aquatic aspect of your zoo.
Introducing water-based animals, Aquarius will also include special enclosures that must be built next to water areas on your zoo board. To compliment these new enclosures, a good portion of the new water-based animals will be tagged as “reef dwellers”. When you add an animal to your zoo that has this tag, you trigger the special abilities of all reef dwellers in your zoo. In addition, water-based animals have a wave icon on them. When one of these tags appears on a card in the display, you discard the first card and replenish. This mechanic is meant to help cycle through the draw deck faster to mitigate the additional cards from the expansion.
There are some quality of life additions too, including four new variations on the five action cards. This will allow you to slightly change the way those actions work. Players draft from these cards, and replace two of their starting actions, giving the game a more asymmetric start. There are new bonus tiles to choose from when setting up the board, and new end-game goal cards. There is a new University tile that, when chosen from the Association board allows the player to claim one of six special Universities, each with a research and animal icon. When you take the tile you will reveal cards from the top of the deck and keep the first animal that matches the animal icon on your token.
As of this writing there has not been any mention of when the Aquarius expansion will be released other than a vague "2023".