Sea Hunt Underwater Adventure Game from Lowell Toy Mfg. (1961)
Release date: 1961
# of players: 2-4
Where to purchase: eBay
Released in 1961 by Lowell Toy Mfg., the Sea Hunt Underwater Adventure Game was based on the TV series of the same name. Sea Hunt ran in syndication for 4 seasons from 1958-1961 and starred Lloyd Bridges as a former Navy diver named Mike Nelson.
The spin-and-move game pitted 2 to 4 players against each other as skin divers trying to recover sunken treasure from the ocean floor.
The 18-inch game board provided an ocean backdrop with boats, birds, and sea creatures. Interspersed throughout the board was a series of black fathom markers, which corresponded to the location of buried treasure and the depth it would take a diver to reach and recover it. The deeper the treasure, the more valuable it was to retrieve.
At the start of the game, each player took 4 Compressed Air cards and chose 2 plastic playing markers of the same colour. Treasure discs were placed on each fathom indicator on the board corresponding to the number on the disc. One of each player’s 2 plastic markers was placed on the island at the center of the board (emblazoned with Lloyd Bridges’ face), while the other was placed on the Surface indicator that faced each player on the outside of the board.
Players moved around the board in any direction by spinning an arrow pointer on a numbered dial. Landing on a Fathom space allowed a player to dive for treasure, a feat accomplished through a combination of Compressed Air cards and spinner spins. The progress of each dive was tracked by moving the marker on the indicator strip at the edge of the board.
As the game progressed, players were required to return to the center island to acquire more Compressed Air cards. They could also dive for the same treasure, racing each other to be the first to reach the required depth, secure the bounty, and surface before running out of air or having their find stolen by another player.
The first player to combine fortuitous spins with enough compressed air to collect $30,000 or more of treasure was declared the winner.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included 1 game board, 4 sets of coloured (blue, yellow, red, green) plastic markers, an insert with spinner, 24 Compressed Air cards, and 20 Treasure Gold tokens. Instructions were printed on the box cover.
From a collecting perspective, the release of the Sea Hunt Underwater Adventure Game in 1961 coincided with the end of the show’s syndicated run on TV. While the show continued to air in reruns on various channels, the game had a somewhat limited shelf life. Finding a complete game in good shape can be challenging.
Explore classic toys and games that captured our attention and never let go.