Review: Subterra Collector’s Edition – caves for collectors

Whenever I have a moment left, I take a headlamp and go out into the company of stone corridors. In their cold embrace I find unrepeatable peace and inhuman rest. Far from all, only in the company of rocks that remember millions of years, I feel best.

The caves fascinate many people, but few of them really have the courage to start stretching through narrow corridors with only a maze of light to guide it on. For all these fools, but also for those who just dream about it or don’t have the courage to really go underground, there is a chance to explore the underground from the safety of home. This is due to the board game , which successfully passed its basic exam on the portal. Later, designer decided to release an exclusive final collector’s edition, which will include all the expansions. The graphics are still signed by and the game is published by Board Games. European distribution is in good hands with .

The blue box is literally huge and works as a way to hide all the smaller boxes with the base game and its expansions. But a bonus is also a small UV light and a set of stylish cubes. Above all, however, there are three extensions – Annihilation, Extraction and Investigation. Together, this is the ultimate set for which you don’t need anything else. But if you already own a basic box, then you will have exactly two.

The basis of the game is an exploration of the underground, which starts from one center tile. Each of the participants chooses one character with a specific number of lives, while the individual heroes each have their own profession and special ability. As part of their turn, everyone has a number of action points that they can divide between exploring new corridors, movement, but also healing. Movement usually costs only one point, but in underground, players often also encounter more complex terrain – such as bottlenecks, flooded areas or slopes. Players can beat them by spending more points. Each discovery means the possibility to freely attach a randomly drawn tile. In doing so, explorers are trying to keep themselves standing for some options. In addition, he must try to avoid dangerous situations, because there will be an event at the end of each round. It could be a flood, a collapse or the appearance of a mysterious terror. He is a mortal danger to all. Lives and time are dwindling and only those who escape from the cave in time (before the pieces run out) can win.

But we all know that. If you buy this collector’s edition, you will long for something more. The first delicacy is the luminous components, if you light them up with the help of the included flashlight. Most components have some light-sensitive material on them, which then glows in the dark and offers a more atmospheric way to experience the game.

All three included expansions are modular, so players can include them in their Subterra game as they see fit. However, all three take place without distinction after the action of the basic box. The heroes managed to escape, but nothing is so simple.

In the event of the spread of Annihilation, the players decided to return and destroy it so that no one would be threatened by dark terror anymore. Newly, the participants have a choice of the character of an exterminator, who has a proper suit and is ready to deal with the holes in reality through which new murderous shadows pass into the world. He carries bombs and also poison tokens, which he leaves behind. In his role, the player gets the opportunity to destroy the nest of terror and, in addition, thanks to the necessary gas mask, he is resistant to accidentally appearing sources of toxic gases.

Because the players return, they have already discovered the exit at the beginning. It is located right next to the entrance piece, but it is still not easy to reach. In the game itself, the goal changes from exploring the cave towards its destruction – within the package, there are shuffled tiles of places to undermine, where players must deliver bomb tokens. These pieces are evenly distributed throughout the pile, so there is still a very important element of survival in the game. It also includes new plates of an unstable environment, where there are exactly three of the six possible numbers of the cube. Their collapse is thus practically inevitable.

You can pass the bomb to another player, which is important. If you know a game of Subterra, then you know that it is not difficult to find yourself completely helpless on the ground. In that case, you want to give the bomb to someone who has a better chance of delivering it to the goal.

Instead of destroying, players can set out to save the bodies of their fallen colleagues in the Investigation expansion. As part of the preparation, they shuffle three pieces and cards into their piles, but especially in the pile of horror, new three doom cards are added. These double the effect of the next threat, but players have the opportunity to prepare for such horror. It is scheduled for the next round with the help of a new token.

However, the main content of this extension are item cards, which have their own special stack and always bring their holder a one-time advantage. Players will find the given objects on new boards with a backpack icon. This means that only a limited number of equipment is available in each match.

But in order for the players also to have a chance to fight the new story successfully, they will be given a new agent character to choose from at the beginning. He gets two random items at the beginning of the game, thanks to which he may arrive in the cave best prepared, because the agent is in fact a woman. In addition, he can use these items again if he returns them to his hand for two action points. This is a really strong ability that allows you to respond to unexpected events within the game. This is otherwise known as highly dependent on chance, which can be reduced here at least a little.

The last third expansion is called Extraction, which tells the story of new, even greater horrors. The players in the roles of cavers could not resist the lure of the rock, from whose clutches they had just escaped once. Instead, they return to explore everything even better, but the horror is even better prepared.

Seemingly only two new pieces of horror added to the pile and this is enough to really mix the heroes‘ chances of survival. Fortunately, there is another new tile of sanctuary for them, where the creatures cannot go. Players then shuffle three leaper cards between the cards. This new monster is faster and moves two steps in one round. During the attack, they deprive the hero of two health points, but disappear from the cave after such an ambush.

The new character to the team this time is a mercenary, who can fortify himself in his position so that the approaching monster is defeated. But it costs the player two actions and he must not move from that moment on. The action thus represents a new way to get rid of monsters. Thanks to its special equipment, it can also reveal two pieces in one action point and thus explore the terrain significantly faster thanks to night vision.

If this new challenge is not enough for the heroes, the whole effort can be significantly hampered by samples of biological material that they have held from the beginning. They can postpone them or carry them, but in that case they take away one action point in each round. He must not leave the boxes in the cave, but he must take them out, otherwise the team loses.

In all cases of new expansions, the length of the game is the same as for the original Subterra. For each piece added, players put one away, so they don’t have to worry about exceeding that pleasant playing time of around one hour.

The complete set mainly offers variability in the ways in which it can be closed in the cave. Thanks to this, the game offers different conditions for the beginning and the end, although the gameplay itself remains the same and unchanged. This is good, because the overall atmosphere of the game is very dense and immersive.

Subterra is our favorite cooperative entertainment, so we were very happy to reach for the opportunity to try the full edition with all the extensions. And we do not regret the time we spent underground in her company, because it offers an exciting game, the experiences of which you will remember for a long time. Subterra: Collector’s Edition is a luxurious edition that only combines classic boxes, but gives everyone a uniform hiding place.

DesignerTim Pinder
ArtistZak Eidsvoog
PublisherInside the Box Board Games LLP (ITB), Schwerkraft-Verlag
Year Published
# of Players1 - 6
User Suggested # of Players Best with 6 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4, 6 players
(4 voters)
Playing Time60
Mfg Suggested Ages10 and up
User Suggested Ages10 and up
(2 voters)
CategoryExploration, Horror
MechanicAction Points, Cooperative Game, Grid Movement, Modular Board, Network and Route Building, Pick-up and Deliver, Push Your Luck, Variable Player Powers
FamilyCrowdfunding: Kickstarter, Game: Sub Terra
Primary Name Collector's Edition
Alternate NamesSub Terra: Sammler-Edition

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Subterra Collector’s Edition – caves for collectors
Final word
Subterra: Collector’s Edition is a set of four boxes - the basic one and three extensions, to which are added two more delicacies in a monstrous box. Thanks to them, you can play the game even in the dark. In general, the gameplay is still the same, players have to rediscover caves, look for a way out, but also fulfill a special mission. They will face unprecedented dangers on the road, but items will help them. Each new expansion also includes one new character with special abilities. The three new stories that take place after the story of the basic game are reason enough to make Subterra in Collector’s Edition even better!
Reader Rating0 Votes
+ great and different three expansions
+ flashlight for illuminating components
+ lots of new challenges
+ great atmosphere
+ preserved game time
- only a set of expansion boxes that could be purchased separately
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