Walt Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Board Game (1975)

With today being the birthday for the late great James Mason I made sure to pop in the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea DVD to celebrate. Released by Walt Disney Studios back in 1954, I still find James Mason’s portrayal as the anguished and vengeance seeking Captain Nemo to be the best cinematic interpretation of the character…even though Captain Nemo is supposed to be the son of an Indian Raja.

As I was watching this classic film it got me thinking about a board game that I used to own in my youth, a 3-D game where players each took on the role of Captain Nemo with their own Nautilus. I remembered that the goal was to be the first to navigate your vessel to Vulcania while trying to avoid the gunships that your opponent was using in an attempt to sink you. Each player turned ‘Vulcania’ which controlled the direction the gunships traveled so there always seemed a wonderful element of blind luck in the game.

When your Nautilus was traveling under water you would be safe from the gunships patrolling for you and in exchange for your safety your movement was halved but if you braved the surface of the ocean you could travel much faster…and take the chance that a gunship would shell your mighty vessel of science to a watery grave.

The only thing that would have made this game greater is if they had included a miniature pipe organ to play while you waited for your turn! I want to give a huge thanks to the always impressive Board Game Geek site, especially Scott R. and Eric for the great photos you see above.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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