Moby Dick, or, The Card Game is an adventure card game designed for 2-4 players, with additional rules for solitaire play. Based on Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick combines cooperative and competitive play in an attempt to loosely simulate life on a 19th century whaleship.
The game is centered around three decks of cards: the Sea, the Sailor, and the Whale. After receiving an initial crew of sailors, players take turns at the topmast, where they draw Sea cards to advance the game. These cards contain various creatures and events, compelling actions between players or triggering the secondary phase of the game – the whale hunt. During a whale hunt, each player begins by choosing a small group of their sailors to lower after the whale. Play progresses much like the primary gameplay, with players taking turns defending against the whale's assaults and returning the favors.
As the game unfolds, players gain oil from defeating whales or from certain events, which can be used to hire new sailors after others are lost at sea. Over time, key events (Chapters) will be drawn, and after a certain number Moby Dick will cease evading the ship and engage when sighted. This last battle is to the death, and only one player will survive. Call him the winner, or simply, Ishmael.