Very few games have a genre quite as long-winded as Deep Sky Derelicts. It is an indie, sci-fi, card based, dungeon crawling tactical RPG, featuring turn based combat. Now, if you’ve got your breath back, we can begin with the review.
Delving into the Depths
The dungeon crawler in me absolutely loves Deep Sky Derelicts. It is, in fact, what held my attention so well for such a long time. In this game, you bounce around procedurally generated ‘derelicts’, which are essentially large spaceships that have been abandoned long ago. They’re filled with all sorts of weapons, armour, various treasures and junk, as well as being populated with monsters and other humans. You may also encounter some different areas in the derelicts which can buff or debuff your team and opponents, so wandering through a dungeon is always a bit of a thrill. You never quite know what is around the corner, be it friend or foe, loot or junk.
The art is, one hundred percent, the biggest draw of the game. Everything is hand drawn and looks genuinely spectacular. It has a strong comic-book feel, and everything is extremely detailed, with different scenes drawn for every outcome and attack type. The enemies in the game are all incredible to look at as well, at times it almost felt bad to kill them off, because of how terrific they looked.
The other major selling point is the length of the story – which is further boosted by the New Prospects DLC. There are tens of hours of gameplay in Deep Sky Derelicts, with an arena mode as well to further increase playtime. Not only that, but there is significant replayability to the game. All the derelicts are generated on the fly, so every time you play it, it’ll be different. As well as that, there are numerous different classes to play with, so you can play again and try to come up with a better team to go crawling through derelicts.
Lost in Space
Deep Sky Derelicts is certainly a good game, but it isn’t without it’s flaws. I do think it would benefit from a tutorial, as even though the mechanics are pretty straight forward, there are some aspects that took a little working out, and I’m sure there’s even things in there that I still haven’t found out about. I would imagine that players that aren’t overly familiar with card based mechanics would take a few attempts to get the battling system right, and at the very start when you set up a team you don’t know very much about the stats or anything, so you’re really having to guess your way to success.
The only other thing I find quite irritating is the almost artificial way Deep Sky Derelicts extends battles. Once you progress through a fair few derelicts, battles start taking a significant amount of time to complete. Enemies will have long-lasting debuffs which they use fairly frequently, or they may have an evasion buff that doesn’t expire. The latter is the real pain, because it seems to follow the XCom rule of if there’s a small chance you’ll miss, then you’ll miss. Having multiple attacks miss repeatedly gets pretty boring, pretty quickly.
The Final Word
A few minor flaws, but overall I really enjoyed Deep Sky Derelicts. For £15 you can get a lot of gameplay, and most of it extremely fun. The dungeon crawling aspects particularly are brilliant, and the art is simply phenomenal. It’s a game that I can’t seem to put down, and it actually took me a good while to write this review because I was having so much fun with it. Definitely well worth it.