In space... no one can hear you rolling dice....
So today we are dipping our toe back into the tabletop world to talk about a cool and portable game that was just released. It comes in a box designed to look like a choose your own adventure book from the fabulous 80's, has a great retro feel to the components and is designed to play in a small footprint. Best of all, its exclusively for solo play - it's Tony Go's Deep Space D-6 by Tau Leader Games!
Deep Space D-6 had its origins on Board Game Geek where it was a well received solo print-and-play game. In the game, you are the Commander of one of several different starships fighting your way through a journey into deep space. It feels a lot like the Original Series of Star Trek where you are either contending with chaos inside your vessel or threats outside in space - usually of the hostile alien variety.
Mechanically, Deep Space D-6 is a crew placement game where you roll dice to determine what type of crew is available to you as the commander. You then assign your crew to deal with the crises that are in front of you as best as possible. Your ultimate goal is to survive the entire threat deck while keeping your ship in one piece. If you fail to deal with a crisis (sometimes just from just an unlucky roll of the dice) damage is assigned to the ship by deducting shield and then hull points. If your hull ever drops to zero, you lose the game.
It sounds simple - and it is, but in a good way. The game gets frantic as threats mount, crew gets locked up dealing with problems and the shields go down. You can just hear the red alert klaxon going off. The play simplicity means the mechanics never get in the way of the game's flavor... and for a solo game, that is everything. Simplicity doesn't mean it gets old though - the game comes with several boards each representing a different class of starship. They all play a bit different, giving the game some longevity.
Components are solid and well designed. Iconography on the dice is clean and simple. Even if this game was a stinker, I would keep it in my collection just for its look. It is that cool. Even the sleeve for the box evokes the theme with graphics that make it feel like a game on a shelf in the ship you are playing. Very meta.
If components aren't your thing and gameplay is your #1 requirement, you are in luck. Deep Space D-6 is still up on Board Game Geek to be downloaded and printed out. All you will need are some six sided dice and about 45 minutes. If you fall in love with the game you should buy the real deal though - if for no other reason than to support a game designer that finally saw his game published after a lot of hard work. It is just coming off a Kickstarter and mine was recently delivered so I assume this means it will hit retail "soon-ish", so keep an eye out.
I highly recommend this little game if you are looking for a portable solo adventure. It is definitely going on vacation with me this year and it has a permanent place on my shelf. Deep Space D-6 will be available through retail channels and it currently has a 7.5/10 on BGG (so you know its pretty good). Until you find it on the shelf at your local game store, why not download it and give it a spin - you have nothing to lose.
Shields up, phasers on full... and enjoy the game!