This title is exclusive to PC and was reviewed as such.
Deep Sky Derelicts is a tactical three-man squad-based sci-fi RPG developed by Snowhound Games. In a few words the best way to describe Deep Sky Derelicts is essentially Darkest Dungeon in space. While it may be like Darkest Dungeon it does have some major difference such as larger procedurally generated maps as well as a card system for combat. Over all I found Deep Sky Derelicts to be incredibly fun, frustrating, and interesting in equal parts.
Visually, Deep Sky Derelicts has a similar style to Darkest Dungeon where it’s almost like being in a comic book with 2D models and animation. This coupled with the Sci-fi aesthetic is only complete with the eerie soundtrack makes for the presentation of Deep Sky Derelicts to be a real treat. If you enjoy Darkest Dungeon’s aesthetics you will naturally enjoy Deep Sky Derelict’s without a doubt.
Now let’s get down to the details here. How does it play? As I mentioned if you’re familiar with Darkest Dungeon or other similar titles, Deep Sky Derelicts will not be too difficult to understand. After accepting a mission, you enter a derelict. You are on a timer and each tile you move as well as additional actions such as waiting or scanning the area around you cost energy. You have a finite amount of energy that can refilled through random encounters as well it being purchasable or by findable energy packs of various sizes. Furthermore, you will always have a maximum of three mercenaries in your squad, this is the max and can not be changed.
During combat each enemy and squadmate draws a hand of cards, these are the only actions you have available to you. Each turn squadmates and the enemy will draw an additional card on top of any effects that influence the number of cards you’ve drawn that turn. Completing your contract is the main goal for each derelict however you should always take the time to find salvage and equipment to use or sell to boost your income. After every contract you will return to the station and collect your reward, restock, heal, and revive any fallen squadmates. Deep Sky Derelicts is kinder to you than other similar titles as, so long as one squadmate makes it out alive, you can revive the rest and heal them. Your goal in Deep Sky Derelicts is to find a mysterious and elusive derelict that is said to hold technology and treasures beyond comprehension. In return you and your mercs will receive a citizenship to live the high life for the rest of your life.
“Sounds good, now what’s the problem?” I hear you, dear reader, say. There are only a few problems that I have with Deep Sky Derelicts, but they are more down to personal taste rather than any game-breaking bugs or technical problems. I’m not a huge fan of the card-based mechanics of combat. While I am fine with having to pray to RNGesus I would have preferred a combat system more in line with other similar games, I understand they were going for something different but it just didn’t work for me. There have been a few times where I’ve had nothing but a handful of cards that I didn’t need and had to use in the hope that the next card would be something I needed, assuming it wasn’t already too late by then. Another problem I have is the three-man limit for the squad. I believe this hampers any real experimentation with different kinds of strategies as you essentially are forced to always have a balanced team. If you’re someone who can overlook these problems, then Deep Sky Derelicts is an overall amazing and well-made game that I’m sure you will enjoy. Deep Sky Derelicts is currently 19.99 USD on Steam.