Deep Sky Derelicts
Developed By : Snowhound Games
Published By : 1C Entertainment
Category : Role-Playing, Strategy, Card
Release : Mar 24, 2020
Back in 2017, a new sort of genre began to gain a lot of attention, with roguelike deck-building. After a couple released titles, the deck-building was really catching on and eventually saw the release of Deep Sky Derelicts, taking inspirations from this genre and mixing it up with things like XCOM and Darkest Dungeon. Now here we are, and this dark futuristic game finds it’s way on to the Nintendo Switch with it’s Definitive Edition.
Humanity is spread thin and scattered across the known galaxy. Divided into two classes, the citizens and the outcasts, you find yourself amongst the latter. As an outcast, your only hope for survival is…just that, surviving off anything you can salvage from run down stations and ships that have been left abandoned to float off in the great big nothing. Until a great prospect falls into your lap.
A fable exists of an ancient ship that most believe is just a myth, but one person believes it truly exists. You’re given the impossible task of finding this ship, based off the info you can find on any and every ship laid about space. If you succeed, citizenship is the reward for you and your crew as well as a cushy life on a planet with other people.
Each derelict ship you discover in space is purported to have some important data. This data can be brought back to the space station to uncover further ships to explore, and eventually (hopefully) the ship of legend. But, getting this data won’t be the easiest thing for you to do. You’ll be outfitted with a crew of three, each with their own weapons and abilities. These weapons and abilities all come with their own cards to use if you run into any trouble.
You’ll be in two modes while you’re on the ship. The first is exploration. The ships layout will be presented in a grid format. Most of the layout will be hidden, and you’ll have to scan before you can explore to it. Scans will reveal either empty squares, ones filled with triangles, a single dash, or a few other symbols such as if you find a secondary landing location. Triangles represent other people, sometimes friendly, other times not, while dashes are key locations that can be searched for loot.
If you’re not exploring, you’ll be on one of the many, many screens showcasing the beautiful comic book style art of the game. All rooms can be entered, but unmarked ones generally don’t have anything worthwhile. Either way they are beautiful to see even if you have nothing to gain from them.
Enemy rooms are just as beautiful, all of them filled with different types of mechs and slimy goop boys looking to do you and your crew in. Each enemy will have a stat for health and shield, with shields obviously being the first thing that gets attacked. You’ll have to use your equipment cards to eliminate them all.
The way your cards work is you’ll have certain ones in your deck based on what you have for skills, weapons, and any attatchements you have. At the start of each characters first turn you’ll draw a few cards and this is your hand going forward. Each turn you can choose to use one of these cards to either deal damage to an opponent or heal/buff someone in your own squad. If you choose to pass on a turn, then the next turn with that character you’ll get to use two cards in play.
The most important thing in Deep Sky Derelicts is your energy, since everything you do utilizes it. Moving to explore the ship, scanning, taking turns in combat…it all costs energy. And if you run out, that’s it you’re done. You have a chance to scramble back to a landing zone if you can make it, but you’ll suffer damage as you scrape back.
Between missions you’ll be on the space station that serves as your journey hub. Here you can pick up specific missions to complete that will net you some extra credits, you can shop for new weapons and upgrades, heal up your current crew mates or even consider recruiting new ones. Everything you’ll possibly need in your adventure is right here at your fingertips, provided you can make it back to use said fingertips.
Deep Sky Derelicts is actually the first of these deck building games I’ve legitimately played and I’m glad, I now want to explore the other games of the genre. I expected to get quite bored and turn the game off pretty quickly but instead, I kept itching for a new ship to explore and more robot janitors to shred apart. The game comes with an arena mode which plays exactly the same just focused on the fighting and not so much the story. No matter what, it’s a ton of fun and should easily find a space in your Switch library.