Deep Space D-6 is an interesting take on the worker placement and rogue-like genres in the form of a board game. It was designed by Tony Go and published by Tau Leader games. While there is little flavor within the rules and cards you still get a peek into an alternate universe where you are a member of a larger intergalactic fleet that is led into a trap and must fight their way out to survive.
D-6 is a purely single player game and an interesting one at that. You take turns rolling dice representing your crew, assigning them to work stations or away missions, and encountering threats standing between you and success.
The box and it’s contents are about the size of a typical paperback novel and are excellent for taking with you on a trip. The box art is great and makes me nostalgic for the choose your own adventure books of my childhood. The game comes with 4 different ship boards representing different ships which all have a unique play style and abilities. It also comes with 6 dice representing crew, several cubes to track ship status and a deck of threat cards along with a die used to activate them.
As you progress through the game you take your crew dice, roll them, and assign them to various systems and already encountered threats. You do this before encountering a new threat for that turn so you can be caught off guard and it gives the game play a feel of constantly playing catch up in order to keep things together long enough to get through.There are also several mechanics which cause you to draw additional threats on your turn and also to lock up your crew dice giving you less options until you either scan for threats or tend to their injuries.
Overall the mechanics work together to reinforce the flavor of a ship caught off guard, constantly trying to deal with whatever is thrown at them and ultimately either succeeding by getting through the entire threat deck and defeating the core, or failing by getting destroyed. One thing that kind of threw off the flavor of the game is the threat deck culminating in a “core” boss with shields and stationary guns. It makes it feel like you are attacking a station when everything else in the game reinforces the idea of being trapped and escaping.
I am enjoying the game a lot and it made me realize that a hole that exists in my game collection for single player games. The game offers good replay-ability, both in the randomness of the threat deck as well as the several ship boards that change the way you approach the game. I think it could be easily expanded with additional ship boards or alternate threat decks in the future, which to me, is a plus. In fact, a Kickstarter with a reprinting of the game in addition to a mini expansion with a replacement threat deck just finished.
I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who is looking to get into single player board games, anyone who travels with limited space, or anyone a fan of the worker placement or rogue-like genres. Cost might be a concern to some at $25.99 as the art is pretty minimalist and the overall game is quite small but all the components are really well made and the ship boards are really sturdy.
You can pick up the game from the publisher through Amazon here.