18 November 2019
Its slightly uneven gameplay is uplifted by effortless play and a good sense of humour.
Solo gaming has been on the rise lately, with many multiplayer games including a special singleplayer mode to cater for those times when life gets too busy to get a group of friends around the table. Even so, entirely solo games remain a bit of an anomaly – and that makes Deep Space D-6 a curiosity.
Its creators might not have had the rights to put a coat of Star Trek theme over the gameplay, but the licence is almost irrelevant because Deep Space D-6 echoes profoundly in its feel to the space-venturing franchise. A player acts as a captain of one of four of RPTR-class starships, assigning workers – dice roll results – to different stations to deal with internal and external threats.
There might not be much exploration – besides discovering more enemies – but there is a lot of crisis management. You need to balance keeping your shield and hull repaired while trying to deal with malfunctions and shooting enemy ships, made even harder through dice-rolling because there is never a guarantee that you will get the crew members you need to deal with the most immediate disaster. And, usually, after one threat is dealt with, a new one – or three – is very quick to appear.
Deep Space D-6 is at its most fun when every turn of a new threat card could easily be game-ending, especially given the threat of Oroboros, a big bad boss ship, appearing at any moment. The threat curve of the playthrough depends very much on your ship itself. The available vessels differ not only in looks, but also in how dice outcomes can be used. While variety is always welcome, it makes some ships more challenging than others. For example, the Mononoaware ship is a bit too good at turning enemies into space dust, and therefore loses much of the gameplay’s tension and excitement.
Deep Space D-6 is well calibrated for a single player in size, setup and play time. Its slightly uneven gameplay is uplifted by effortless play and a good sense of humour.
PLAY IT? PROBABLY
Designer: Tony Go
Artist: Tony Go, Tim McBurnie
This review originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.