Important side note. You may run into a bug that prevents you from moving at all on the map. If you restart the game, it should be fixed. I ran into this bug on my very first playthrough on the very first map, so it confused the heck out of me. Hope this helps someone.
Deep Sky Derelicts is a roguelike dungeon crawler set in a sci-fi cyberpunk future. The story’s beginning is similar to Altered Carbon in the sense that you play a highly experienced mercenary hired by the Sub-Governor to look into locating the long lost mothership. You do so by exploring the lost ships, or derelicts, floating in space to try and recover the data to locate it. Doing so would reward you with citizenship and a lot of money.
The ships are represented by rooms on a map. Your navigation throughout the ship is done solely on the map itself. As you move, each room is revealed. Most rooms are empty but some contain enemies, some treasure, and others npcs with interesting stories and quests.
Movement throughout the ship costs energy, which is depleted from a pool. You can also scan the available rooms near you to see what they contain. Doing so saves time and energy compared to exploring each room manually. As your explore the ship and deplete your energy, you must return before the energy is completely depleted. This limits your run through levels and completing each level requires some strategizing of how to spend your resources. The energy is not replenished and must be restored by spending money or using items.
When you encounter an enemy, you go into a turn based combat phase. Each character takes turns, based on initiative (this game’s version of attack priority) and choose one attack based on a random assortment of cards made available by your equipment. For example, if you have a melee attacker with a sword and power glove equipped, a slash or punch type attack card may show up in your move set.
As characters level up and gain experience, they gain ability points which can be used to level up abilities unique to their class. The heavy melee attacker’s first skill is a life steal attack and by leveling it up one level, it doubles the amount of life steal done. This is vital as this character is not able to equip shields.
Once done with exploring the derelict, you return to the hub area where you can hire new mercenaries, research new equipment, unlock passive upgrades, heal or resurrect your current mercenaries, and buy or sell gear.
Deep Sky Derelicts is a very challenging but rewarding roguelike dungeon crawler. The aesthetics are charming and the gameplay deep. The game also has a macabre tone to it, with some charming, and sometimes dark, humor. The narrative elements are quite well written and drew me into the world. This is another game worth checking out, especially for fans of cyberpunk sci-fi and roguelikes.