Dark Light

Playthrough 4, Day 2 – Spending a quiet day sailing the uncharted territories of the unknown, aimlessly watching yonder asteroid fields and star systems. Existential thoughts comes flooding in. I told to myself “well, this isn’t so bad now, is it?” BEEP!BEEP!BEEP! My lucid dreaming was cut short by the warning sound coming in from the scanner room. Withing seconds I hopped over there and saw that the universal control board was fried like Kentucky chicken. I ran back to viewing room to find a replacement and to my surprise, there was at least three angry whale-like aliens coming straight at the ship’s hull. There was no time to waste. I quickly turned to power on the laser cannons but the battery had ran out. At that moment I knew I was a goner and stood watching as the aliens plummeted my crappy spacecraft to its inevitable death. I sighed and went back to the main menu to start over.

 If all of this sounds like I had a stroke of bad luck, you’ll be surprised. It’s just a day in the park in Deep Sixed, a roguelike space simulation developed by LRDGames, Inc. The title was released on 12 Feb, 2018 on Steam for Widnows, Mac OS X, SteamOS  and Linux.



Story & Narrative

In Deep Sixed, You play a convict-turned-involuntary employee of Astra Deep Space Solutions. You are forced to serve an undisclosed period working as a pilot/engineer of a one-person Deep Space Vehicle (DSV) and is tasked with mapping out  galaxies far, far away. In the lonely depth of space, the only form of companionship is offered by an A.I named URSA who tries to keep you optimistic and keep you up to date on the world and the status of your ship. The ultimate objective of the game is keeping your ship in running condition as you slog through daily missions and travel to uncharted territories in space.

The story is told in a few crudely animated animations and the rest in voiced dialogues. There is not a large focus on the story and what is there, is a slap in the face of mega corporations and their treatment of employees. The dialogues has a touch of snarky humor and sarcastic remarks and can get tongue-in-cheek often. Ultimately, this is a roguelike game and the story is just there to ease your transition into it, and in that aspect it works very well.


Deep Sixed is a roguelike space simulator with a strong focus on resource management. You are provided with a totally unreliable spacecraft, being sent into missions including scanning, deploying equipment, protecting ship and equipment, salvaging, mining, taking pictures of fauna etc. But don’t expect your ship to stay in good shape as different components of the ship breaks down every 5-10 minutes and you are tasked with repairs before a total breakdown. The game is played from a first-person view and is made up of nine rooms (one at base and eight in your DSV) with a number of highlightable interactive zones. Each zone has different layouts and features items which can be interacted with and will definitely get damaged over time. Therefore it is vital that you learn the layout of the ship and each room in particular if you don’t want to throw a tantrum every time you hear a warning sound. You can upgrade your ship and buy the necessary parts back in home base using the currency you get from completing missions. The game has a steep difficulty curve and will be quite challenging, especially for newcomers as normal difficulty features irreversible perma-death.

Thankfully, the game features both an in-game and external comprehensive guide to get you started. But be warned, you’ll die…you’ll die a lot. Things can get overwhelming so fast when you have to micro-manage multiple systems during frantic combat sections. The clunky and cumbersome UI doesn’t help either. You’ll end up clicking unresponsive areas in anxiety and mistake one zone for the next. The RNG system needs some work too as it’s quite unforgiving for the most part. It is quite easy to end up boxed up in a situation with no means to progress further. So it is advised to play through the game in easy mode to get the hang of the multiple systems, learn to manage upgrade points and repair parts wisely. Such as the case may be, it is quite satisfying to get out of a difficult situation by efficient management of resources and fast thinking.

Graphics, Sound & Performance

Deep Sixed features a comical art style that adds to the corporate, bureaucratic, and technological absurdity of the main theme. Everything is colorful and detailed and you feel like actually sitting inside a cockpit of a spaceship. If only the game would allow you to peer into vivid vistas of space, as the view you get from the cockpit is quite underwhelming. Deep Sixed would have been much impressive if it was a VR game as opposed to what it is now. But the devs have crafted a visually pleasing and immersive atmosphere with the available budget and it shows.

When it comes to the music, everything is near perfect and has tracks ranging from low key tunes to your usual space opera soundtrack. It adds to the immersion and makes you genuinely feel like you are slowly floating through unknown regions of space. Voice acted lines between your character and the A.I is well written and is pleasing to the ears. Other sound effects such as the sound of weapons and aliens lacks bass and the oomph you expect from a game like this. The addition of some ambient sounds to the ship would be well appreciated as it’s somewhat lacking to be frank.

As far as performance goes, the game runs great with no performance drops whatsoever. There are no performance options or graphics settings apart from a full-screen/windowed toggle. There seems to be a few minor bugs and glitches, but nothing a restart won’t fix.


Whether you enjoy Deep Sixed or not ultimately comes down to your personal tastes and how comfortable you are with a steep learning curve, performing under pressure and dealing with roguelike elements. The core gameplay is solid and satisfying when you take the time to learn the systems. The devs are keen on fixing problems reported by the community and rolling out patches often. Avid roguelike and space sim fans will find much enjoyment to be had in Deep Sixed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts