It’s the last 10 minutes of your favorite sci-fi show. The captain is dead. The ship is in chaos. It’s up to the remaining 18 crew members to fix the ships jump drive and escape the threats coming from outside, and the ones making their way inside.
First released in 2014 through The Game Crafter, The Captain is Dead is now being distributed by AEG with a new version released in May of this year.
The Captain is Dead starts with a ship in Chaos. Players choose one of 18 different characters, each with their own special abilities, and place them in whatever section of the ship they belong in. The board is then set up with various system cards, missiles, battle plans, skills, tools, and threats. The ship now suffers an initial attack. 5 alerts are flipped over one by one and their effects are resolved.
Play order is set by the rank of each players’ characters. Each player can take 4 actions, unless their character card says otherwise, to move around the ship, repair systems, craft upgrades, gather materials, kill alien ships and troops, and ultimately work together to repair the ship’s jump drive. Fix the ship and win! If not…well, you’ll be dead. To make matters worse a new alert card is flipped over and resolved at the end of each player’s turn.
The Captain is Dead can be set up at various difficulty levels. You’ve got Coward all the way up to Insane. These basically just adjust how many times you need to repair the ship’s jump drive before it’s fully fixed. Coward only needs you to run a repair 3 times, while Insane has you doing it 9 times…with two less starting missiles.
The captain is dead. Will you be?
The Captains is Dead certain has a unique aesthetic to it. The artwork is angular, borderless, and has a certain retro sci-fi look to it. The pieces are top notch, which is something one would expect from AEG. The character and alien standing are of special note, being printed on a clear plastic. Overall it’s a great looking product.
If you’re a fan of cooperative games, The Captain is Dead is a game you don’t want to pass up. The game requires tight teamwork, flexible planning, and patience to not flip the table every time you suffer crushing defeat. Even on Normal, the game is brutal.
The ship is in constant need of repair. Even when you think you’ve gotten things under control an alien ship will pull up beside you or alien troops will board the ship, blocking access to certain systems and wounding crew. You’re constantly trying to put out the worst of the fires while still working towards making the necessary repairs to survive.
The Captain is Dead is tense, unforgiving, and a wonderful ride.
A copy of The Captain is Dead was provided free for review by AEG.
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
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