The Captain is Dead started life as a board game before Thunderbox Entertainment decided to adapt it for mobile devices. It's something that's increasingly popular on mobile and we welcome it. Giving a board game a new lease of life digitally can introduce it to a whole new audience. So, we decided to hand the game over to our App Army to see what they made of it.

Here's what they said:

Ian Bentley

This game is a lot of fun. Very hard though! It does a good job of making you feel overwhelmed and panic about what you should do next. The tutorial does well to explain the basic rules but I had to go onto YouTube to learn more about how to play. The art style, animation and soundtrack are all highly polished and keep the action feeling tense and exciting.

I had a few issues which can probably be overcome with experience. It wasn’t clear to me how to overcome the alerts before they impact you so I was mainly just preparing my crew for the repairs rather than preventing them from happening. I also have trouble sometimes locating my crew on the map and also working out how many action points are needed to get to a particular room.

I’ve played on Normal and the easiest setting, Coward, but lost both times. I’m not sure if Coward was actually easier or what the difference was. There’s a learning curve but it’s fun and I look forward to getting better. The price is high at £9 I feel £5 would have been more suitable otherwise I recommend!

Gal Haber

The Captain is Dead feels like an FTL mission gone bad. You’re in a rough spot, surrounded by bloodthirsty aliens and a ship that is falling apart. Your goal is simple: survive until you can warp out. But is it fun?
For a start, the game is extremely slick, from the top-notch graphics, fluid animations to being fully voice acted. There are a lot of neat special effects, especially for a digital board game.

However, the problems start with the tutorial, which feels very bare-bones, doesn’t teach you the full game rules and also skips going over any sort of strategy. Be prepared to look up YouTube videos for help. The game also becomes very repetitive after a while since you are always thrown into the same ship with random but similar events. Ultimately it’s yet another one of those board games where you have to manage an escalating situation.

The variety comes from the different characters, each with their own special traits, and the randomness of the events. Overall it’s a well-presented game with a lot of retro space goofiness but regrettably, it seems like the board game it’s based on is not so special.

Swapnil Jadhav

Superb turn-based strategy game on space with so heavy beautiful graphics and animation. Developers have ported this game very well and nicely optimized for mobile platforms. Honestly, there is so much depth in the game and there is so much in-game, it takes time for a newbie to understand the gameplay. Every character or member has a role to perform and you will know that when their turn comes. I will give 3 out of 5 for this game. Cons in the game is a bit confusing when you see the UI for the first game. people who don't like space games will find this game very boring

Nick Leibbrandt

Thanks for the game code and opportunity to try out The Captain is dead Game, have played it on my OPPO A9. While I didn't get a whole lot of time to play the game I did like the look and graphics, very colourful and runs fine with no problems. I found the game quite hard to play as the tutorial does show you the basic idea of how to play the game I still found myself lost as to how to play it. The sound and music is decent and controls work well. Overall I think this could be quite a fun and complex game that would need quite a bit of time to fully get the gameplay.

Isaiah Stuart

The game is heavily stylized, with bright colours and an emphasis on polygons. To be honest, the style was not the one I would have picked. The loud colours made for a crowded and often confusing display, and the polygonal aesthetic grated on me. These were obviously intentional design choices, but I would have preferred something a bit cleaner. The controls work just as they should, although they do take a bit to figure out. The game has a soundtrack and sound effects that go well with the gameplay and visuals. Nothing special, but perfectly acceptable.

The gameplay is quite deep and complex. It should take a few rounds to get a hang of the strategy. There's a lot to do, and although it is very confusing at first, you can see that there is a lot of strategies to be had. As a strategy game, this is excellent. My biggest gripe is the tutorial, which packs far too much information into too little time. The Captain is Dead is a solid strategy game with a few rough edges.

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Funem

Originally I was going to buy this game, the look and the premise already had me very interested, so I was really looking forward to reviewing it. On loading it I liked the style and the obvious nods to Star Trek with character and ship designs inspired by the show. The low polygon look is great the colours were OK but sometimes made the screen look too fussy and the sound and voices were exactly as you would hope for. From that point for me, it went downhill.

The tutorial, whilst going some way to explaining what you need to do, laid too heavily into the humour than explain how to actually play the game. It’s not like it skimmed over what you do, it just didn’t explain it in a manner a tutorial should…. In my opinion anyway. A tutorial should guide you and give you reasons or subtle nuances as to what and why you do things in the game, they seem to forego this. It was like someone trying to teach you car mechanic, by just telling you this goes here, this goes here, press this, turn this… but not actually tell you why you are doing this to getter a better understanding of how it goes together and function as a whole. Unfortunately, this then lost me, not lost me as in confused me, it disconnected me from wanting to really play the game.

Playing a game or two, I didn’t feel like I was making the best of characters or actions and felt I was probably making more of a wild guess than play turns with them efficiently. This pushed me further from wanting to play the game. Even with this negativity, I think it will be one of those games you will ease into overtime, depending on how much time you want to invest in it and are happy to go the self-discovery route. I got past a couple of games, but I don’t think I will play anymore.

I think I only played that far as I needed to give it a fair review from my point of view. I didn’t feel like I was playing the game with the decisions and actions that it was designed to be played like, because I didn’t feel I had all the tools at my disposal to play the game the way it should be played, and I didn’t want to put more time into it just to really learn the basics. I may go back to it at some point because there looks to be a great game in there, I just have to find the time to uncover it.

Jojó Reis

The Captain is Dead is a frantic and fun cooperative board game that puts you and your friends in the role of crew members on a besieged spaceship. You must work together to repair critical systems and ward off hostile aliens, or you will share the captain's fate. In the beginning, it is very complicated to understand the mechanics but over time you get the hang of it, the game has a lot of dialogue which can keep players away looking for games faster and get to the point. Graphics and sounds are great, I thought the game was cool.

Mark Abukoff

I usually review these on my iPhone 11 Pro Max but found some of the text a little small. On the iPad Pro that isn’t an issue. There are good and bad things about this game, so let me get the bad out of the way. The tutorial could have been better. It was fast and really didn’t prepare you much for the unforgiving game. It taught me all the ways I can lose and that I’m going to need different skills to help survive and that different crew have different special abilities. But that’s really most of the helpful information I got from the tutorial.

And quite honestly (and maybe I’m missing something that I’ll figure out at some point) it didn’t seem to accurately show me how to survive. Or maybe it brushed past it too quickly. In any case, I found the tutorial lacking. On the other hand, that tutorial was undoubtedly the funniest and most clever I’ve ever experienced. It’s obvious that the Devs are Star Trek fans and I enjoyed all of the references. Especially the Judge Q narrator!

Sort of like if Monty Python did a Star Trek FTL game. I’m recommending this game despite how hard it seems to be and how unhelpful the tutorial is. Because they put a lot of love and fun into it and it has great potential I think. I really want to learn the secrets of this game (which I think will take me to YouTube videos) and I want to beat it.

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