Hidden Gems - The Dead Eye by Simon McGregor

Every so often a game comes along that tries to do things a little differently.  Often, these attempts fall flat as they attempt to use a gimmick to entice players rather than relying on tried and true game systems.  The Dead Eye, brings 3D elements to a 2D card game in the form of 3D glasses in an attempt to bring the game to life.  So, how successful is this 3D hand waving for your attention?  Well, not bad actually…

The Dead Eye is a solo adventure card game designed by Simon McGregor and published by Pleasant Company Games.  This small box experience tasks the player with escaping from a hostile planet while surviving the treacherous environment, gathering tools and equipment to aid them, evading or defeating raiders and eventually completing three runs to finish the game.

The theme is an amalgamation of futuristic Wasteland/Borderlands style post apocalyptica set on a planet called the Dead Eye (name drop!).  The gameplay is reminiscent of Galaxy Truckers, in that the player progresses through three decks of cards, which represent encounters, in an effort to secure resources while trying not to break down or run out of juice. Surviving to the end results in victory. Nice and simple!

This game already ticks a lot of boxes with its unique game play and stylish artwork that gives an otherworldly feel even without the 3D specs, but put them on, and you’ll be transported to another world (visually of course, Game Kings takes no responsibility if you actually find yourself in an alien landscape). The 3D elements work very well, creating a truly alien landscape resulting in a deeper sense of immersion.  You may wonder if this really matters in a solo board game? It doesn’t of course, but it’s cool!  The 3D glasses may border on gimmicky, but sometimes gimmicks can be a lot of fun if they’re implemented well.  They are also completely optional as the game holds up just fine without them, though if you’re going to invest in a game that uses 3D elements, they’ve already got your buy-in. 

The Dead Eye is a no mess, no fuss, solid solo player experience with a great theme, cool 3D elements and gameplay that doesn’t overstay its welcome and is bound to have you returning for repeat play throughs. I’m always a fan of game designers trying something new, and am happy to say, they delivered on this one!


That’s it for now, do you have a particular game gimmick that you felt worked well? We welcome you to share your thoughts in the comments below or head on over to our Game Kings Gamers group and find yourself amongst a fantastic community of fellow gamers.  Until next time!

Hidden gems