Thanks to the constant stream of problems your ship faces, there's rarely a dull moment in this chaotic space-based game. When things start to go wrong in The Captain is Dead, they go wrong fast -- players may suddenly find alarms are going off in several areas of the ship, and they'll need to figure out what to focus on first. The game, which features a witty, playful tone, focuses on one crew member at a time. Before each character's turn, you'll see the latest issues that have occurred on the ship -- which theoretically could help you decide where to send the crew member. That requires players to be pretty familiar with the various skills crew members have, though -- and where things are located on the ship. Because it isn't always easy to move characters around, being told the teleporter is damaged, for instance, won't be helpful unless you know it’s located in the engineering room. You'll see an extremely detailed -- and well-designed -- tutorial before they begin to play, but you may still be a bit confused about some of the particulars. That can result in some brief crew member turns, because if the person doesn't have the resources to address whatever issues or items are in the room you send them to -- and you can’t send them anywhere else -- you’ll have to finish that turn.
Sometimes, odd anomalies, such as someone acting under alien influence, can prevent crew members from doing anything, and it can be frustrating to feel like you wasted the turn and didn't make any progress. There's a lot of information to absorb, so you'll likely need to play The Captain is Dead a few times to get a sense of the ship's layout and the crew's abilities -- the app definitely involves a learning curve. But if you're willing to put in the time to get to know the different nuances of the game, players may find trying to survive a space attack can be challenging -- but surprisingly fun.