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The Crew Mission Deep Sea Two Player Review

We have already done an in-depth review of the original The Crew The Quest for Planet Nine which you can find here, so we aren’t going to go into too much detail in this review about how to play and instead just talk about some of the main differences between the two games.

The Crew Mission Deep Sea Review

6.5 out of 10

Is it Good For Two Players? : OK, but better with more players

The Crew Mission Deep Sea takes everything from the original and improves upon it by increasing the puzzle variety without greatly increasing the complexity of the game.  What was already a great, new, and unique implementation of trick-taking in a game has been made even better by the new task cards.

Theme: 7/10
Replayability: 9/10
Components: 5/10
Conflict: 0/10
Fun: 6/10

Husband’s Rating
6 out of 10
Wife’s Rating
7 out of 10

Pros

Unique Co-op Trick Taking

Increased Replayability

Gradual Increase in Difficulty of Missions

Quite Portable

Tasks are easier to understand

A lot more variety than in the original

Cons

Fiddly

Some rounds are too easy while others are “literally” impossible

Uneven share of gameplay between players

Still some impossible deals/task combinations

Tasks take a little more effort to understand and learn

Gameplay Experience:

After loving the original game so much, The Crew Mission Deep Sea was an instant buy for us.  Even though we already knew it wasn’t as good with two players as it was with more, we were still very excited to add it to our collection.

The Crew Mission Deep Sea Review

The game plays almost just like the original with players working together to accomplish different missions by winning or not winning tricks.  The challenges and missions are much more varied in this sequel.

Playing with two players still requires the assistance of a third artificial player, but instead of being called Jarvis, it is now called Tonoja.  This works just like in the original game.  Our annoyances and complaints about artificial players aside, the new challenges and missions definitely breathe fresh air into the game system.

The Crew Mission Deep Deep Sea still fills a unique spot in our board game collection and takes everything from the original and steps it up a notch.  It might not be the greatest with two players but it improves upon the first game in many ways and is one of the few co-op trick-taking games there is.

How to Play the Crew Mission Deep Sea:

You can head to our review of The Crew The Quest for Planet Nine for a full in-depth summary of the rules.  Instead will just cover some of the main differences in rules between the two games.

The Crew Mission Deep Sea vs The Quest for Planet Nine

In the Quest for Planet Nine, task cards revolve around a particular card that players will have to win in a trick.  Sometimes the order is important and certain missions may have other constraints but in general, the original game is all about winning a particular card with a trick.  

In Mission Deep sea all task cards now have a difficulty rating and depending on the mission players will continue to draw cards until they have drawn enough to meet the difficulty level for that mission.  This already is quite a change from the original and means even on later more difficult missions players may still only need to draw a couple of task cards.  

In addition to the new difficulty rating, task cards are much more varied.  They are no longer just a single card that players must try to win in a trick.  Some require players to win a certain number of tricks in a row, win a certain number of a suit or colors or even win more cards of one color than the other.  These are only a few examples of the new types of task cards.

The Crew Mission Deep Sea Task Cards
The Crew Mission Deep Sea Task Cards

This added variety makes a huge difference in the replayability of the game and is perfect for those who have played their copy of The Crew The Quest for Planet Nine maybe a little too much and are looking for something to make the game a little less stale.

The Crew Mission Deep Sea Two-Player Variant

Just like in the original, there are rule modifications for playing the Crew Mission Deep Sea with only two players.  Players will need to set up an artificial player called Tonoja who will act as a third crew member for the voyage.

To do this players remove the black four and deal 7 face-down cards with another 7 face up on top of these.  These 14 cards represent Tonoja, who will be treated just like a third player in terms of taking tasks and playing cards.  The only difference is the mission’s commander will decide which cards Tonoja plays and which missions they take.

The Crew Mission Deep Sea Two Player Variant
The setup for Tonoja, the artificial third player

Next, the black four is put back in the deck and cards are dealt to the two players as usual.  Play then continues just like at any other player count with the only difference being the Commander now has the additional task of controlling Tonoja and making decisions about its 14 cards and tasks.

Conclusion:

The Crew Mission Deep Sea Mid Game
The Crew Mission Deep Sea Mid Game

The Crew Mission Deep Sea takes everything from the original and improves upon it by increasing the puzzle variety without greatly increasing the complexity of the game.  What was already a great, new, and unique implementation of trick-taking in a game has been made even better by the new task cards.

The task difficulty ranking is also a great addition to the game and helps make sure that most missions don’t become too hard or too easy because of the increased variety and types of tasks.  The difficulty ranking also helps take into account player count which is important since the number of players does make a significant difference in terms of difficulty.

Overall The Crew Mission Deep Sea has succeeded at being a great and improved sequel to an already amazing genre-defining game.  If you have extensively played The Crew The Quest for Planet Nine and enjoyed it, don’t hesitate to add The Crew Mission Deep Sea to your collection.

Is The Crew Mission Deep Sea Good For Two Players?:

The Crew Mission Deep Sea still plays the same as the original with two players.  The new tasks and missions do improve upon the game no matter the player count but the issues and complaints we had with the original for two players still apply here.  Again you can read our full detailed review of the original here.

But to summarize our main issues, the artificial player requires extra work from the players, specifically the Commander.  We aren’t a fan of this for a few reasons, one being that some missions can be unwinnable due to hidden cards, while others can be too easy because of the visible cards.  

The Commander also has significantly more to do than their partner, so if somebody gets the commander more often due to the luck of the draw, the gameplay may feel lopsided.  In a similar sense, if the Commander is a less experienced player, they will struggle even more because now they have the additional task of controlling the artificial intelligence, Tonoja.

Even given all these negatives though, The Crew Mission Deep still fills a very unique spot on our gaming shelves, so if we want to play a quick co-op trick-taking card game, it’ll still likely be the game we reach for.  We have to admit it is still quite fun with two players, you just have to suffer through a few minor annoyances to enjoy it. 

Pros

  • Unique Co-op Trick Taking
  • Increased Replayability
  • Gradual Increase in Difficulty of Missions
  • Quite Portable
  • Tasks are easier to understand

Cons

  • Fiddly
  • Some rounds are too easy while others are “literally” impossible
  • Uneven share of playtime between players
  • Still some impossible deals/task combinations
  • Tasks take a little more effort to understand and learn

The Crew - Mission Deep Sea | Card Game | Cooperative | 2 to 5 Players | Ages 10+ | Trick-Taking | 32 Levels of Difficulty | Endless Replayability
The Crew - Mission Deep Sea | Card Game | Cooperative | 2 to 5 Players | Ages 10+ | Trick-Taking | 32 Levels of Difficulty | Endless Replayability
The Crew - Mission Deep Sea | Card Game | Cooperative | 2 to 5 Players | Ages 10+ | Trick-Taking | 32 Levels of Difficulty | Endless Replayability

The Crew Mission Deep Sea

The Crew Mission Deep Sea is the follow up to the original.  It doesn’t change things up too much but makes the missions much more variable without increasing the complexity significantly.  It makes the decisions and thinking required quite a bit more interesting than in the original.  

Overall it is a step up from the original and improves the game in our opinion.  The two player variant rules are still the same so everything we’ve said above still applies to The Crew Mission Deep Sea.


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