You are the last surviving crew member of the intergalactic salvage ship The Wretched. Adrift between stars after an engine failure, your ship was attacked by a hostile alien lifeform. The crew are dead.
You thought you had won. You launched the creature out of an airlock, and that should have meant safety.
The Wretched is a space-horror solo journaling RPG from Loot the Room played with a deck of cards, a tumbling block tower, and a microphone. It’s also the game that would eventually inspire the Wretched & Alone system and the many, many related games.
You play as a doomed crew member on spaceship, stalked by an unknown life-form. (Yes, exactly, it’s like the film Alien) Card draws determine random events that your spacefarer must navigate, and the tumbling tower represents the slowly eroding integrity of your ship. “Winning” by successfully radioing for help is mechanically possible, but statistically miraculous. Your actual goal as a player is to grapple as best you can with your impending demise.
The Wretched is simple to play yet oozing with atmosphere and dread, and the block tower adds an element of visceral tension and immediacy to play-throughs. (If desired however, players have also shared block tower replacement mechanics online.) A wonder work of horror and that is both must-have for fans of journaling games and a great entry point for newcomers.