Nadir Preview: One For All You Authentic Sinners

Head into the circles of hell, courtesy of Dante and his good friends Shockwork Games in Nadir - a strategy-based game currently on Kickstarter.

Nadir, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, is the latest title from Shockwork Games. Currently in a Kickstarter campaign, this deck-building title has you lead the Mortal Sins into the lower depths of Nadir for their ultimate suffering.

The artwork is clearly what everyone will be talking about when viewing the Nadir demo, but the biggest surprise was the soundtrack. Beginning with silence, a metal track soon exploded with a gentle classical piece behind. It was almost like Metallica’s S&M, but good.

So yes, that artwork is comparable to Sin City, as mentioned in the write-up, but only because it was noted. The illustrations are quite independent of that, and I really liked them with the two-tone colours.

Nadir (Kickstarter Demo)

Bear in mind that this is being developed by Shockwork Games, whose previous title, Alder’s Blood received unanimous praise for its presentation. The Nadir demo is equally a stunning display, but you want to know how it plays, right?

Nadir - Slayer
Slayer. Source: PR

This is a Nadir Kickstarter preview, so there may be bugs here and there, so irrespective of any of those, I will say that it wasn’t particularly user-friendly to begin with. It isn’t clear where you’re supposed to click or what you’re supposed to do.

As a card-based game, you choose from the deck shown at the bottom of the screen

After some aimless clicking, I managed to go up against the rather phallic looking Worms with a team of three: The Poet, The Leader and The Virgin. Ha! Virgin! What a loser. Compared to the controls, the cards are intuitive and clear what their function is without walls of text.

When reading the supplementary text, I was under the assumption that you’d have to be quick as the enemies would attack in real-time, despite being a turn-based game. In reality, there is a countdown at the top of the screen. Once it gets to zero, the enemy will attack, but the countdown is based on the cards you play.

Play Your Cards Right

In the top left of each card in Nadir, a number will represent the turns, or action points. Some will cost one action point, whereas a powerful attack may take up to three points, dropping the counter to zero. In short, yes, it’s turn-based, and you can take your time, but you need to consider whether playing a card will open you to attack. Note that the support cards are usually only one action point.

Nadir - Stats
Future stats. Source: PR

Once I grasped the concept, the first battle was a doddle. When you win, there will be a victory screen. It wasn’t clear what to do here either as there are no tooltips, just a question mark that stated that I was about to fight a boss, Circle Guardian Cerberus (who was easy!), and there were five days to prepare.

With this in mind, you can apply a strategy in Nadir that includes fighting or resting. The former will level up characters, whereas resting will restore your health. Aside from fighting and resting, you can view your avatar’s skills, but view only. In the Nadir demo, you can’t level up, but get an insight into the stats you need to pay attention to:

  • Level
  • XP
  • Attack
  • Dodge (%)
  • Accuracy (%)
  • Armor (%)
  • Crit Rate (%)
  • Type (i.e. human)

Without many options other than fighting, I decided to go with the first heavy hitter from the three available matches. In this battle, the Executioner had 500 HP compared to my 80 HP. This looked a bit foolish as my attacks were doing 25 damage and not worth the effort.

A Poet, You Never Know It

However, for some unknown reason, The Poet managed to perform two hits totalling 200+ each. I have no idea how this happened, as other than using shields, I don’t see how their hit rate boosted so much. Suffice to say, after a couple of minutes; it was another victory.

Nadir - Greenfingers
Greenfingers. Source: PR

Though I’m all for winning, I’d like to have known how I did it. On the next fight, The Poet was wiped out in one hit; a few turns later, The Virgin was gone. With only The Leader available, who had a decent evade skill, I thought there would be a chance. What happened next was an overstretched battle of buffing with unwanted healing (I had 100% health), shields and giving skills to my dead companions. After about ten minutes, I scored a plague card, and the 11 HP the enemy had was gone. 

Nadir is undoubtedly a game I can sink my teeth in, but without investing in skills or obtaining new cards, it became a bit of a chore of holding out for a better hand or being killed off by a hard-hitting opponent. It shows a lot of promise (and that’s nothing to do with the soundtrack!), so Nadir will be firmly on my radar, pending it gets the backing it deserves.

For more details on the Kickstarter campaign, see the link below.