So What Is Necronator: Dead Wrong?
Developed by Toge Productions and published by Modern Wolf, Necronator: Dead Wrong is a brand new top-down strategy deck builder currently available on Steam Early Access.
In-game, you play as a brand new necromancer, fresh from the academy and eager to prove that you’re the baddest villain around. But, every evil-doer has to start somewhere and before you can maniacally hold the world to ransom, you’ve got a whole lot of villages to burn.
Currently, you can play as the Death Knight, a former holy crusader who’d love nothing more than to find the Holy Grail, what she’d do with now that she’s undead, well that’s her business.
To start with, you’ll have access to a set deck of undead minions and spells, with which you can begin your conquest of the nearby towns. Along the way, you can also encounter shops, random events, and mini-bosses to bolster your ranks and further increase your evil powers.
As is standard for most RTS games, each encounter plays out across a battle map, with both you and your opponent having a home base to deploy your units from. The interesting thing about Necronator: Dead Wrong, though, is that as the invading force, you’re always at a disadvantage. Each map has several villages that are initially in enemy hands but deal enough damage and you’re able to convert them into haunted villages that power up your soul meter and let you bring out your dark minions at an even faster pace.
Battles in Necronator take place in real-time, with both you and your opponent launching out your units according to their cost. To start with, there are currently two available decks to choose from in the game, one features undead characters, while the other mixes in some orcs and is personally my favorite.
The spells at your disposal include buffs, debuffs, and attacks, giving you a variety of tactical options, provided, of course, that you’re lucky enough to draw them at the right moment.
So What’s Good?
The gameplay is solid and fun, I could easily see myself losing hours to this game down the line as more content is added in. The deckbuilding aspect of the game is a great inclusion and there are some great combos to be made if you can get your hands on the right cards. I especially found the art style to be unique and different from what most other RTS games offer, and I’ll always be a sucker for dark/gothic cartoon character designs.
I also was impressed with how coordinated the AI was despite the game being in early access. This speaks volumes of the passion and hard work that’s been poured into Necronator.
What Could Be Improved/Added?
As it’s still a work in progress, Necronator: Dead Wrong has some ground to cover before it’ll be ready for a full release, but what I’ve seen so far is very promising. That being said, here are a few tweaks and added features I feel could make the game even better in the long run.
Keyboard shortcuts would be an excellent inclusion. Although it’s not that big of a deal, being able to use your keyboard to navigate menus and pause the game would be a great help, especially when it’s a standardized feature across most other games on PC.
The battle maps you lead your army of minions through are great, but given that you spend a fair amount of time on each stage while raining down destruction, it’d be nice if there was more to look at. Adding more scenery would definitely be a plus in my book, perhaps there could even be interactable set pieces to liven things up a little.
Adding more sounds effects is a big one. During my playtime, I noticed that, while there are some sparse sound bites sprinkled about, none of the units or characters you meet has any lines of dialogue or even grunts or efforts. If these were added in, it’d make the game feel more immersive and that’s never a bad thing.
While the game does initially have tooltips when you’re picking up new cards, these don’t appear during actual battles, and if you’ve got a terrible memory and/or attention span like me, this is a real problem when you want to know what specific units can and can’t do. Overall, it’s a minor quality of life, but an improvement that’d go a long way.
Deck balancing was one of the more glaring issues I noted in my playthrough when using both decks. The default deck felt very underpowered as the game went on, and I couldn’t see myself getting very far with the card selection as it currently stands. Similarly, the 2nd available deck is somewhat overpowered early on and it’s not until you’ve made significant progress that you have to start making smart decisions.
Necronator: Dead Wrong is off to a good start, the core elements are there and as the game progresses through its life cycle I can only see it going from strength to strength. As long as the developers continue to add in new features and work on improving some of the existing ones, I have high hopes for Toge Productions and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the game.
A review copy was provided by the developer. Get the game.