Title: Necronator: Dead Wrong
Developer: Toge Productions
Publisher: Modern Wolf
Genre: 2.5D RTS, Deckbuilding, Card Game
Available On: PC
Tested On: PC
Official Site: https://modernwolf.net/games/necronator-dead-wrong
Release Date: February 13, 2020
Where to Buy: Steam
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear ‘RTS’? The answer, for most people, is likely Command and Conquer or StarCraft. Such games take a substantial amount of time to understand and play well. Despite being partial to both franchises, they each still come with their own frustrating moments. And it’s only recently that the genre has become a little more mainstream. Capitalizing on that popularity, from the makers of the Infectonator series, comes a new title.
For those who have not heard yet, Toge Productions has recently released Necronator: Dead Wrong. It is an isometric deckbuilding game with RTS elements. One hundred years after the first Necronator lost their power, it is your right (according to a minion known as the Chubat) to take on the mantle. On your journey to claim the power of the long-dead necromancer, you must fight the living and trounce them as best you can. Will you achieve your goal of becoming the next Necronator, or will you die trying?
On its surface, the gameplay for the title may look simple. But when you are in the middle of a battle, the player’s outlook on that will change. Much like the Magic card game, players must expend mana to play any of the cards in their hand. Depending on the ‘relic’ a player chooses, that may increase or decrease the cost of playing certain cards. Players may bank on specific cards to lead to victory, but the Necronator must also choose wisely when to play their hand. Cards themselves are separated into their respective categories: squad, spell, and utility. The ‘squad’ cards determine which units will deploy, utilities enhance your units or boost their health, and spells can help either speed your units up or slow down/attack your enemies.
A great deal of patience is required to play the game well. If the wait time for mana regen isn’t a big deal, then destroying the living shouldn’t be an issue. I found that sometimes waiting may be the best play, as having a larger pool of mana to draw from can allow more cards to be played at once. Each deck will also give you spells and units unique to that particular one.
While there are certainly RTS elements within the game, the most hardcore fan of the genre might be mildly disappointed. Once a player ‘activates’ a card, the units travel on fixed routes. It would appear the most ‘RTS’ part of the game is changing the direction in which they go by clicking a wooden road sign.
Upgrade Your Power
Necronator: Dead Wrong makes sure you can improve your forces, so don’t worry too much about whether or not your forces are adequate. They’re just corpses possessed by spirits after all. When you manage to get yourself to a campfire, you can either choose to upgrade a card or restore your ‘portal health.’ Even when you get a little low; it’s not always a good idea to heal. You’re summoning the dead, so don’t feel too bad about losing them. Every single card can be upgraded at least once. While upgrading can certainly turn the tide of battle, you’ll want to make sure you deploy your forces at the right time. Otherwise, what’s the point of the upgrade?
Not only do your forces benefit from the upgrade, but they also get cool new costumes as well. For some of those units, each card deployment means that you will also have more units at your disposal. If you like taking a few risks, forego that health regen for the benefit of beefed-up units. Just be sure it is not something that you’ll later regret and eventually curse yourself for.
The game certainly has its funny moments. You choose a character known for their ‘evil,’ and their unique traits help you along the way. Story-wise, the game is relatively easy to follow. But once you get the hang of the levels and can ‘mow down’ your enemy, the game will probably feel very short. But don’t let the length discourage you from trying to reclaim the power of the Necronator.
Verdict: Necronator: Dead Wrong is definitely a gem in the card-game scene. While the majority of elements can be seen as ‘traditional,’ the developers make use of these in a non-traditional way. If you like the feeling of accomplishing something quickly, the storyline is excellent. And if you’re looking for something a little lengthier, the ‘endless mode’ has become available with the most recent update. It is a worthy addition to anyone’s Steam library.
- Colorful artwork
- Not a huge learning curve
- Loveable characters
- Short game (maybe 1 or 2 hours max)
- Limited character choices
- Not much to the 'RTS' side