Necronator has the beginnings of a great 8-bit rogue-like RTS title that feels as if it is heavily influenced by Disgaea and Slay The Spire. There is great comedic value and the characters are unique. I love where the narrative is going and the systems in place are impactful, but that’s where you start diving into some of the issues, the longer you play. This is our Necronator review for PC.
The combat is very easy to get into, with simple card placements from your starting Crystal. There is no strategic placement, just managing your mana in order to summon monsters to overthrow the castle. Creating rushes or having a cohesive deck can make a large difference, but sometimes the cards needed are just not there. If you don’t manage your mana correctly, you can quickly go from absolutely smashing the enemy to getting smashed yourself. There are a few key cards that can turn the battle, but you won’t get those until much later on in the playthrough if you don’t die before then.
There is a wide number of monsters to pick from, along with spells. Occasionally, as you progress you can collect cards from winning and visit the Market to remove or pick up new cards. You can make quite a few different decks per character, but typically either full-on rush decks or cleave decks tend to be what felt the strongest. A rush deck is keeping your costs under 40 mana and just rushing down the enemy, with a few buff spells. A cleave deck is a bit trickier, prioritizing cleaving units and a mix of spells/buffs to deal with pesky off spawns.
Level design is very linear with later maps allowing you to switch pathing. By destroying the smaller towns, you gain more mana production and they can help you kill the enemies heading to your crystal. The level layout reminds me heavily of Disgaea, which is great, and the art is simple yet well placed. Kudos to the environment designer. It’s easy to navigate and see what directions
Ideally, you want to start focusing your deck, so that you aren’t drawing cards that have little value or are not worth the mana cost compared to other similar cost cards. It becomes very apparent quickly, that some cards are best deleted after you start unlocking better cards. There is a leveling system for the character you’re playing, but it doesn’t seem to be fleshed out now, so after 3-4 playthroughs, you don’t feel like you progressed that much.
The game has some great aspects to it and really plays to its comedic tone, but after a few playthroughs you start to realize, that replay value quickly takes a sharp drop. It would have been nice to see some kind of talent system per character, that may influence types of deckbuilding or make the character more impactful, like character abilities or something separate from the deck building.
Thank you to Toge Productions for providing a key to review the game.
COMPARE TO: X-COM, Slay The Spire, Disgaea