Free to play Nectar of the Gods provides you with its base game free of charge. It is a real time strategy game where bugs try to cross a table to attack the health of the opponent on the other side. Whilst it looks crass graphically, there is some decently playability hidden within. The best parts require DLC purchases though, which makes Nectar of the Gods more of a free permanent trial rather than free to play.
Nectar of the Gods runs similarly to a clash style game. Each team picks a bug clan and the free clan available for all are the beetles. Your beetle clan has eight bugs, all with different health, attack, cost to play and special ability. Once placed down, they’ll move off automatically forward or perform their move. Your opponent will be doing the same. Inevitably bugs start to meet and their special actions kick off. Damage is done simultaneously and so if both bugs have 1 health and cause 2 damage, they’ll both die instantly. Battles are about trying to find gaps when your opponent is drained of mana to spawn new bugs and working out what bug attacks can trump what your opponent has put down.
For the free to play gamers you’ll have the beetles to enjoy locally against AI, another player or taking it online too – although I was never able to test a match. The real depth of the game comes with the DLC bug clans though. So far you have spiders and bees added and they too have their own eight bugs which play very differently. Instead of the brute force of beetles and their burrowing abilities to sneak past others, spiders slow down others with webs and can shift lanes to dodge a first attack, whilst bees have hive stat boosts. They genuinely feel different and most importantly, which bug feels viable for winning against each other. You’ll have to change your play style, but that is the point. This is quite difficult to pull off so hats off to the developer for getting this right. It is the games biggest achievement.
Less fantastic is the control scheme. You use left and right mouse clicks to bring up radial wheels and then move up, down, left and right to select something. The problem is, your cursor won’t be matching where you’ve selected most of the time and so whilst it will select the option you’ve moved to, visually, it looks wrong. It causes quite a bit of confusion in game. Similarly, the bug descriptions of what they do often don’t actually tell you their skills so starting games at the beginning are trial and error runs rather than feeling like you know what you are doing. It is not the best introduction. The only other thing to factor in is that each of the three tables have triggers to press to launch food across the table to splat your opponent. They are a fun addition and often get rinsed early in each game. If used correctly, they can be effective at wiping out a bug team quickly so I’m glad you can’t spam them.
Looking past the poor graphics, there is a nice light strategy game here. Games take anywhere from 2 – 10 minutes max to play. For me, I’d like to see a few more factions included to really justify the price tag and I’d like to see them just as well balanced as what is here already. A good start, but needs more.
Nectar of the Gods
Good base for hopefully a better future. You'll need to pay for the best experience though.
The bug factions all feel balanced and unique.
Quickfire RTS for people who are time poor.
Control scheme is unrefined.
Those graphics don't really help.
Poor introduction gives off a bad first impression.
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