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Keeping That Dungeon Warm: Nekro Is A-Go-Go

your mum, yesterday

There’s one surefire way of getting around my wariness about when and if to cover Kickstarter projects here, and that’s when Kickstarter projects have already reached their funding goals. As well as being glad tidings in and of themselves, it means I don’t risk inadvertently wielding RPS as a flaming sword of financial justice in the event I post about them. Instead I can just say ‘oh hey cool, here’s a neato-sounding videogame that’ll be coming out at some point soon-ish.’

Oh hey cool, here’s a neato-sounding videogame that’ll be coming out at some point soon-ish. It’s called Nekro, it’s from devs who have formerly worked at the likes of Blizzard, Sony and Microsoft, and it claims to be a more free-form take on Dungeon Keeper with meaty chunks of Myth: The Fallen Lords and Giants: Citizen Kabuto thrown in.
Dungeon Keeper! The only game that even begins to rival X-COM as my favouritest of all the favoured favourites, that is. And so I am personally pleased that Nekro is definitely happening, having now hit its funding target. Though it has just over two days left to run, so if you do want to shower them with e-pennies it’s not too late.

I’ve been reluctant to post it until now, because it seemed to be part of that big, messy, overwhelming and exhausting explosion of Kickstarted projects in the wake of DoubleWasteland, and picking which ones were true goers seemed a terrible responsibility. But I must confess I’m rather taken with both the concept and the in-game footage they’ve shown. I would say that it looks conspicuously Blizzardian in motion, but I am totally up for controlling dark legions in a randomly-generated world.

Team darkForge apparently already have working prototypes, so this appears to be well past the concept stage. They’ve got two long breakdowns of how the game mechanics work, which you can read here and here. I guess the main point would be that it’s levels linked by an overworld, which you advance across on a largely linear fashion conquering territory until you reach the king. The levels themselves are full of randomly-generated (that needs a portmanteau by now – rangen?) beasties, settlements and whatnot, loosely defined by what part of the overworld it’s located in.

Once you’re in a level, you’re in control of the Nekro, an evil summoning fella who can call up assorted monsters at will. Each monster has its own power/summon meter, increased by different action. F’rinstance, “The Horror’s power meter is increased by blood being spilled. Every time a unit damages another unit, blood is spilled and is then collected by the Nekro.” A Horror is more suited to outright killing of foes, and killing increases the Purge’s power meter, so in theory the game will be filled with summon-combos like that. Monster control in primarily indirect – you send ’em somewhere and they’ll do their own thing once there. Except… you can alternatively directly possess them, a la my beautiful Dungeon Keeper. I’d want to do that in every strategy/management/etc game if I could.

Funding has exceeded its $100k target already, with a promise to add in a character customiser (including an option for a Lady-Nek) and multiplayer modes at $120k. There are just over 60 hours left on the clock, so if you want to either up its funding or bag yourself a cheap pre-order, you know what to do. Given Nekro is A Thing That Is Definitely Happening, we can expect to hear much more about it very soon, I don’t doubt.

Oh, and more details on the devs’ heritage can be gleanded from this Reddit IAMA.

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Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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