What is Nightingale, and when is it coming out? As you'll know if you read through our compendium of our most anticipated games of 2023, Nightingale is the game I'm most excited to play this year. It's a gaslamp fantasy survival crafting game by Inflexion Games, which tasks players with traversing an endless network of Fae realms, gathering resources, building bases, battling wonderfully - horrifically - designed creatures, and more.
Below we'll give you the chance to become as excited about Nightingale as I am. In this guide we'll walk you through everything we know so far about Nightingale, from its projected release date and beta tests to its story, setting, gameplay, multiplayer aspect, and more.
Nightingale expected release date
Nightingale has no firm release date in sight yet, but the Nightingale website FAQ says that the devs are hoping for an Early Access launch in the first half of 2023. The Steam's Store page, however, just says "Coming Soon" in place of a release date, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the early 2023 estimate revised as the time draws closer. When Nightingale does release, it'll be available on PC only - sorry, console players.
The devs have been putting out calls for players to join their closed alpha tests since late 2022. Players can fill in a survey if they are interested in playtesting Nightingale.
Nightingale developers: Who is making the game?
Nightingale is the first game by Inflexion Games, a new 100-person Canada-based dev team. Inflexion Games is led by its founder, Aaryn Flynn, a 17-year veteran from BioWare - creators of Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, and many more beloved RPGs. Flynn was in fact general manager of BioWare from 2009 until 2017, so his name is fairly well-known.
The team at Inflexion Games are currently developing Nightingale in Unreal Engine 5.
Above is the latest Nightingale trailer released by Inflexion Games. This 2-minute trailer gives us a glimpse at some stunning new environments, fae creatures, various mechanics such as character creation, fishing, and building - and perhaps most importantly, the ability to glide around Mary Poppins-style with your umbrella.
Below are a couple more trailers released by Inflexion. The first is the official gameplay trailer for Nightingale, which shows off some lovely rain, chopping trees, and the Realm Card system (more on this below). The second is the original reveal trailer used to announce the existence of Nightingale.
What is Nightingale about?
Nightingale is a fantasy story that takes place across a number of interconnected realms. Humans come from one particular realm, which is a Victorian-era Steampunk-esque world of top hats and flintlock firearms. This realm is connected to various others via a sprawling arcane portal network. But that network has suddenly collapsed, and the player is stranded in the Fae Realms - a far wilder and deadlier land filled with all manner of horrific beasts.
But how did they get there? As is explained in Inflexion's video journal on the World of the Realmwalkers, the home of humans is experiencing a cataclysm due to a mysterious phenomenon known as "the Pale". The humans attempted to escape through the portal network to Nightingale, a magical capital city where historically humans journeyed to learn and practice Fae magic. But the portal network collapsed and those attempting to escape to Nightingale were cast about the various realms, lost.
The player's long-term aim is to reach Nightingale City. But in the short term, that means putting a lot of focus purely into surviving from day to day, building shelters, gathering materials, and doing the whole survival crafting game thing. With the right materials and tools, players can begin to use the portal network once more to generate and transport yourself to entirely new realms, which means Nightingale doesn't just have one fixed setting.
Nightingale is a first-person survival crafting game. You'll start off with nothing, and must chop trees, gather stones, find food, find or make shelter, fend off attacks from hostile eldritch beasts, and so on. It's all very familiar stuff for players of survival crafting games, but Nightingale does do some things rather differently to most.
The biggest unique selling point of Nightingale's gameplay is its portal network, which allows you to generate new realms through which your character can traverse. This is done through the use of Realm Cards (below), which gives you a fair degree of control over what you'll find on the other side. It's an important aspect of progression through the world of Nightingale, because your starting realm won't containing everything you need. To progress beyond a certain point, you'll need the resources and secrets of other realms to help you.
Combat is partially melee, partially firearm-based, with numerous moments in Nightingale's trailers showing off some lovely-looking flintlock rifles, shotguns, and pistols that the player can presumably craft and use to face off against the fae creatures that assail you. As well as the fae beasts, you'll also encounter "incursions by the twisted Fae mimicries of humanity known only as the Bound", according to the game's website.
Building is also a large part of Nightingale. You can designate any one realm you choose to be your "Respite Realm". This is where you respawn if you die, and where you are allowed to start constructing your estate. Nightingale features a modular base-building system similar to other survival crafting RPGs like Grounded or Valheim, with floors, walls, stairs, and dozens of other components that can be placed down by the player wherever they like.
What are Realm Cards in Nightingale?
Realm Cards are craftable items which you can use to generate new realms via Nightingale's portal network. To open a portal to a new realm, you will open up a screen which allows you to place down various Realm Cards of different kinds - and the combination of Realm Cards you place down will determine the type of world that you'll find on the other side of the portal.
Realm Cards can be crafted out of paper, ink, and various other materials. There are three types of Realm Cards available:
- Biome Cards - determines the overall biome of the realm (Swamp, Desert, Forest, etc.)
- Major Cards - add significant changes to the realm, for example an increased number of hostile creature spawns.
- Minor Cards - add minor changes to the realm, for example the weather, time of day, season, etc.
It's not yet clear whether Major and Minor Cards are necessary - perhaps you might be able to create a "vanilla" world based purely on a biome - but we do know that you must play exactly one Biome Card to create a portal, and there appear to be four slots for additional cards alongside the Biome Card.
Is Nightingale multiplayer?
Nightingale is indeed a multiplayer game, with players able to team up in groups of up to 10 per server and adventure across the Faewild and the portal network together. The game is described at every turn as a PvE (player vs environment) rather than PvP (player vs player) game, which means it's unlikely that players will be able to fight each other on a server. Instead, they'll be working together to tame the Faewild. We also know that players will be able to follow others through to a new realm even if they aren't the one who created it - and even if they don't yet have the ability to create such a realm yet.
Of course, co-op multiplayer is not forced upon the player in any way, and it's perfectly viable to play Nightingale solo.
That's everything we know so far about Inflexion Games' upcoming fantasy survival crafting game Nightingale. But we'll be sure to keep this page updated with all the latest news, trailers, and information as it arrives, so keep checking back!