Are you tired of always playing the hero? Would not it be nice to not have to save anyone but yourself for once? Have you ever wondered what happens in the enemy camp? Now is your chance to see for yourself how villains live and fight! Necronator: Dead Wrong was developed by Toge Productions. They have also created The Infectonator series and more recently the visual novel Coffee Talk. Necronator: Dead Wrong is a deck building roguelike/RTS and it is published by Modern Wolf. While there are some important differences, Necronator: Dead Wrong inscribes itself in the same vein as games like Slay The Spire.
The game takes place in Livmore, which is ironic since the goal is to kill throngs of soldiers the opponent throws at you. You play as one of three commanders, Number 7, Mirabella the Doll or Luavira Heartwing. They have just graduated from the Undead Academy and they are now certified villains. You can finally work on conquering the world with your assistant, the adorable but nonetheless wicked Chubat. He will be with you throughout the game to give you advice. Whether it is needed or not is another matter. The goal is for you to lead your army of undead to victory and become the foremost Necronator.
The game is not hard to pick up and the tutorial explains the basics pretty well. The tutorial is short, it is simply one level and an easy one at that. The learning curve can be a bit steep, but it is mostly because there are several different cards for each commander. In addition to that you have several upgrades for each card. It is interesting to know that the game supports the Steam Workshop which adds endless gameplay through player created levels, decks, etc.
I love the artwork. The graphics are fun and the bright colors are the antithesis to the subject matter, but work very well with the comical feel of the game. Each level is fought in a self contained diorama placed on a table. I love the concept. You can turn and zoom the camera if you need to see an area in more detail. The characters are stylistic and each one has their own flavor. Each of the characters has specific decks that you can choose from and each deck has its own theme. As an example, Mirabella the Doll’s main deck is named Creepy Toys. This deck has cards like “Summon Chonky Chocky” (the art for this card is Chucky the Doll) or “Build-a-Teddy” (a card that when played summons three Teddys). The developers have done an excellent job with illustrating the different themes. An interesting added feature of Necronator: Dead Wrong is that if you have a Razer Chroma keyboard, you will see different effects depending on your location in the game.
Each commander has their own personal story while all branching from a main narrative. Every one of them also has a distinct personality. The story is light and comedic. It is fun to read although if that is not your thing and you would rather concentrate on playing, it can be skipped without consequence. The game consists of three sectors, each with a different adversary and each sector has its own map. From the map, you navigate from one location to the next. You can take different paths, but they all lead to the same end battle. There are different battle locations. There is the basic battle, but there is also the “elite battle” which is a little more difficult. Each map has an end “boss battle”. Other than that there is the “rest stop” where you can choose between resting which will restore your HP, upgrade which lets you upgrade one of your cards or you can also choose to remove one of your cards if you want to focus your deck by removing the excess cards. There is also the merchant location which is self explanatory and finally the “?” which is a mystery event.
The gameplay is simple. It is kind of like a reverse tower defense mixed with deck building. The goal in each level is to get to the opponent castle and destroy it before the enemy reinforcements arrive. However, some levels will have different goals like surviving a set amount of time. Your deck contains units, spells and utilities. You play your units cards to spawn those units. The spells are varied and differ based on the commander you have chosen. Each deck has essentially the same basic units like the soldier, but all of the other cards will change depending on the commander. You will have to adapt your strategy to the cards available in your deck. You can personalize your deck further by upgrading it. When upgrading a card you always have two choices of upgrades.
The mechanics are also quite simple. The challenge comes from defining a wining strategy. You deploy your units by playing their titled card. There are different cards that let you smite your adversary with different afflictions. Other cards will armor your units or give them all sorts of added perks. Once you have used all your cards you can redraw for a fee. While playing you collect “souls” which are used as currencies to buy cards at the merchant shop. Once you have deployed your units, they will move automatically. The only control you have on their movement is changing the signposts. The signposts are placed at distinct locations within the level and clicking them changes the direction your troops will take. It is possible to switch them back and forth to spread your troops all over the map. Each card you play will cost you some mana. The mana refills over time. Necronator has both a campaign and an endless mode.
Necronator: Dead Wrong is a fabulous deck building game. Once I started playing time seemed to stop and before I realized I had played for several hours. It is addictive, fun and challenging. The graphics are vivid and beautiful. The characters are engaging and are a convincing parody of villains. Necronator: Dead Wrong is a successful mix between a RTS, a deck building and a tower defense with a twist. If you are tired of always playing the hero and like a good challenge, then Necronator is definitely a game you will want to play.
Written by Vee