It takes a lot to make deckbuilding games stand out these days, but Nadir: A Grimdark Deckbuilder definitely caught my eye. A demo released late last week gives you a glimpse into a vision of hell that I’m pretty excited to dive into. Something between an unsaturated aesthetic and the heavily outlined pen of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, the art style is also based on the kind of tattoo designs a heavy metal Catholic biker might get. A skeletal statue with a sword that fights faceless horrors from the outside. Those kind of things.
Nadir’s mechanical innovation beyond rad art is in the resource system. You and your enemy each share three tablets, which on any given turn are either Sacrum (blue) or Profanum (red). If you use a card from your hand that costs one of those tablets, flip it over a corresponding number and at the same time tell you exactly what the enemy is going to do. Basically, it’s a deterministic battle: you always know what your cards are doing and you choose your enemy’s exact reaction. Otherwise, it’s a full duel game, where you and the enemy are the only competitors, each with their own life pool and status effects.
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You can find a demo of Nadir: A Grimdark Deckbuilder on Steam and on GOG (opens in new tab), where it will be released this year. It is published by Black Eye Games and developed by Team Nadir and Black Eye Games. Meanwhile, our Wes Fenlon is very sick of roguelike deckbuilders, but has found a recent dice building game charming.