15/11/2018

🚀 Preview: Nimbatus the Space Drone Constructor "In space, no one can hear you…sigh, unroll the blueprints again and slightly alter the angle of your rear-left thruster" 🚀 #EarlyAccess #IndieGame

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Developer: Stray Fawn Studio
Platform Reviewed: PC (Steam)
Rating: Early Access Title (Although I’m leaning towards an ice-cool upon completion)
Nimbatus is a game of two halves, designing a space drone and then completing objectives with said drone.

As someone who tends to struggle with games relying on any kind of design element, I initially thought that this could be beyond my skillset, however its approach is very well-chosen in how you can either dive in or complete the steps of the tutorial in order to ease yourself into the game and this results in a rounded experience which just needs some work on the ‘campaign’ elements in order to feel fully fleshed out.
I, as you may have guessed from the above paragraph, went hurtling into the tutorial, which did a great job of clearly explaining the basics of piecing together my drone, allowing me to get to grips with how the game rolls. 

The first stage is simple enough, add thrusters to your drone, assign keys to each aspect (the game is fully key-remappable), add the relevant fuel cells and then launch the mission, travelling across to the end of the stage. It only took a second to realise that I’d actually put the thrusters on backwards…classic Britt, so I returned to the design screen and corrected my errors. It was at this point that the sense of achievement dawned on me, just how fun (even at this basic level) it was to see your hand-built craft in action.

The next steps of the tutorial dealt with energy consumption, expanding your abilities and weapons, all in a very concise manner which prepares you for the main game.
The main levels, although randomly generated do feel similar after a while with the same few goals looping but games of this ilk live and die by their communities and continued developer support and this is where Nimbatus shines. 


There appears to be a very creative community with some amazing designs available for free download (including a ‘drone’ that is essentially a top-down 1 on 1 Rocket League!) that it was fun just to install and try out, screen-filling juggernauts (that would take me days to complete, otherwise) are downloadable and ready to rock in seconds and some which especially think outside the box in terms of what they are capable of within the confines of the game engine.
With its solid support and approach that successfully melds accessibility with the possibility of in-depth complexity , Nimbatus is a welcome addition to those gamers who like to get under the bonnet a little bit. This would make a fine companion piece to the ground-based antics of Terratech and the very quirky Deep Sixed. Although it’s an early access title at the moment, variation in the single-player mode seems to be all that’s keeping this away from top-tier action.
Right, I’m off to build the Millennium Falcon.