It takes a lot for deckbuilding games to stand out nowadays, but Nadir: A Grimdark Deckbuilder has absolutely caught my eye. A demo released late last week gives you a look into a vision of hell that I’m pretty excited to dive into. Something between a desaturated aesthetic and the heavy-lined pen of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, the art style also draws on the kind of tattoo designs a heavy metal Catholic biker might get. A skeletal statue with a sword fighting faceless horrors from beyond. That sort of thing.
Nadir’s mechanical innovation beyond rad art is in its resource system. You and your enemy both share three tablets, which are either Sacrum (Blue) or Profanum (Red) on any given turn. Using a card from your hand that costs one of those tablets flips a corresponding number of them over and—at the same time—tells you exactly what the enemy is going to do. In short, it’s deterministic combat: You always know what your cards do and you choose what your enemy’s exact reaction is. Otherwise it’s a full-on duel game, where yourself 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 release this year. It’s 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 dicebuilding game charming.