(Impressions) Nimbatus: The Space Drone Constructor

I’m conflicted. There seems to be a lot of games coming across my plate lately that look really really cool and are, but take a bit more brain power than I’m usually willing to put in when I’m unwinding. I find myself in that place again with Nimbatus: The Space Drone Constructor¬†(Nimbatus from here on out.) Make drones and break, kill and collect things. It seem easy enough in concept. I’ve played other games where I’ve built things before; I should be able to do this right? Well; is Nimbatus fun or to frustrating to play so far? Let me break it down for you.

No matter how cool you think your build is, snakes will still eat you.

First I want to implore anyone playing the game to go through the tutorial. It doesn’t cover everything and the developers (Stray Fawn Studio) are still adding things to play around with. Nimbatus is in Early Access after all. However, it will cover the basics of how to place more parts/nodes on your drone and how to make it move. It doesn’t explicitly hold your hand and tell you how and why to put what where, but it does tell you where to get started and where to find specific parts. You’ll soon learn some of the basics like that you’ll need to assign keys even though it doesn’t really cover that all to well (a detailed explanation would be crazy ridiculous to be fair). You’ll also learn that while engines are cool, you’ll need some extras to go left, right and backwards too. Oh right weapons… and yeh, you’ll probably want to collect the shiny stuff too so you’ll need to attach some collecting nodes as well. There’s a lot of stuff to include here. As I mentioned, the tutorial doesn’t cover everything at this point, but it does cover enough to get you going.

What was the frustrating part though? Well… I’m more of a hammer and nail kind of guy at this point. If you want to put me into a stealth environment, I can think a few moves ahead. Tell me to build a spacehip that doesn’t break itself apart on the first go… I’m out of my element. (The first drone I built literally shook itself to an unusable state.) With some trial and error, I’ve made a few ships that get the job done. Sometimes I’ll end a mission with engines only on one side so I’ll have to spin along with gravity to get back to my ship. As long as I win, I’m ok with taking a little longer. Most of my designs came up short though and that can be pretty tough. That’s part of the game though. You’ll need to experiment and figure out what you need. The best situation would be to have multiple types of ships for multiple different purposes.

Sometimes all you’re left with is the ability to turn right. With some hindsight, one would think I’d have some pictures of me winning, but there aren’t many of them and the ones I have are boring. (To be brutally honest.) Just enjoy the tracers on my bullets.

Now, I’m not sure if my plan of planetary bombardment on levels with giant snake monsters and smaller collecting ship for levels without them is the best approach. I’m wondering if they pack more resources on levels where I simply want to destroy the whole planet and have less to collect on levels where it’s not as scary. (The giant snakes just suck so much though.) Halfway through my play-time they patched the game and the engines worked very differently depending on the mass of the ships I’ve created. One day they worked as intended, the next day they could barely budge my ships (that is until half of the ship was either eaten by a grue or exploded by some stupid bug). I understand that they are working on the game’s balance and stuff, but that was a tough pill to swallow, but at least the game continues to entertain me and I haven’t wanted to put my keyboard through my monitor… so there’s that.

Further Reading on Nimbatus: The Space Drone Constructor: Facebook / Official Page / Steam / Twitter

Nimbatus: The Space Drone Constructor is a fun trip for my creatively challenged brain. I’m getting some flash-backs of Gladiabots, but I feel I’m doing much better here. Building the drone is actually half of the fun and doesn’t feel like it takes an actual programmer to be successful. I’m definitely missing out on some of the specific builds and parts to use for sure because there are a lot of things they haven’t straight-up explained how to use or the functionality of. That’s also part of the game. Play around with the parts and see what they do and how they can benefit your build or be used in a possible future configuration. Nimbatus doesn’t feel like it punishes failure here and that’s important to help the fun continue. I want to see what else they add to the game because, while challenging, the game doesn’t seem to be very long. Maybe they could add player-made planets to conquer because they have already implemented the sharing of drones in the Steam Workshop. (How long until people upload drones shaped like… never-mind.)¬†Nimbatus: The Space Drone Constructor is a solid pick if you enjoy virtual Legos that can, collect minerals, shoot missiles and murder planets. PS: Don’t play with the snakes.

Love it or hate it, let me know!