In the year 2104, the Solar Union (the government of Earth and the solar system) faces trouble from three former colonies. Under the guise of negotiations, the colonies' forces attack and capture three mining worlds: Neptune's moon Triton, the Earth-like planet Romulous and the water world Pacifica. Earth's survival is at stake. It is the player's mission to strike back at the invaders and recapture the three worlds. Earth's full arsenal of ground, air and naval forces is standing by.
This version of Nectaris is an updated and expanded version of the original game with a new background story, an entirely different graphical style and lots of new content. It includes all maps (the setting of which has been changed from the Earth's moon to Triton) and units from the original game. Two new sets of maps (the Romulous and Pacifica campaigns) have been added for a total of 96 levels. There are also many new units, more than doubling the number of the original. The non-lunar settings of the new campaigns allow for naval units for the first time (including submarines and ship-based aircraft), as well as such units as helicopters, jump-jet infantry and paratroopers.
Gameplay is unchanged from the original. Units move and attack in turns on a tactical map. Each unit has different ratings for attack and defense as well as range. Combat is decided by various factors including the combatants' abilities, troop strength and experience, terrain, and the positioning of support units.
Units cannot be created. The only way to gain new units is to capture depots containing neutral units.
To win each map, either the enemy's headquarters must be captured or all his forces be destroyed.
At any time between battles, the campaign can be switched among the three different worlds. The last mission beat on each world is automatically saved, and earlier maps can be accessed through passwords. It is also possible to save the game during a battle.
In addition to the single player maps, there are also 8 special multiplayer maps, which can be played by up to four players (or AIs, if not enough people are available). In multi-player mode, various diplomatic relations can be set between the different parties, from alliances to all-out war.
Nectaris is a futuristic strategy/warfare game made and produced by Hudson Soft. The only real objective is to conquer a galaxy of only a handful of planets.
You start out with a base and a few units. You must protect your base (usually a satellite dish) from the enemy "foot soldiers" while trying to destroy your enemy's entire force. Believe it or not, this game requires some planning before you attack the enemy, and it's always a good idea to gang on an enemy with multiple units.
The unit system is well balanced with a variety of fleets (naval, land, and air). Each unit consists of eight parts of its own kind. For example, a tank unit will have eight tanks.
The gameplay is like chess. The playing field is the board. And each unit is like a chess piece. The game is turn based, and the enemy AI is inelegant. Before a turn, the enemy always calculates where to move and attack. This provides challenging gameplay. And I did like the graphics.
What I didn't like about is how easily I got bored of it. This game however might prove entertaining to those who like the turn based strategy games. Unfortunately, this game does not have a multiplayer feature. Otherwise the game could have proven to be so much more entertaining.
Nectaris is one of the most obscure sci-fi strategy classics of all time. If you like Battle Isle by Blue Byte, you will definitely enjoy this game. Actually, Battle Isle was very much inspired (although "copied" would probably describe it better) by the original PC-Engine version of Nectaris.
For those of you who don't know this kind of game: It's a futuristic turn-based strategy game where the objective, naturally, is to conquer the galaxy. This is no Star Fleet, though: Nectaris's hallmark is the "casual" take on the genre, with attractive graphics, ease of play, with a well thought-out interface and nicely animated combat sequences. Better yet, the game still has enough depth to keep the player's attention, as well as many details (e.g. ground Strategy fans will love this one. Too bad the PC version came out too late (six years after the PC-Engine original) to attract gamers' attention away from the likes of Master of Orion. Highly recommended for any armchair commander who just wants a quick, attractive, beer-and-pretzel game of galactic conquest. A must-have!
People who downloaded Nectaris have also downloaded:
Master of Orion 2: Battle at Antares, NetStorm: Islands at War, No Man's Land, Nations, The: Gold (a.k.a. Alien Nations 2), Nobunaga's Ambition 2, Myth 3: The Wolf Age, Nobunaga's Ambition 1, Myth: The Fallen Lords
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