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Nebuchadnezzar review | PC Gamer


Need to know

What is it? A retro styled city builder.
Expect to pay TBA
Release February 17, 2021
Developer Nepos Games
Publisher Nepos Games
Reviewed on AMD Ryzen 5 3600, Nvidia GeForce 2080 Super, 32 GB RAM
Multiplayer? No
Link Official site

A city-building throwback that throws players all the way back to the cradle of civilisation, Nebuchadnezzar arouses fond memories of games like Caesar III and, to a lesser extent, Age of Empires. Its classical style both looks and sounds great, while its systems delve considerably deeper than what is apparent on the surface. Unfortunately, as Nebuchadnezzar grows in scope, it becomes increasingly burdened by micromanagement, while a couple of significant design flaws threaten to sink the whole enterprise.

Set in ancient Mesopotamia, Nebuchadnezzar’s campaign tasks you with building some of the world’s oldest and greatest cities—Ur,  Nineveh, Babylon, etc. Guided by Gilgamesh through the game’s four introductory missions, the remaining nine levels involve constructing thriving metropoli, capping each one off with a great wonder such as Ashurbanipal’s Library, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or your own custom-designed temple complex.

Nebuchadnezzar’s primary achievement is how it captures the feeling and atmosphere of the games it is so clearly inspired by. The soundtrack has that nigh-mystical quality to it that helped to make Age of Empires such an absorbing experience, while the pixel-art has the same granular eye for detail as Caesar III and Pharaoh, from the smoke that billows from the chimneys of your bakeries, to the tiny goats that surround your livestock farms.

(Image credit: Nepos Games)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, stylistically, Nebuchadnezzar looks a tad dry in screenshots. But it’s a different experience entirely in motion. Even a small town hums with activity. Farmers scatter seeds across their fields in the spring and gather crops into bushels at harvest time. Caravans ferry goods to warehouses bursting with fish and dates and ale, while market vendors wander the streets carrying baskets filled with bread and balancing water jugs on their heads. As your city expands, its buildings evolve and grow with it, with hordes of new settlers flooding the streets in a scramble to inhabit your snazzy new abodes.

Establishing a city involves mastering logistics and production chains

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