Theme&andn’What is it?
Watch the World Burn!
You are one of the five great Necromancers of the world. In order to secure your access to the Nexus Infernum, you must gain control of this center of dark energy of this world. Channel the power of the Nexus, establish pacts with demonic entities that exist beyond your world, and hold off the others with your minions to become the most blasphemous wielder of the ancient power over death there is.
Looks Great, But How Does It Play?
I was initially drawn in by the art and concept of the game. The number of components seemed a little daunting from what I read about the game but that was quickly overcome. The theme isn’t my usual cup of tea but wanted to give it go. There is a fair amount of flavor to the rulebook but the rules are in there.
Make Alliances, Overwhelm the World in Darkness
The goal of Nexus Infernum is to accumulate at least 13 Blasphemy tokens.
Lay out the game board and separate the Energy tokens and Blasphemy tokens into piles. Shuffle the Tier I-III decks and draw 5 of each and lay them face up in a row next to the decks. Give each player a playmat, 6 skeleton standees of the same color, and a set of the Infernal Pact tokens to fill out the playmat. Determine the first player randomly.
Each turn players perform the same set of actions in order, if possible. To start with, roll the Energy and Portal dice to determine which portal will be seeded with two Energy tokens of the color(s) on each die. Next, the player attempts to summon a skeleton minion using a d6 and Portal die. With a pool of skeleton minions, the player can move them (Command), attack other skeletons (Aggress), and collect the Arcane Energy tokens (Channel) from the portals. With the Energy tokens, a player can Invoke a demon to aid in their quest for domination; two demons of the same Tier and type will create an Infernal Pact, awarding the player new abilities and Blasphemy tokens to more quickly seize control of the Nexus.
If Looks Could Kill…
Components for Nexus Infernum include a game board, standees, cards, and tokens. Tokens, gameboard, and standees are made of thick, nice quality cardboard. The finish of the board is linen while the others are matte. The cards are a little stiff, but of decent quality; recommend sleeving as they are kind of flimsy. The insert doesn’t provide enough space for the components after punching, including the standees with or without their bases; I had to put them plus other tokens under the insert to be able to store the game.
Evil Is As Evil Does
I can’t say enough about the art. As I have mentioned, the theme didn’t grab me as much as the quality and variety of the art. There are a number of unique pieces within the game and the rulebook is not without its moments. It is all very high quality and rings true to the theme.
I Love It When a Plan Comes Together
This game is one that centers around planning what your future moves are, preparing to unleash combos with your Infernal Pacts and Demonic Mentors that lead to more energy tokens, invoking more demons, gaining more Blasphemy Points. Round and round it goes until one of you is the winner.
Close in Age But Spot on in Weight
The age range of this game is 12+ but I would have considered pushing it up to 14 for the theme and the number and size of components. The weight of the game compared to age though is lower (age 10 maybe) given the actions are the same each round for all the players.
Lots to Praise, A Few Niggly Bits
There is a fair amount to say about this game. It is beautiful for sure, lots of talent went into the art and presentation of the game. There are plenty of components to punch, which is satisfying to some of you out there. Not too hip on the specific theme of the game itself, but the rules and theme become immersive. You should be able to pick up on the flow of actions pretty quickly given they are the same each turn for each player in the same order. Yet surprisingly there is enough strategy in the game to keep it fresh, at least for a while.
Given the good things about the game, I did find some things that stood out to me that could be improved upon. There is little player interaction outside of foiling plans by acquiring cards other players might want and combat between minions and there isn’t much to it given that there is a single dice roll with little player agency to affect the outcome. In higher player counts I could see downtime between a player’s turns might be an issue. It would be really useful to have player aid cards with the actions listed and potentially a FAQ for some clarifications on rules.
You might find that these issues I mentioned aren’t that big of a deal and to me they didn’t detract from the experience; they were just things I noticed while playing. On its own, I think the game is pretty good, given my rating, but could benefit from an expansion that provides a little more variety.