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Necromancy strategy game kicks off new test, playable now on Steam

Hearthstone Battlegrounds and skeletons meet in necromancy roguelike deckbuilder Necroking, with a new Steam playtest available now.

New roguelike deckbuilder Necroking launches Steam playtest - A bearded king, backed by a row of cards with skeletons on them.

I still remember my first time playing Diablo 2, where I picked the Necromancer class and quickly delighted in the grim revelry of raising skeletal hordes to fight in my name. That sensation continues to hold satisfaction to this day, through to the likes of Baldur’s Gate 3, and now a new roguelike deckbuilder and strategy game on Steam, which pits you and your undead minions against a tyrannical ruler who would otherwise see them enslaved. This is Necroking, and you can try it out for yourself thanks to a new playtest that’s just opened on Steam.

Necroking is part roguelike deckbuilder, part strategy game. You are the Death Monarch, and must summon your warriors and cast spells to affect the battlefield, defending you and smiting those who might stand in your way of reaching the evil king’s castle. Battles are turn-based, with your units automatically moving or attacking each turn depending on a simple set of rules assigned to them. But once you get into the swing of things you can let the turns play out in a pseudo real-time fashion, pausing whenever you need to make a change.

The board is divided into four main sections, with end zones occupied by your monarch and any rival you might be facing off against. Each turn, you’ll draw cards, and must use your constantly replenishing mana along with a limited number of souls to summon units in each of the sections. Initially, each turn your standard skeletons will attack the nearest enemy in their zone, or move to the next area ahead if no enemies are present in the current one. They’ll also counterattack anything that hits them.

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Along with this, you’ll get swordsmen that are a little stronger, archers that can shoot ahead at enemies in the zone in front of them, and blockers, which act as more sturdy targets that your enemies will prioritize when choosing who to take a swing at. You’ll also have access to other cards that can send unwanted units to your discard pile (freeing up their soul capacity to summon others), move them across the battlefield, or apply a number of other effects.

Starting out in the bottom corner of a large grid-based map, you’ll make your way gradually towards the king’s castle, stopping off to absorb mana sources (to improve your mana gain each turn), gather new units and support cards, and tackle a range of enemies for additional rewards. You’ll also encounter traders and tougher boss battles – in these harder fights, enemies arrive in increasingly greater numbers as time passes, so you’ll need to put a stop to the powerhouse at the end of the field before their forces can overwhelm you.

Necroking - A screenshot of the player traveling across the overworld map.

The Necroking playtest is live now on Steam. If you want to join, simply head over to the store page and click the request access button to submit your interest – I found I was able to get in very quickly after signing up. So far, I’ve really been enjoying what I saw, and I’m interested to see how the game develops in the run-up to its release.

Simply can’t get enough tactics in your life? Then the best turn-based strategy games are exactly where you need to be. If it’s the run-based repetition of the best roguelike games that calls to you instead, we’ve got plenty of those as well.

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