Game Reviews

NIDUS

NIDUS is a twin-stick shoo… No. NIDUS is an arena split-stick arcade score attack game that was developed by Caleb Wood. It was also self-published by Caleb Wood on Steam on the 19th of February 2024. It is a demanding game in which you control a Flower and a Wasp at the same time. It is very demanding, it really is.

RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 19, 2024
DEVELOPER: CALEB WOOD
PUBLISHER: CALEB WOOD
PLATFORM: PC

NIDUS was made with Unity, and it is recommended playing it with a controller, of more or less any kind. It can be played solo or in a co-op mode on four different difficulties. At first, only Resilient (200% HP, 50% score) and Delicate (100% HP, 100% score) are available, and you have to complete the game on Delicate, in order to unlock a higher difficulty option. You need to move both the Flower and the Wasp with both of your controller’s sticks, and you use the Wasp to attack. You use the Flower to mark enemies by blooming it, and some enemies have to be marked before attacking them. You have to protect the Flower, and if the Flower core becomes empty, both Flower and Wasp will die, that is why you need to bring essence to the Flower to heal. The larger the amounts of essence will be, the stronger petal bursts will the Flower create. The Wasp will also run out of energy, so you will need to bring it to the Flower to recharge. Are you still following? Good. I have to say that the game is pretty difficult to play and to get used to the gameplay mechanics, but the more you will play, the better your runs will become. Kind of.

Game’s premise is that a symbiotic Flower and Wasp must complete their lifecycle. In single player, you are controlling both characters at once, which is very challenging to do. There is also a local co-op mode available, where you can master the duet together with one of your friends. NIDUS was designed for people that enjoy a very demanding gameplay, and it resulted in being a bit too much for my disease-ridden brain. It took me a very long time to adapt to the split-stick experience that the game offers, but I continued to suck at playing it. And do not get me started talking about the bosses, because I mostly had no freaking idea what I am supposed to do. To sum the game up, in the first few runs you will (most probably) have no idea what you are doing. Controlling two different entities at the same time will (most probably) be nerve-racking, at least until you get used to it. Your concentration need to be tip-top at all times, otherwise you will (most probably) not get far. Graphically, NIDUS looks pretty nice, but it is a full-blown mutilation on your brain and all the senses that are involved in playing it.

NIDUS is a very challenging game that should have been instructed more thoroughly. Simultaneously controlling two characters is more than tricky, and it is totally not an accessible game, if your brain does not work as it should. I only recommend getting NIDUS to those that are completely healthy (brain-wise) and a bit masochistic. It looks great, but it is very difficult to play.

GRADE

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