In 2018, Awaken Realms released the board game Nemesis. Inspired by the extraterrestrial Franchise, Nemesis sees players take on the roles of crew members on an alien-infested spaceship trying to survive. The game quickly became a modern classic thanks to its high production value, beautiful miniatures, and themed gameplay. Four years later, Awaken Realms created a standalone expansion for the game, Nemesis: Lockdown. It kept the exciting gameplay of the original while taking players to a new place and adding many new mechanics.
A few days earlier Nemesis: Lockdown was released in Early Access as a digital board game. The goal of Nemesis: Lockdown is to complete one of two objectives given to each player at the beginning of the game. Everyone has different goals, one personal and one mandated by a shadowy corporation, and no one knows what the other players’ goals are. After completing their goals, each player is given two characters to choose from. After that, the game begins with players exploring a secret multi-story facility on Mars while avoiding making too much noise and attracting the aliens.
What does the Nemesis games is unique in that goals do not necessarily lead to cooperation. While Nemesis is supposedly a cooperative game where everyone tries to survive and escape, the only way to actual victory is by completing a goal. That leads to Nemesis behave similarly to a social deduction game Between us. However, instead of having dedicated teams, Nemesis keeps betrayal organic and random. A player may suspect someone is after them, but that doesn’t mean they actually are.
The video game version of Nemesis: Lockdown retains the same gameplay and mechanics as its tabletop counterpart, but also offers graphical detail and immersion that are simply impossible in a board game. The game is beautiful. Rooms and interactive objects are fully detailed, and each character is fully animated and programmed to move realistically. The graphics do Nemesis: Lockdown look less like a digital adaptation of a board game and more like a turn-based strategy game. Aside from the looks, one of the best features of Nemesis: Lockdown is the event log that keeps track of all player actions and events at the end of the round.
The digital adaptation of Nemesis: Lockdown however, is not without flaws. Due to its Early Access status, there isn’t a significant in-game tutorial yet, and while tutorial videos are available, the game is much easier for players who already know what they’re doing. There are very few tooltips or explanations as to what characters, items, or interactive objects actually do, making it even more difficult to learn the game while playing. Fortunately, the developers have stated that they are working on including an in-game tutorial and more tooltips as a first priority.
Nemesis: Lockdown is easily one of the most impressive digital board game adaptations of all time. It puts other digital board games to shame with its level of quality, perfectly capturing the detail and sparkle of the board game. For everyone interested in gaming Nemesis: Lockdown, but can’t afford to spend $150 for the physical version, the digital adaptation offers an opportunity to experience this amazing game. Just make sure to learn how to play first, or its complexity will cause a lot of confusion and frustration.