Project Nimbus: Complete Edition is developed by Game Crafter Team, and published by Game Tomo. Project Nimbus is a high flying mech combat game that sees the player fight through battles in future earth where the privileged have abandoned the surface for cities floating among the clouds.
Project Nimbus’ story feels instantly familiar to anyone well versed in the common themes of anime storytelling. A future society, pulling itself back together after a huge conflict, has placed the wealthy peoples of the earth in floating cities, while others are left behind to struggle in the heavily irradiated world below. Combine this general setting with persistent questions about the nature of war, hate, the true capacity of humanity has to come to grips with such questions, the ever-present child soldier trope, and mecha, fans will feel right at home in the plot and setting of this game. While I didn’t find anything exceptional about the writing, or story, it is delivered in an effective way, that allows the player to understand the characters, motivations, and goals.
The moment to moment gameplay is where Project Nimbus falters hard for me. There is no traditional aiming in Project Nimbus. All weapons are guided by locking onto an opponent’s mech and firing. Even if you are locked on attacks are not guaranteed to hit, which is to be expected since I assume the enemies have the same countermeasures that I have while piloting my mech.
The struggle with this system comes in both locking on and maintaining the lock once achieved. If you lose line of sight on the target for the briefest instant the lock is broken. This can be anything from the enemy darted behind a physical obstruction, to flying off your screen, which can happen very easily given the speed, and quick turn around these mechs can pull. If the desired target flys into a swarm of other enemies picking them out will be difficult to impossible.
The only time getting back to the desired target is realistic is if it is one of the mission-critical targets designated by a purple “x” on the screen. All regular targets get a red “x,” leading to many missions feeling more difficult than they should have since I tended to have numerous half health enemies flying around as finishing off a target was often times frustratingly difficult. If one drops the difficulty to easy the lock on function goes into auto and you will always have someone locked on to shot when a target is available. Coupled with a health regeneration feature this then made the game a breeze.
Even with the difficulties of combat there were moments where everything felt like it came together and I found myself buzzing around the outside of a swarm of enemies picking them off as quickly as my mech’s railgun could reload enabling the feeling of being that slick ace pilot you are told by the story you are playing as.
The game’s graphical presentation is a bit of a mixed bag. The designs of the various mechs are solid, if not groundbreaking, but environments are completely forgettable. While the various particle, and other effects, that come to clutter the screen often came across as simply a pixelated mess. I did play the game exclusively in handheld mode, so some of these troubles may stem from that. All in all, I would say this game struggles in the visual department, even for a Switch port.
I would also want to give a warning to any would-be mech pilots out there who suffer from color blindness or at least struggle differentiating shades of red. With everything of note being labeled by varying colored “x’s”, and no colorblind options to alleviate the difficulties, I would think the game interface would extremely difficult to decipher.
With 26 campaign missions, a survival mode that pits the player against unending waves of enemies, and a warfront mode that allows for extended replayability through challenging the player with endless mission modes of types like base defense, interception, and assassination, Project Nimbus: Complete Edition has plenty of game to offer for the $20 price tags even if it’s execution is less than flawless.
Project Nimbus: Complete Edition is available on Nintendo Switch, with other editions available for PlayStation 4 and on Steam.
Project Nimbus: Complete Edition
Project Nimbus: Complete Edition has plenty of game to offer for the $20 price tags even if it’s execution is less than flawless.