Nightside – Review
Follow Genre: Real-time Strategy
Platforms: PC, Linux
Tested on: PC

Nightside – Review

Site Score
Good: Great graphics and textures, overall gameplay
Bad: Lag spikes, repeating tracks, 'stupid' A.I.
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Mankind has always been interested in outer space and the possibility that there is extraterrestial life. Noble men already explored the skies to find a sign of them, but nothing has appeared yet. Nightside will take you on a journey where you will collide with other alien races in a fierce battle where your strategic skills will be needed.



We’re thrown into the skies, literally. The scene starts with an airship leaving a planet and drifting into the vast expanse of the galaxy. As you’re floating around in outer space, it seems like everything is lost. All of the sudden, you crash on a foreign planet. Thank goodness that the communicator is still functional, so you can send a distress call to other explorers, although it will take a long time until it will reach its destination. After the epilogue level, it seems that you have come in contact with the Nova. This alien race seems to be oppressed by another sentient race called the YX and you’re the perfect person to help out. This is where the story really begins and your quest for justice starts.

As this is a real-time strategy game, it is a good thing that there is a goal you’re going for and there isn’t any more information necessary to thicken the plot even more. You’re here to help and that’s it.


Overall, the visual representation of Nightside has both good and bad points. The menu is quite simple and could have been better, while the cutscenes are plainly bad. Although it might have been the intention of the developers to give it a rather shabby look, it rather seems like there hasn’t been put any effort into this section. There always seem to be a bit of lag when the scene is triggered, which only emphasizes this feeling.

As said before, there are good things as well. The animations during gameplay and the overall quality of the setting really makes up for a lot of the bad things. All four of the races have their own distinctive characteristics and really fit the rather dark environment you’re venturing in. Even more, zooming in will give you a nice view of the several details that each of the vessels have whilst getting a better look of the texture of your surroundings.



You’re fighting your battles on a hostile extraterrestial planet, so it is only natural that you’ll hear more pumped up beats rather than a classical undertone. There are a few tracks that are being looped during a mission which might get quite repetitive after a while, especially when you’re waiting until your soldiers arrive at a certain spot.

The sound effects are similar to the music, as you can hear some more electronic sounds when firing your weaponry or moving your troops. It would have been nice if there were more smaller effects, like the sound of a ship swooshing by and so on, but this is rather nit-picking.


Nightside is a sci-fi real-time strategy game which will have your inner strategist run wild. First of all, before you can even start thinking about conquering other races, you will need resources. These assets can be gained from several nodes you can find scattered across the map but you will need a special vessel for this though.

When you have finally gotten your precious recourses, it is time to build troops and ships. This is done at the ‘Mothership’ as this can make almost every vessel you’ll need to conquer your foes. This big ship is capable of making extractors for resources, but also buildings for other purposes are made here. These small factories need to be landed before they can be used, although they have an advantage when airborne. At this stage, enemy troops can’t seem to attack these vessels, giving you a nice advantage.

You are now capable to make your armada, but you will need objectives to complete of course. Mostly, you will be going after the enemy, at other times it might be that you need to search or activate certain buildings.


Now that you know your objectives, it is time to move around. You can choose to give everyone separate orders or you can select a group and attach them to a certain key. Even more, when you build certain buildings, you can click on a shortcut, so you don’t have to return to your home base very time. Moving and attacking troops is done with right clicking, which is used in quite a lot of games. Next to that, you can give your soldiers certain orders, like following someone else or patrol the perimeter.

As stated before, there are several races you can play with. Following the storyline, you will first start out with the Nova with your battle against the YX for example, but you can choose any race when playing multiplayer or versus A.I.. Every species has its own particular way of working. To give you an idea, the Noxx uses nuclei to make their troops and every one can change itself to an improved version.

When taking a look at the ‘versus A.I.’, it is clear that you can do loads of things. You can choose which race, color of flag and the amount of A.I. you’ll be competing against. Depending on how much ‘people’ you chose, you can pick several maps with a variety of resource nodes. The same goes for the multiplayer levels, as you can go 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 or co-op against A.I.. At any rate, when you’re fighting against A.I. or doing the story missions, you can always choose the difficulty level. You can pick ‘Easy’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Hard’, determing how hard your strategy will be under pressure.

Before you actually jump into the game, it might be a good idea to check out the tutorial level. You can take a look at an overview of every race and play a tutorial level to get into the different gameplay elements.


It has to be said though, the troops you control aren’t that well programmed. For example, when you set a destination path, it will go in a straight line. This means that, if one of your buildings is in the way, it won’t take a detour but keep on running into the obstacle. This is a shame though, as you might be expecting reinforcements in battles, when they are actually wasting time by bashing their heads against a building.

Something else quite annoying is that there are major lag spikes when two large groups of soldiers clash. You will experience quite a frame drop, making it quite hard to give decent orders and it might even lead to your defeat.


Nightside will take your strategical mind on an extraterrestial trip. Be ready to help the Nova while trying to stay alive for yourself. While doing this, you’ll be guided by some great ingame graphics but repeating tunes. Overall, there are enough things for you to explore and build. Running around with your troops might get a bit tedious at times as they tend to get stuck at certain places. At any rate, if you’re into RTS, you might want to reconsider this title.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
Nightside - Review, 8.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Faster than lightning

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