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Nightingale for PC is a shared world survival crafting game set in an alternative Victorian world. Sort of Minecraft gone fantasy shared world survival, if you like. Your character is stranded beyond our world, cut off by the sudden collapse of the arcane portal network and must learn to navigate in this new and rather dangerous world…

About the Game

The game begins, as most survival games do, with you in a pretty basic set-up – the bare minimum is given to you. Some sticks, the ability to make fire, and a list of items to forage and quest for to get you to the next, slightly more comfortable level of shelter/ food/ clothing etc. However, unlike most survival games, the emphasis is not on the endless grind, and it isn’t long before you are well-dressed and living in a comfortable home.
But you’re not content with that – there is always more to improve upon or upgrade or get more of. From the bare basics of survival, it doesn’t take long for us to add comfort, beauty and opulence – even fun! – to our list of ‘must-haves’ and this game knowingly exploits that trait to very good effect.

There is a storyline that you are playing along, but the journey is ninety percent of the fun, so don’t rush to complete quests and stages – take your time, explore and try out all your new gizmos and gadgets as you go! There are many realms which you will be able to access, some are pivotal to the main storyline, but others are just for fun – enjoy all of them!
The game is all about survival, however, so even when you are richly dressed and wealthy, you must make sure you take the time to eat well, rest properly, heal from harms and even dress appropriately for the weather (which is very changeable within the game!) – pretty much like in real life!

Nightingale is a city in an alternate version of Victorian times, and you are a realm-walker, able to cross to different realms through portals. This is possible due to the relationship between humans and the magical Fae folk. Humans have achieved great things with the help of magic – but they would have achieved these same things without help, so the relationship is something of a touchy one!
Nightingale is the centre of magical studies and is the place from which the Realmwalkers arose – these being human adventurers who could use and control Fae portals to other realms. However, in 1889, some terrible miasma has arisen, the Pale, which has catastrophically disrupted the Portals, leaving people stranded in realms they were just visiting or – worse – merely passing through.

Survivors must learn to become Realmwalkers if they want to ever return to their homes… But the battle to do this is laid against the Fae Winter and Summer Courts, competing factions who aren’t really bothered – either way – about the petty worries and attempts of humans – something like an early human trying to tiptoe around a cataclysmic battle between a sabre-toothed tiger and a giant sloth without getting squished in between them!
There are plenty of creatures and animals who do take a great interest in you though. From friendly giants to hungry wolf packs to mythical monsters and so much more, you will have plenty to keep you occupied – and then you will run up against the Bound with whom there is no peace, no trading and no deals…

One thing you will have to do fairly early on is choose a home realm, which is where you will spend a fair amount of time building and upgrading, and making yourself a home – although you will build other bases as you travel further afield. Your home realm is where you will return to when you are killed in game.
One other major change from other survival games is the existence of NPCs who offer help, guidance and useful rewards like ingredients, schematics and more – you are not alone and forced into fending for yourself, which can make basic survival a lot more fun.

The Nitty Gritty

The devs are careful to refute any ‘steam-punk’ descriptors, but the graphics are wonderfully steampunk-adjacent, as well as being gothic and Victorian, with more than a strong hint of Lovecraft. The worlds are gorgeous and well worth exploring, especially with your magical Mary Poppinsesque flying umbrella.
Combat, when it occurs, is fast and intense, but do be careful as your ammo is tightly limited and many of the bigger enemies must be hit quite precisely, in weak points, rather than just blasted into oblivion with a stream of poorly aimed bullets.
One main function you will do is to collect realm cards to open up and equip new realms (see more about these procedurally generated worlds below). Also, learn to get along with other characters in the game: co-operation between players is still the best way to craft, farm, build, and survive, but that decision is entirely up to you – you can, if you want to, shoot everything on sight!

Look out for a number of real-life Victorian heroes, such as the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace (who was, coincidentally Lord Byron’s daughter) who lives out a much more satisfying existence than her real life, which was cut short by tuberculosis (consumption as it was known in those days) – she is a lead scientist in Nightingale.
Fictional characters find a home here too: Alan Quartermain, hero of books like King Solomon’s Mines and She is the head of the Explorer’s Guild, a most appropriate appointment for him! Henry Hyde, who has touches of Dr Jekyll appear from time to time is in the game, as are a number of favourite literary and historical characters, so keep your eyes open for them!
The end goal is to connect every single realm once again, and you can play with or without your friends: the entire universe is at your fingertips. To get to other realms, however, you’ll need both technology and cards. You can play with up to six players per realm and the more players you have, the easier you will find some challenges, so be sure to bring more friends along when you tackle bigger challenges!
There is full character customisation so you can play as any gender, ethnicity, aesthetic that you like – you are only limited by your imagination!

More About Realm Cards

As you progress through the game, you’ll eventually find realm cards. These are your key to other realms, and in each is a small chance to control where your next realm portal will take you.

  • Sneak Peek! Before you use the card, you can peep through a small window to see the potential realm on the other side. You can check out the atmosphere, animal life and a whole lot more before you commit to traveling there
  • Environment: Realm cards allow you to set the environment of the realm you’re heading into
  • Weather: Play weather god and set the perfect weather for your needs!
  • Creatures: Make the animals cute and small and friendly, or opt for huge, powerful beasts of burden! See what creatures you can make by experimenting gently
  • Resources: If you are running low on crafting supplies, you can boost the realm’s supply so you can top off your inventory to keep you going a bit longer
These realm cards are fantastic as they offer so much choice to the player, because they can be combined, if desired, to create an even greater challenge.