"Nightbound" has a lot in common with "Into The Dark", which was the last but one game on my playlist before. We have a hero with a conflicted past; we have the standard-ish fantasy setting; we have the RPG sensibilities involving the husbanding of resources; and we have the hypertext/choice format of the main gameplay paired with a sequence in which we wander a map defeating monsters in combat. So, what is "Nightbound" and how did I like it?
Well, "Nightbound" seems like a competently written endeavour. The backstory turns out surprisingly relevant, thematically rather than personally: not because of some personal connection between the hero and the villain, as might be expected, but because of the hero's story arc, something simmering in the background of the main story. There appear to be a number of inconsistencies regarding the hero's background, but most of these turn out to be deliberate.
I generally enjoy the RPG sensibilities of games like this. The game offers three different character classes (very RPG!) and I played two; I found, though, that the Warrior class got overly powerful very quickly, to the point where I could cut down the final boss with a single blow. In contrast, the Mage class does a fixed amount of damage per spell (even if it gets access to more powerful spells with time) and struggles to husband its ammo (magic points) without which it becomes practically defenceless. (This, incidentally, is why I always play fighter-type characters: RPGs always seem to think you can swing a sword over and over without tiring, while magic users exhaust themselves after one or two encounters.) This is particularly noticeable in the first part of the story, where there is no opportunity to rest and one must depend on the "level up" to restore one's stats.
You can pick up companions to fight with you, something taken, I think, directly from "Neverwinter Nights". I tried a couple; I don't know about all of them, but the story with Theo the hipster satyr seems to follow the exact same beats as with the "Neverwinter Nights" companions.
The implementation of the game is not without its bugs, though. At least one spell doesn't draw one the user's magic points, allowing one to keep casting it as though one were a fighter swinging a sword, and a few others erroneously report 0 damage done. The presentation of text during combat is also rather odd, with vast swathes of blank space so that I, very annoyingly, had to scroll down to find the "continue" hyperlink on a page that told me nothing more than what damage my opponent had just done to me.
The hyperlinks only get highlighted if you mouse over them. I get the reason for this: the idea is to be able to hide objects in the description text, as in a parser game, and make it part of the game to see if the player notices. But I thought it all a bit annoying.
I did enjoy the story, but I think the coding could use a bit of a bugfix, and the character classes could stand some better balancing.
As a breakfast, I call it crusty bread, farmer's sausage, and campfire coffee. It knows what it is, and it makes no apologies. The flavours are all there, but the bread is unevenly kneaded, with one side still a bit yeasty, and the coffee grounds haven't been properly strained from the coffee.