Nocturion – Vesuvius Media – Review

The race for resources leading to prestigious quests is tight and builds tension in a good way.  This is a solid game with a fascinating seasonal resource mechanism.

Heather Swanson



Theme and What is it?


The Empire of Evergreen has been devastated by Elementals and now needs restoration.  Who can take on such a feat?

The powerful noble houses are the only ones with the power and resources to make Evergreen great again.  The only problem is they don’t get along. 

The emperor has a plan.  He decides to make the restoration of the land a competition.  Whichever house does best will become Chief Advisor and Steward of the Capital.

Gameplay Mechanics


Nocturion takes place over a series of years based on the number of players.  Whichever player has earned the most prestige points at the end of game will be the winner.

The heart of the game is in resource management and set collection.  Collecting the right combination of these resources leads to accomplishments with gain prestige.

Dice are used to select which of the 4 areas of the Empire will be activated.  Some dice manipulation can occur using different abilities as well as reserving dice for a later time.  

Beasts can be summoned to the noble houses to cause certain effects or attack opponents.  The fighting is not a predominant mechanism in the game but can interrupt fellow players plans of gaining prestige.

I find the tracking of the seasons and associated resource production mechanism fascinating.  There is an arrow that travels along a square path in the center of the board.  Each side of the square represents a season.

If you activate an area in the quadrant of the empire while the side of the arrow labeled “x2” is pointing that direction you gain double the resource.  Meanwhile, resources in the opposite direction are refreshed.

Initial Impressions


My very first impression of Nocturion was built on the box cover.  I just didn’t like it.  From a distant the box is so dark I can’t even tell what is on the cover.

My bias is that I’m not a fan of dark games.  Still, I know I can’t judge a game by its cover so let’s get on to what I thought once I opened the box.

I was surprised to find much lighter artwork on the components. I liked the game board and LOVED the beasts.  Immediately it felt like the cover of the box went to a different game.

I got excited about playing when I saw the player mats.  It reminded me of Arcadia Quest which I’ve really enjoyed.  

Game Build Quality


The game build quality is great.  Everything fits in the box nicely.  The instruction booklet is large, clear, and concise.

I like that the cards are different sizes and shapes.  It makes distinguishing between card types easier.  

The resources are on cardboard but I can see a nice upgrade would be to move to wood.  It isn’t a necessity though.

Artistic Direction


I absolutely love the art in this game.  I wish the cover of the box reflected a brighter cheerier choice.

The fantasy theme in board gaming today is flooded with same-y art.  However, Nocturion brings some unique pictures to the scene.  I added one painting up above that reminded me of something from Star Wars.

The artist is no slouch.  The creativity and variety of the art is refreshing.  

Fun Factor


I’m a real fan of games with seasons.  I really enjoyed the way the year progresses in this game.  The mechanism for resource production in different areas of the empire is really clever.

I liked getting new beasts and playing them but not always crazy about their effects.  I wasn’t a fan of all the cursing-other-players aspect.  I tried to avoid doing that kind of thing to opponents when I could.  That was a drawback over all.


Age Range & Weight


The choices in the game are fairly limited each turn.  This makes for a light game and accessible for anyone old enough with a 40-70 minute attention span.  However, I would not play this with my kids because of the heavy leaning on cursing opponents.

The game is aptly listed at 14+.  It isn’t a difficult game, but it has values I don’t want my kids playing with.



Nocturion has a fascinating seasonal mechanism and beautiful artwork.  There are great components in the box and easy-to-understand rules.

The drawbacks of the game for me don’t really have to do with the mechanisms.  This game is a bit light for my taste in a game with a long play time.  Also, I’m self imposing limits on the game when I hold back on cursing opponents.  It’s just not my thing.

You are going to enjoy Nocturion if you want a light strategy game with beautiful artwork.  The race for resources leading to prestigious quests is tight and builds tension in a good way.  This is a solid game with a fascinating seasonal resource mechanism.