Project Nomads is a computer game by Radon Labs released in 2002. It is set on the fictional planet Aeres, a fantastic world of gigantic floating islands, which are the remnants of the planet from before it exploded. After Aeres broke apart, the few surviving inhabitants settled on the drifting fragments of the planet. You are a nomad, a restless soul forever in pursuit of adventure. You wander across the planet on your island, discovering mysterious artifacts and exploring the ruins of the long dead race of Master Builders. The only place to fall to is the Sea of Flames, the very bottom level of this new world.
Project Nomads won the ECTS Best PC Game of the Show Award 2001
The majority of the game is spent on the player's floating island. At the beginning of the game, the island sports only a single control tower which is used to navigate. Throughout the course of the game, players can upgrade their island by building various structures ranging from defensive cannons to power plants that supply energy.
Structures are created with the help of so-called artifacts, magical remnants of an era long gone. Artifacts can be found throughout the game. Some are hidden, others are in plain sight, and some are handed to the player by NPCs. When activated, an artifact quickly deploys into a building.
There are two types of artifacts. Both are used to create buildings, but while red artifacts are lost when the building they created is destroyed, blue artifacts will reappear in place of the destroyed structure. Multiple artifacts of the same type can be combined to create a more powerful version. For instance, two defensive turret artifacts when combined will unfurl into a level two defensive turret which unlike the level one turret will engage threats automatically. Combining two of those artifacts will yield a level three defensive turret sporting dual cannons for twice the firepower.
Building is simple, the player selects an artifact stored in his or her belt and then selects the part of the island where the structure will be placed (certain structures, such as hangars, are limited to certain spots on the island). Also, a building cannot be created if the player's character is standing in the way. The island has energy, this energy is used for things like construction, or operating buildings on the island such as the gun towers, or repairs. The island also has health, which is represented by the state of a player's lighthouse. If the island's health is low, and the player cannot repair the lighthouse in time, the island will collapse and plummet.
The island structures will be different depending on the character chosen by the player. The structures used by the character Susie, for example, look similar to plants (e.g. gun tower resembles a mushroom). Goliath's buildings, however, appear to very high tech (gun tower looks like a cannon on a turret). The player's character choice also affects the strategy the player will employ. For example, the guns fired by Goliath's island are slow moving, but very powerful. The largest threat to a player using Goliath would be swift enemies, such as enemy fighters. Meanwhile, a player using Goliath would have an easier time when under attack by enemy towers or islands.
Certain buildings, such as hangars, or gun turrets, can be directly controlled by the player. The player simply presses the appropriate key, and he or she will take control of one of those structures. Multiple presses of key will result in switching to different defensive buildings. Taking control of one of these buildings allows the player to attack enemies that are the most dangerous to the island first, or use a fighter to attack them before they can attack the island.
On occasion, the player's island will dock with other floating islands, allowing the player character to explore. Parts of the game are also spent remote-controlling a fighter jet. Throughout the course of the story, missions include getting to a specific location, escorting another island, fending off a large-scale assault, exploring other islands and dogfighting using remote-controlled planes.
The enemies a player will encounter include the Sentinels and the Skrits. The Skrits are large insects, which will try to harm a player by approaching him or her, and exploding to release a toxic gas. Skrits are most commonly seen walking, however some Skrits can fly, and both are a threat to the player and that player's island. Unlike the Skrits, the Sentinels fight with machines. The Sentinels have some of the same weapons as the player, such as armed islands, and fighter planes.