Chapter One: Introduction
Breeders of the Nephelym: Alpha is a lewd open world breeding game with RPG elements available on Steam. To be honest, I lost track of time while playing this game. I spent a significant portion of my time grinding or running back and forth. I hated nine out of ten minutes of gameplay — but if you were to look up a guide, I suspect the game would take about five or six hours to complete.
Chapter Two: Gameplay (2/5★)
Section One: Overview
As the newest breeder in Lyrcea, you are tasked with breeding as many “nephelym” as possible. Lyrcea is home to fourteen different species, all of whom eager to breed at will.
It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to bring them home, but if you want to travel beyond “Lustwood” you’ll need to (un)buckle down and fulfil breeding requests for the residents of Lyrcea!
Section Two: Customization
Various features of your breeder may be customized from top to bottom; the game offers support for chubby, flat and “stacked” ladies alike! Unfortunately, controls for the “Face” are limited. It’s difficult to create anything too far removed from a vanilla breeder.
Shown is the default breeder, a nice “in between” body type to show what’s possible.
You’d think there would be a menu for prepicked “color swatches”, but instead players have to fumble about with teeny tiny RGB charts. I like having the option to fine tune colors, but I don’t enjoy fumbling around for “natural colors”. I thought about making some sort of exotic “elf”, but I played it safe with a “human” character just in case she is referred to as such in-game.
As it turns out, I was right. Good thing I tried to make Samus from Metroid instead!
I had a hard time preventing clipping between my breeder and her clothes. I had to go back through my customizations and reverse problematic sliders. Fortunately clothes are optional, but it made me realize there is no way to adjust the “fit” of cosmetics. Something like “adjust panties” and “widen shorts” would have been a godsend to preserve my breeder’s original shape.
Section Three: Progression
When a breeder or a captured nyphelym have sex, they gain “experience” towards a “level up”. Leveling up increases “lust”, allowing more sex to be had before waiting until the next day. Levels are most important for breeders; after having “wild sex” with nephelym, successful captures are based on each party’s “stats”. Whoever climaxes first loses!
The quality of nephelym is determined by “rarity”. However, only “common” nephelym with common “traits” are available until their respective “worlds” are leveled up. To level up a world, nephelym must be captured and released in large quantities.
In the following clip, my breeder is taken by surprise as I search for for desirable traits.
Section Four: Exploration
Most of the world is blocked off via “Cockblock Gates”, barriers to be unlocked using “keystones”. Each keystone is guarded by a “blessed nephelym” with a “special request”. Special requests typically involve catching, breeding and leveling up a nephelym with specific genitalia and “traits”. But nephelym and quest objectives are too far apart with too little to do in between.
In fact, I watched full episodes of Family Guy while sprinting between requests!
Don’t get me wrong, Lyrcea is a beautiful place to see. . . but I got real tired of running back and forth between my “Homestead” and increasingly distant nephelym. Granted, there are “teleportation stones”, but they’re locked until visiting all worlds (on foot) — which entails unlocking all Cockblock Gates. What’s the point of teleportation if I already beat the game?
Until you figure out where you’re supposed to go, it’s easy to get lost in areas of little gameplay value. I found myself jumping off ledges to make my breeder “faint” just to respawn closer to my nephelym. I wish there was a map with “fast travel” like the Elder Scrolls series.
Section Five: Balance
I didn’t think I’d be discussing “balance” in this game, but depending on your luck it can be a nightmare. Naturally, “quests” in this game are based on catching nyphelym. Quest-givers are only interested in specific “traits” that are randomly selected as nephelym are spawned.
For example, Kybele the Centaur, requests a “Vulwarg fleshy in the right areas”. Waiting for the correct Vulwark was a test of patience. It didn’t take me long to grow weary of “Wild Sex!” and constantly returning to my “Homestead” to recharge my breeder’s lust. I figured increasing the quality of Vulwark spawns by catching and releasing them would be a good idea.
I figured it’d be a “good idea” until I realized how long it would take.
The first world upgrade per species costs about eighty nephelym, and the next upgrade a smidge over 140. To unlock “rare” spawns, that’s over 200 captures for each species.
For completionists, consider there are fourteen capturable species.
Ultimately, this mechanic burned me out. I ended up catching bulk nephelym via “milk” and “semen” to skip animations and try to salvage my motivation.
Is this how players are intended to play the game?
When I realized leveling up is the only way to discover “rare” Nyphelym, the thrill of the hunt wore off. I felt like I was being punished until I caught and released enough nephelym. Breeders of the Nephelym may be free to play on Steam, but that doesn’t mean it needs predatory “freemium” mechanics to grip player attention. What’s next DerelictHelmsman, microtransactions?
Chapter Three: Sexual Content (3/5★)
Section One: Content
Nyphylyms come in all shapes and sizes, from half-sized to colossal (like nine feet colossal!) Not restricted to “mostly human” monster girls, the game features centaurs, futas, furries and tentacles too, so there’s definitely a nyphelym for everyone!
Not all sexual content is consensual, but all parties are happy to fuck at will (regardless of sex) — but if you’re not interested in “wild sex”, surprise content can be disabled via the “settings” menu. Additionally, futas and males can also be disabled. If you’re unwilling to see any dicks on your Nyphylym, “milk” may be purchased instead of “harvested” if needed.
Other than light BDSM, the sex-scenes don’t pander to any particular fetishes. Breeders of the Nephelym: Alpha is a surprisingly vanilla experience (in spite of well, nephelym).
Section Two: Implementation
Sex consumes “lust”, which is restored by sleeping. When your breeder runs out of lust, she will “faint” forcing them to pay the nearest “Reaper” a visit. As your breeder practices sex, they’ll “level up”, gaining increased lust. Eventually, sex costs little to no lust (reducing the need to sleep).
Whenever a female (or futa) character has sex with a male (or futa) character, there’s a chance for the receiver to be impregnated. Breeding nephelym is the name of the game; this mechanic allows the player combine species and “traits” to fulfill assorted requests.
To unlock new sex positions, you must seek a nephelym known as “Pawsmaati”. She can be found throughout Lyrcea, waiting for adventurous breeders with sufficient “favor”. Favor is earned by “ascending” captured nephelym, which is equivalent to setting them free.
As if “leveling up” worlds wasn’t enough mindless capturing and releasing.
Section Three: Interactivity
The sex-scenes are not interactive. After choosing a position and a partner, the only say players have is “advance”, playing the next available animation and sound effects (if any).
Section Four: Quality
The animation is alright, but monotony and lack of player agency hose the experience. The animations get old — I can’t imagine completing the game “as intended” by soliciting sex hundreds, if not thousands of times with what little animations are available.
It’s worth mentioning there are no children or birthing animations in this game. If you’re interested in watching nephelym “grow up” or oviposition, you’re going to be disappointed. I don’t imagine DerelictHelmsman has any plans on adding either to the game.
Chapter Four: Story (2/5★)
Section One: Overview
As the new breeder in Lyrcea, “home to the Nephelym, an enigmatic race of human-monster hybrids”, it is “your job to catch and mate as many Nephelym as possible!”
As far as I could tell, there is no significant story telling in the game. There’s some lore on the creation of nephelym and the role of “demons” in the world, but the player character is just. . . there. They aren’t saving the world or doing anything important. But as the only human on Lyrcea everybody is interested in a piece of their ass (or cock, depending on what you make!)
But it’s worth mentioning I didn’t complete the game, so maybe there’s something I missed.
Section Two: Characters
Going off of the breeder’s responses, it’s clear Lyrcea isn’t anything they aren’t expecting. Though occasionally confounded by its inhabitants, armed with a teenage libido confusion is quickly overturned when pussy is at stake!
Chapter Five: Sound (3/5★)
Section One: Soundtrack
The character-creation music is overbearing. My ears suggested I was in space, nearing some singularity — but no, I was trying to figure out a decent fucking color.
Otherwise, the music is thematically whimsical. Dominated by a slow paced number with occasional vocalization, Lyrcea sells itself as a fantastic land with many sights to see (and appropriately so!) Although, it becomes grating after a few hours of gameplay.
I feel the vocals should be reserved for specific regions — such as the “Temple”.
Section Two: Sound Effects
The ambience is wonderful. All of the running water, bugs and birds dramatically improves the believability of the world as a paradise which nymphomaniacs roam.
But I can’t say the same about notifications — they become annoying by playing too often.
Section Two: Sound Effects
The voice acting is. . . okay I guess. Only female characters are voiced, there are no spoken words, and they share a handful of moans. Hearing two or more sexual animations play side by side with the exact same voices is jarring.
Chapter Six: Visuals (2/5★)
Section One: User-interface
The user-interface could use a little polish, but it’s easy to navigate (and that’s what’s most important). Catching and comparing nephelym feels like managing Pokémon. The iconography and minimalist design fail to convey “fantasy” themes, but if I’m being honest there are much bigger problems with the game than icons.
I do think, however, character stats (shown) should be automatically expanded while breeding.
Section Two: Graphics
Lyrcea is a beautiful world. Rife with exotic fauna and tiered landscapes, it’s a delight to go sightseeing (well, until it becomes a chore). It made me wish the game featured some kind of “photo mode” to capture the beauty of the land. It’d be a lot of fun to grab some “selfies” while hunting and “catching” nephelym!
The animations are unfortunately pretty rough. Running, stopping and turning are slippery, and jumping is stiff. As your breeder catches air time, they will freeze into position until hitting the ground.
When Nephelym aren’t fucking, they’re typically either standing in place or walking towards their next hook up. I know wild nephelym are only supposed to have “roughly the intelligence of animals”, but you’d think they’d do something, anything other than stand, walk and fuck. It reminds me of playing a modded Skyrim, but much less immersive.
The following image shows what nephelym do until playing a sexual animation.
Chapter Seven: Verdict (2/5★)
Breeders of the Nephelym: Alpha is a cool concept, but it’s not worth the grind or frustration (even if it’s free). If you don’t follow a guide from start to finish, the slog that’s running back and forth and catching unwanted nephelym is unbearable. It’s fun to mix, match, and min-max captured nephelym. . . but once you’ve no doubt seen all of the non-interactive sexual content, reskinned “monster-human hybrids” lose their luster before completing the game. Breeders of the Nephelym: Alpha is a chore which burned me out several times during the making of this article.
But as the name suggests, Breeders of the Nephelym: Alpha is early in development. The game is positively worth keeping an eye on — but save yourself from frustration and come back when the game is renamed to “Breeders of the Nephelym: Beta“.
Section One: Gameplay
DerelictHelmsman could learn alot from the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
There could be “wandering merchants” that buy and sell milk and semen, bridging the distance between nephelym and the Hedon Township. It’d be interesting to see them escort captured Nephelym, perhaps available for trade or purchase.
There could be nephelym “followers”, allowing the player to garner “goods and services” on the go!
I would like to see harvestable plants such as exotic fruits and herbs to grant the player temporary buffs. If an inventory system was implemented, harvestable items could serve as “treats” to bribe, seduce or even temporarily modify nyphelym.
I’m sure there are more ideas that could be adapted from the Elder Scrolls games, but I think what I’ve provided should be more than enough to keep DerelictHelmsman busy.
Section Two: Visuals
Add a “pause” menu that actually pauses the fucking game, especially during sexual animations; what am I supposed to do if my phone rings, or if someone’s at the door?
As much as I enjoy wandering aimlessly, not everybody is keen to wasting their time. I recommend a system to point players in the right direction. For example, a mini-map with markers would be a great UI addition.
Alternatively, something along the lines of “clairvoyance” may better suit the relatively uncluttered screen.
And for the love of the Divines, add some form of “objectives” or “quest log” to the game. Had I not documented the introduction, I would have been clueless on where to go. Fortunately, I’ve played this game before. I already knew that I needed to purchase “buildings” before attempting to capture Nephylym and be prepared to buy and sell “milk” and “cum”.
Section Three: Sexual Content
I wish “wild sex” was more. . . wild. It’s jarring to see two characters standing still and then all of the sudden scissoring on the ground. It’d be fun to see aggressors (for lack of a better word) push or restrain their targets before playing a “Wild Sex” animation.