In the shadowy corners of the gaming universe, Sunnyside Games introduces “Nocturnal”, a side-scrolling action platformer with a dash of puzzles. As a seasoned gamer, I’ve had the pleasure of diving into this immersive world, and I’m here to share my experience via this review on Windows PC.
The Hero’s Quest: A Journey Through Fire and Darkness
Nocturnal is a harmonious marriage of fire and darkness. The protagonist, armed with a sword that can be ignited with flame, battles against shadowy creatures and tangible foes alike. The game’s stunning graphics and immersive gameplay make it a captivating adventure, setting it apart from other titles in the genre.
Our hero, Ardeshir, the “Soldier of the Enduring Flame”, returns from a gruelling journey to find his island home shrouded in a mysterious fog. This narrative is a refreshing departure from the typical ‘save the princess’ trope, adding a layer of intrigue to the gameplay.
Combat and Challenges: A Test of Skill and Strategy
Fire is Ardeshir’s primary weapon against the shadow; he can ignite his sword and use it to light other objects like braziers and torches. However, the sword’s flame is short-lived, and finding sources of fire to rekindle it becomes a constant challenge. This mechanic, unique to “Nocturnal”, adds a strategic element to the gameplay that keeps you on your toes.
The foggy shadow that pervades parts of the island poses a sinister problem. It begins to harm Ardeshir if he doesn’t have fire to fend it off. This element of danger enhances the game’s suspense and sets it apart from other action platformers.
The threats Ardeshir faces are diverse, ranging from standard humans wielding various weapons to shadowy creatures linked to the fog. The combat with humanoid foes is particularly enjoyable, requiring careful observation of their movements and anticipation of their attacks. The shadowy entities, though equally challenging, tend to appear in large groups deep in the darker areas of the island.
Leveling Up: The Path to Power
As Ardeshir levels up through combat and exploration, he can explore a simple yet effective skill tree. Nodes include increasing the duration of sword ignition, gaining new attacks, and using the fire on your blade for healing. This last ability becomes a key power, and balancing offence with necessary healing is crucial to some combats.
The game also features hidden letters scattered throughout, providing valuable lore about the island’s history. The island Nahran is beautifully depicted with stunning open plains and atmospheric depths to explore. The emergence from the depths feels like a breath of fresh air, making Nocturnal a focused action-adventure game that subtly borrows its storytelling and contemplative characters from the likes of Dark Souls.
Verdict: An Engaging Adventure for Puzzle and Action Fans
Its puzzles offer a decent challenge, and the combat is engaging, always forcing careful choices between aggression, avoiding environmental threats, and defence. Whether you’re an adventurer or a puzzle fan, Nocturnal promises an engaging and atmospheric experience. In our review, i am giving Nocturnal 7.8 out of 10. The game is available via the Nintendo Game Store, Sony PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam and is compatible with PC, PS5, Xbox Series & Nintendo Switch.
For a closer look at the gameplay, check out this gameplay video from the official launch trailer.
About The Author
Stephen is the proud owner of a popular gaming news website GLN, where he provides the latest updates on everything gaming-related. With a passion for video games that dates back to his childhood, Stephen is dedicated to sharing his knowledge and expertise with fellow gamers around the world.