Touhou Luna Nights is a Time Bending, Knife Throwing, Fast-Paced Adventure | Nintendo Switch Review

Touhou Luna Nights

Touhou Luna Nights is an unofficial entry in the Touhou Project created by Team Shanghai Alice. Published by Phoenixx and developer Team Ladybug, Touhou Luna Nights is a 2D exploration and action game (Metroidvania-style) that was first released on Steam, but now on Nintendo Switch. The game retains all the beautifully crafted 2D pixel art and animations and levels but also includes the “Battle of Chirno” boss, which was not included in the Steam version of the game.

In Touhou Luna Nights you play as Sakuya Izayoi, a denizen of the Touhou world of Gensokyo and maid to the wily vampire Remilia Scarlet. A pawn in Remilia’s unknown plans, Sakuya suddenly finds herself fighting for her life in a parallel universe where she is has the power to manipulate time.

Gameplay in Tough Luna Nights is very good and will please those who enjoy 2D action-adventure platformers and the exploration of Metroidvania style games. Like most of these style games, basic moves include jumping and attacks, which in this case, your main weapon is a series of throwing knives. What sets this apart though is that your knives are not unlimited. They are tied to the amount of “MP” you have. Basically the more knives you throw, the more MP you lose. They do regenerate, but very slowly. You can gain MP back by stealing “graze” from enemies. You do this by getting close to them before killing them. You can also gain them back by picking up your knives that didn’t hit any enemies.

Touhou Luna Nights

You also have the ability to stop time. You can do this for a limited time and helps for some environmental puzzle elements as well as stopping enemies in their tracks. The amount of time you have that can be stopped is tied to your time meter. Again, this can also be recharged over time if you don’t use it. If you stop time and go near an enemy without killing it, you can also steal even more graze from it to refill your MP gauge.

Another way to fill up all your health and MP gauges is to use a vending machine. Coming into contact with these automatically refills everything. Save point also work in much the same way. These are designated as telephone machines and you just need to run across them to save your progress. That’s not all you get to help you along your way. You can also grab several upgrades to your basic skills as well as upgrades to your weapons.

Touhou Luna Nights

As stated above, the pixel art style remains the same as it does from the Steam version. That’s a good thing because the game is gorgeous. It has a distinct anime style and is very Japanese. The music and audio in the game is also very good and lend well to the fast paced nature of the game.

For the most part, there really isn’t anything I dislike about the Touhou Luna Nights. It’s a challenging game that starts off light, but heavily ramps up as your progress. You’re encouraged to explore and unlock upgrades and skills to level up. You’re also encouraged to save often as nothing is worse then advancing a bunch in the game, only to die and having to start over at a save point that was way back.

Touhou Luna Nights

Touhou Luna Nights is a fantastic Metroidvania. While I’ve never played any of the Touhou Project games that Tough Luna Nights is based on, I can only imagine that they probably did a great job replicating the source material and adapting it to this game. As far as I’m concerned, Touhou Luna Nights is just about perfect. It’s the perfect blend of style, gameplay, challenges, and fun to keep you interested and engaged. So with that said, I’d definitely check out Touhou Luna Nights. It’s definitely one of my top 10 indie games this year.

Touhou Luna Nights is available in the Nintendo eShop for $17.99.


Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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