Nocturnal Keyart

Nocturnal: Review

I’ve always had a thing for games that make you feel like you’re holding onto the last spark of hope in a world covered in shadows. That’s why Nocturnal hit a special chord with me. It felt as if I’d stumbled into a tale where every step could be my last unless I kept my trusty fire alive.

Homecoming with a Twist

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The moment you step into Ardeshir’s boots, it’s clear that this isn’t a happy homecoming. The game doesn’t waste time throwing you into the deep end. Nahran, once familiar and warm, is now held captive by a creeping darkness and an army that shows no mercy.

As I guided Ardeshir through the game, his journey blossomed into more than just a fight for survival. It became personal. The people he comes across, the bits and pieces of his past unraveling – it made me care. This wasn’t just another soldier’s story; it was a battle for his soul, his family, and every innocent shadow caught in this fight.

A Flame to Fight the Dark

Nocturnal shines, quite literally, with its play on light and dark. The flames aren’t just a weapon against the enemies; they’re your lifeline. The world around you is teeming with danger – dark pits that gulp up light, creatures that wouldn’t blink before tearing you apart. But the fire, oh the fire, it’s your faithful friend through it all.

As I delved deeper into Nahran’s temples and caves, the puzzles started to show their true colors. Simple at first glance, they soon had me scratching my head, playing with shadows and light beams to carve out a path. And when the flames weren’t enough, the sword was my trusty fill-in – not as magical, but just as sharp.

Fight or Flight?

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Enemies, they’re a mixed bag. Some come at you with blades, giving you that thrilling rush as you dodge and weave. Others keep their distance, tossing spells from afar, testing your patience and your reflexes. I had to learn when to fight, when to flee, and when to use my fire to tip the scales.

But it’s not all ahead-on brawls. The mists have a few tricks up their sleeves, with baddies that lob dark orbs or leave you stunned and vulnerable. Running low on fire? Better make a run for the closest light, or it’s the end of the line. I quickly learned to keep the flames close, to nurture them, upgrade them at the right moments, and use them to lick my wounds clean after a fight.

Not a Straight Line

The journey? It’s not just straight from point A to B. Nahran is full of secrets, of hidden tomes that whisper stories of the sacred fire and the island’s history. And while these stories pulled me in, craving to learn more, the game’s flow had its ups and downs. There were moments when I felt lost, spinning in circles, before a lightbulb moment showed me the way – a solution that felt like it was hiding in plain sight all along.

More Than Battles

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No, Nocturnal isn’t just about fighting. There’s a deeper tale here, a soldier’s heartache, a brother’s worry, all wrapped up in a visually striking world that merges beauty with sorrow. Music that stirs your soul, that keeps you moving just to hear the next note.

But every rose has its thorns. There were times frustration crept in, not just from a tough fight but from puzzles that seemed to relish in my confusion. Yet, when I’d conquer those challenges, the relief and triumph were all the sweeter.


I’ll be honest – Nocturnal isn’t a long game. Some may breeze through it in an afternoon; for others, it’s an adventure savored over a few evenings. But don’t mistake its brevity for a lack of depth. There’s a richness here in every shadow, every flame, every fight that stays with you.

If there was one thing I wished for more, it was the narrative, the backstory that sometimes felt too scattered, too elusive. I yearned to know more, to dive deeper into Ardeshir’s past, the mystery of the Mist, the history of the Island. It’s the old storyteller’s trick – leave them wanting more.

Nocturnal is a must-play for those who love a challenge, who relish the push and pull of survival against all odds. For those who can read between the lines of shadows and see the stories they tell. So, grab your flame, face the darkness, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find a piece of yourself in Ardeshir’s struggle, too.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.