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Sebastion Mauldin

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Moonlight Pulse Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In 2023, I was on the Pax show floor on the hunt for the best and brightest games that would go on my most anticipated games list. There were some that caught my eye for different reasons, and I remember that I had an appointment to go see and play Kill the Princess, which was a game that would go on to be one of my favorite of 2023, and I remember walking away from that appointment blown away and then another game caught my eye. The game had a cool artstyle that had vibrant colors and there were these cool animals and that was enough to draw me over to the game’s booth. Upon closer inspection I quickly guessed that the game was a Metroidvania and wondered if this would be a game that would stand out in that stacked genre. I talked to the Devs and checked out the game a bit. Afterwards I walked away from the game’s booth knowing that some day when the game came out that I was going to check it out. Well the time has come and here is my Moonlight Pulse Review.

Let’s dive into it.

MoonLight Pulse Review - Image 1
MoonLight Pulse Review – Image 1

The Narrative:

In Moonlight Pulse, players embark on a mesmerizing journey through an otherworldly realm contained within the colossal frame of a spacefaring turtle. Serving as valiant members of the Curative Agents, gamers traverse pulsating veins, sparking neurons, and perilous hazards, all while combating a relentless swarm of interstellar parasites. The game weaves a surprisingly dark narrative, punctuated by captivating twists and enriched by well-crafted dialogue and memorable characters.

While I don’t think this is a contender for the narrative of the year, it is compelling. I also want to give kuddos to the game for attempting to provide a narrative, which is more than what I could say for a lot of games in the Metroidvania genre.

MoonLight Pulse Review - Image 2
MoonLight Pulse Review – Image 2

The Gameplay:

Gamers are immersed in fluid 2D platforming dynamics featuring a unique twist: the option to seamlessly switch between four different characters at any moment. Each character possesses specialized skills for both combat and exploration, enriching gameplay with strategic options. Valuable collectibles introduce equipable items and upgrades, heightening the gaming experience, while challenging boss battles require quick reflexes and keen pattern recognition. Additionally, the innovative fast travel mechanism, utilizing the creature’s veins, further enhances the game’s immersive quality.

Let’s talk about the game’s fun factor. Moonlight Pulse has a pick up and play quality to it and while I did have some qualms I found that I was having fun more that I was sour on the game so that’s a plus. The platforming feels floaty with precision, the combat provides a light challenge, and the enemy variety is enough to keep you on your toes.

MoonLight Pulse Review - Image 3
MoonLight Pulse Review – Image 3

Additional Pros:

Moonlight Pulse features stunning pixel art graphics, accompanied by captivating music and unexpectedly impressive storytelling. The exploration aspect offers gratifying rewards, while the combat mechanics stand out as robust and the controls are exceptionally responsive. However, the process of switching between characters could be streamlined for smoother gameplay. With a relatively brief duration of 5-7 hours, the game delivers a succinct yet satisfying journey. It opts for quality over quantity, ensuring a memorable experience without overstaying its welcome.

Moonlight Pulse Review - Image 4
Moonlight Pulse Review – Image 4


While Moonlight Pulse excels in various areas, it does occasionally fall short in others. Some portions of the game’s map may appear overly intricate and inflexible, diminishing the immersive quality by lacking an organic feel. Moreover, the lack of optional bosses is noticeable, limiting opportunities for additional challenges and diverse gameplay. Certain aspects of the blood vessel-focused fast travel system can be frustrating and appear arbitrary, leading to repetitive backtracking on occasion. Although boss battles are engaging, they might not offer the desired level of difficulty for certain players, often concluding after only a few attempts.

Additionally, the game encounters typical challenges associated with titles centered around character swapping. Once the player accumulates more than two characters, it becomes less straightforward to ensure the selection of the correct one, although overall, the experience remains satisfactory. Maneuvering between characters using bumpers on a controller with four characters proved to be cumbersome. Implementing a selection wheel or similar interface would have significantly alleviated this issue.

I also would have love to have been a clearer understanding on where to go next. I get that in Metroidvanias there is a troupe that you have to discover the game’s secrets and you won’t be told were to go. That said having an option that provided hits or an option to have the next main objective on the map would have been much appreciated.

Moonlight Pulse Review - Image 5
Moonlight Pulse Review – Image 5

Overall/Should you Play Moonlight Pulse:

Moonlight Pulse offers a solid metroidvania experience, highlighted by its engaging character swapping mechanic and memorable protagonists. While the game’s short length might be a negative to some and the blood vessel fast travel system caused some occasional frustrations, its unique setting, solid gameplay, and intriguing narrative make it a recommended experience. Despite some minor shortcomings, Moonlight Pulse delivers an enjoyable adventure that leaves a lasting impression. This a good pick up and play experience on the Steam Deck.

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Reviewed on PC

Disclaimer: Review code provided by PR/publisher.
Sebastion Mauldin

Moonlight Pulse Review


Indie game, Action game, Adventure, Metroidvania


The Artstyle, The Various Playable Characters, The Creative Areas, Works Well on Steam Deck


The Levels Feel Overly Intricate, The Game Might be Too Short for Some,


Seafloor Games LLC


Steam, Itch


April 26, 2024

Overall Rating: