Moonscars is a dark game in many ways. Its graphics, themes, and furious and bloody action all add up to create a very deep sense of doom and gloom that players will find they are unable to escape from. Each tormented and pitch-dark aspect within developer Black Mermaid’s new 2D platforming-action game feels heavy and slightly chilling when first introduced. It’s a game about tough decisions and the worst situations that can come from them. In this way, it does vaguely share the aphotic feel of some Dark Souls titles, but once the player has delved deeper into the game’s various systems, it manages to create its own identity. It weaves a horrifying tale of selfish actions and how even the best of intentions can lead to ruin. Aside from its darker themes, if platforming, gore, and magic are an enjoyable combination, players will find a fun, albeit sometimes frustrating, experience within Moonscars walls.
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Black Mermaid and publisher Humble Games waste no time introducing the themes tied to the crushing darkness, as one of the first things seen is the death of the main character, Grey Irma, with her body lying lifeless under a crescent moon. The story of Moonscars is given piecemeal, with the standard storytelling style of larger revelations occurring late in the game. Those paying attention to each interaction and dialogue between characters will be able to figure out where the story is headed somewhat quickly, though; it has an interesting take on immortality, and on the choices of those who seek something akin to it. There are a few twists that might be surprising but given the game’s brutality, none of it seems totally out of place. It should keep players interested and engaged just enough to want to see what the final outcome will be for Grey Irma.
The pixel art used in every aspect of the game, from cutscenes to character animation, is absolutely gorgeous. The stygian artistry is used to great effect with hints of bloody reds…