I am a huge lover of the Playstation one generation, and when I saw that developer A Grumpy Fox and publisher Deck13 were releasing A platformer that was inspired by the 32-bit era consoles like PS1 and Sega Saturn I was immediately intrigued. Usually classic 32-bit platformers were rather clunky back in the day, but with Lunistice, the devs have kept the retro aesthetic but also modernised the controls. At times it feels like the 3D Sonic the Hedgehog game we have always dreamed on! The story of the game sees you playing as Hana the Tanuki as she travels through her dreams across a variety of dreamscapes on the way to The Moon so she can solve the mystery of "The Lunistice". There isn't a whole lot to the plot, but that's not a bad thing, with documents that can be uncovered throughout each of the levels that will add to the narrative.
Graphically the game features gorgeously vibrant, blocky graphics that looked like they are ripped straight from A Sega Saturn classic. They are bright and colourful and added to the cool sound design make it an absolute joy to experience.
Gameplay is simple but fun, with you running through linear levels building up your speed whilst avoiding obstacles and enemies. While not exactly the same, it definitely reminds me of the early 3D Sega Dreamcast Sonic games. Whilst you can sprint through a majority of the levels in a few minutes, there are a selection of detours that can be take along the path as well as a host of collectibles to find. There are paper birds littered throughout the levels as well as more tricky letters hidden through each level (that spell out HANA) - collecting thee letters allow you to unlock more lore.
There are 7 different dreams to play through in the game, with 14 levels in total. The dreamscapes are varied, with locations like a world made out of food, a water park and an old shrine. As you progress through each of the dreamscapes new mechanics are added to give you more of a challenge.
A single playthrough will take you about 3-4 hours, and while that doesn't seem too long, there are multiple reasons for you to jump back in and replay. You can try and beat the levels with your fastest times and highest completion to get an S-Rank on every stage and there are also additional characters that you can replay the entire game with, each with their own unique skills and abilities.
Lunistice is a solid little platformer that's filled with great controls, fun level design and fantastic retro inspired graphics and audio. Whilst it keeps one foot in the past, the devs have clearly used modern improvements in game design with it's slick controls. As a linear runner platformer it scratches that itch that I have had ever since playing Sonic Adventure and I would wonder if we would ever get a fun sonic style game that actually works in 3D. Thankfully the slippy running gameplay works here and you're going to find yourself having a good time.
TOTAL SCORE: 9/10
Lunistice was released onto the Nintendo eShop on the 10th November 2022. Priced at £4.99 it can be purchased HERE. The game is also available on PC.
A copy of the game was provided for this review. A big thanks for that.