LadiesGamers Lunistice

Lunistice Review

Game: Lunistice
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer, Arcade
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows))
Developer|Publisher: A Grumpy Fox | Deck 13
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $4.99 | UK £4.99 | EU € 4,99
Release Date: November 10th, 2022

Review code provided with many thanks to PR Hound.

Tickle the Nostalgia

Lunistice is a 3D platformer with an appealing retro design and a low price point. I’m old enough to remember the PSone quite vividly and remember the low poly graphical style being kind of mocked, especially when things started venturing into the next-gen. It’s been quite wonderful to see indie developers take on this aesthetic and not just see it as a stepping stone in the gaming past. Lunistice is a good platformer that tickles the nostalgia but keeps those long load times in the past where they belong. 

The story is not much of a focus in the game. You begin the game observing the main character, Hana the Tanuki lying on a bed as a voiceover plays. It appears you are in some program or dream. Which is about all I could get from the narrative. There’s no big evil to defeat. Your goal in the game is to simply make your way to the end of the level in one piece. The story is certainly not a requirement for all games but when you’re teased with a small snippet some extra context would have helped even if you just had to read it in the options menu.

LadiesGamers Lunistice
A pleasant run in the woods

Gotta Go Tanuki

The main focus of the gameplay is fast precision platforming. There are 7 levels to explore each with 2 parts. It won’t be long before you start to see inspiration from a certain blue hedgehog’s 3D outings. But unlike that fellas’ attempts at 3D, Lunistic plays less like a roller coaster, constantly robbing the player of control only to sit and watch the spectacle unfold on screen.

Lunistic gives the player full control bar a few small moments and those that like 3D platforms will find something to love here. While only a small number of levels. Each level brings a unique mechanic such as vines to grind on, bubbles to ride in and one level which presents different coloured platforms at the beat of the music. A first playthrough will take around 3 hours but once complete you will unlock new characters which are nods to other indie games and control differently. It’s a generous package at a small price point.

LadiesGamers Lunistice
Enemies pose a small barrier in the way

Controls are incredibly tight and easy to pick up and use. If you need a hand a very brief tutorial level will get you to grips with the movements and jumping moves. You can jump, double jump and then use an attack to act as a third jump. Enemies are present in the game but are rarely an issue. Most of my failures in this game were due to falling to my death.

There are no lives and checkpoints are reasonably frequent. The game starts out quite comfortably easing you into the experience at a nice pleasant pace. Throughout each level are several collectable cranes to find and you can move off the beaten path to collect letters to spell HANA. I enjoyed exploring every part of the level in the early stages but found it a bit tricky later when the challenge ramped up. An appealing feature some will appreciate is even on death you still retain any collectables gained. Meaning you won’t have to repeat segments again after a platform whoopsie.

Once you successfully complete a level you’re rated on the number of cranes you collect and retries to finish the level. Time is recorded but interestingly doesn’t play a part in the overall level grade. I don’t doubt speedrunners will adore this title. As you make your way to the final few levels of the game the difficulty turns into an experience that’s much more challenging, requiring quicker platforming reflexes and dare I say nerves of steel.

Some will see this as a welcome challenge but boy did I nearly throw my Switch at the wall after the 50th retry on one of the later levels. Where I slipped up a lot is you don’t get a lot of warning when to leap off grind rails. And as I descended super fast from the air I struggled to land on the next super thin platform. If the game had some form of slow-down feature I would have been fine. But then that would probably make the game too easy for some.

LadiesGamers Lunistice
Platform to the beat

Low Poly, Great Performance

Graphics are presented with colourful low poly sprites which are just delightful. This is a design and feel that is suitable for everybody. Levels come in a variety of flavours such as beach and candy. My favourite was easily the Autumn themed level with leaves littering the level and towering trees. I just love the woods and this was a great video game version of that.

Praise also needs to be given to the game’s incredible draw distance. Even in handheld mode, I was in awe of how far I could see across the levels. The soundtrack has an upbeat almost arcade-like feel to it but I didn’t find it particularly memorable. Performance was excellent in handheld which is impressive considering the speed you move at in some scenes.

LadiesGamers Lunistice
Travelling by bubble seems a nice way to get about

A Weekend Project

Lunistice is a cheerful low poly platformer. Tight controls and charming graphics make this package well worth a recommendation. That’s before I mention the generously low price. This is an ideal pick-up when you want a short project over a gaming weekend. For me, things did start to get too stressful at the end I’ll need a few weeks (maybe months) to recover before I try to improve my rating. If you love your 3D platformers though consider this one to pick. If you still need more convincing then be sure to try the free demo available on the eShop. 

Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot

I like it a lot


  1. Excellent review James. I went from never having heard of this game to downloading it within the space of five minutes after coming across nintendolife’s 9/10 assessment. 90s-era 3D platformer with super tight controls and a $5 price tag? Absolute no-brainer. Best five I’ve spent in a long time. It hits all the right notes, pitch perfectly. Would’ve liked a bonkers story to hold it all together, an oft-neglected staple of the genre in that era. But the gameplay is such an enormous joy. I’ll also note I was more charmed by the music than you were. Thought it had a fantastic soundtrack.

  2. Forgot to mention. I couldn’t get the hang of the controls at first. Came near to shelving it. Jumped into the settings first and found an “always run” option turned on. Turned it off and everything clicked. Much more natural to hold a button down to run than to slow down. Odd default setting if you ask me. The game could be more up front about it.

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