icon Author: Laurel Ann
The Moon Hell Review

In a time of political turmoil after the death of the king, the Moon Grimoire has been stolen from the Sun Temple. To prevent a forbidden cult from turning the world into Hell, the head priest has dispatched faithful followers to recover the tome. With no map and little light, will you be the one to find the grimoire and save everyone?

The Moon Hell puts you into a dark world that is already beginning to be invaded by demonic entities. In order to find the Moon Grimoire, you need to battle your way deeper and deeper into cult territory, locating equipment to boost your stats and making discoveries that will get you past the obstacles barring the way forward. Along the way is a scattering of lore (a bit quirky due to some awkwardness in the translation) to fill out the backstory and provide clues on how to continue.

Wandering in the Gloom

The darkness of the world can be literal as well as figurative. With the right settings, there's an atmosphere of gloom that permeates the surroundings to create the aesthetic of a world already doomed by a demon invasion. With just a small light to illuminate your character's immediate surroundings, and similar-looking corridors in each area, there is a labyrinthine quality to much of the exploration, particularly since no map is provided to track your location. There are some hidden areas that can easily be overlooked, so players need to pay attention to their surroundings in the game in order to progress.

Outside of combat, the game is also fairly quiet; the only musical theme being played during the boss fights. Some areas can be wandered in near-silence with only the sounds of your footsteps and breath, creating a state of uncertainty as to when and where an enemy will appear next. Or at times the distinct sounds of a specific enemy type can be heard from a few rooms away. This makes it easy to tell if an enemy has spawned nearby because there is an audial warning. Because of this, a slow, explorative play style can offer more than an attempt to quickly rush your way through each level.

Although most of the game involves delving deeper into a single dungeon, each level has a distinct feel to it, with some grandiose scenery as you delve deeper into the heart of the cult. Most levels have some form of puzzle or task to resolve to be able to continue on, so there's a lot of emphasis on exploration and discovery rather than just running a gauntlet of combat.

Basic Combat; Limited Support

The game's combat system is very simple with four different weapons to choose from (once you find them), each with two basic attacks, plus a dodge and a block. The enemies mostly consist of just a few different types, generally with two attacks each, with an additional enemy type added in each level. Success in combat relies heavily on finding the right timing against the enemy's attack pattern. The combat can feel a bit tedious at first because your hits don't do much damage at the start, but once you're familiar with enemy patterns and start finding higher level equipment, the battles go by much more smoothly.

The game controls have been programmed for the use of mouse and keyboard without any built-in gamepad support. Since the battle system involves active combat, this can feel a bit off for players who are accustomed to controllers. However, the game does allow you to reassign each of the keys in-game, so if you attach your controller through Steam Input or an external program, it's possible to jury-rig it to be used comfortably for movement and combat, though mouse and keyboard may still be required in order to navigate the menus.

Isolated Levels to Explore and Clear

The game has five levels with a point of no return at the end of each. If you don't manage to collect all the equipment on a level before deciding to move on, you won't be able to go back and get it. This includes key items used to unlock extra equipment and power-ups on the later levels. The levels keep getting shorter as you delve deeper into the heart of the cult's fortress and the epicenter of the demon incursion, with the first level offering the most variation in scenery and combat, the most items to collect, and the greatest amount of background information to discover and read. Although this means less lore to read later on, the story is fairly straightforward and doesn't need a good deal of elaboration.

Apart from random spawns that occur once an area has been cleared, enemies have set spawn points and don't reappear once defeated, meaning players who struggle with combat can still defeat one enemy at a time to progress. With five levels and only three bosses, the game has a slightly unfinished feel to it and, assuming you've been gathering the best equipment throughout the game and leveling your character's skills, the combat is somewhat lacking in challenge past the first level.

If you're looking for great combat and a compelling story, this is not the game for you. For anyone who enjoys drawing maps and wants to explore dark locations with a haunting atmosphere, this game is quite nice. Although there is a decent amount to explore throughout the levels, stronger players are likely to find the game to be somewhat short. Since nothing much changes between runs, the successfully eerie ambiance of the sound and visuals may not be enough to draw players back for a second round.

Quick Reference:

The Moon Hell is an atmospheric action RPG with gothic elements.

Best played in darkness.


• Eerie atmosphere.

• Labyrinthine exploration.


• No built-in gamepad support.

• Somewhat tedious combat.

• Limited replay value.

No comments yet
Latest comments