Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a charming, gorgeously animated Metroidvania title about a brave priestess trying to rid her village of a withering curse emanating from the country’s royal palace. Lovingly crafted with rich, detailed pixel graphics, Momodora: RUTM is a short and sweet adventure worth your time.
Setting and Aesthetic
Positioned as a prequel to the previous titles in the series by 400 years, Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight starts you off on the edge of the city grounds of the capitol, Karst. Playing as Priestess Kaho of the village Lun, you’ll meet many denizens and demons of the realm as you press deeper into the city in search of an audience with the Queen.
The soundtrack of Momodora: RUTM is serene and solemn, fitting the pixel Gothic setting and overgrown gardens nicely. Environments have a sense of vibrancy and depth, and there are lots of little details in the architecture, plants, furniture, and fixtures. You will find a wealth of upgrades and new items to use tucked away in corners and behind hidden features of the map.
Combat and Platforming
Kaho wields an enchanted autumn leaf as her weapon, a surprisingly potent tool in the hands of a young maiden, along with a bow and arrows. Controls are smooth and responsive, with comfortable jump, roll, and attack animations. At the normal difficulty the game is challenging but was not too much to handle. The many equip-able items allow the player to augment Kaho’s combat style in a host of different, creative ways.
My main complaint would be that instant deaths to environmental hazards can get petty frustrating considering save points are placed sometimes sparingly in certain areas of the map. For instance, once I spent several minutes on a mini-boss fight and then managed to die to a spike pit in the next room, so had to do the whole fight over again. Those moments feel bad and could have been avoided with some foresight (or perhaps if I was better at platforming). Enemy diversity is also a little lacking in the early zones, but gets better later.
Cats and Other Characters
About halfway through the game you’ll actually gain the ability to turn into a cat! As you well know from my Cattails review, I’m a huge fan of being a cat (because a cat’s the only one who knows where it’s at). Cat Kaho gives up ranged attacks and ladder climbing in favor of a longer, higher jump and the ability to crawl through small tunnels and tights spaces in order to reach new areas. The cat model is equally well animated, from its pounce and claws to its rolls.
In Momodora: RUTM the non player characters are interesting and all serve a story purpose of some kind. The most important characters in the story, even the bosses, are almost all female with apt dialogue and very few pandering elements that tend to poke my peeves. You’ll encounter several of them on multiple occasions as you make your way deeper into the curse corrupted city, allowing you to keep tabs on their personal journeys, some to the very end.
Running about 4-6 hours long depending on the difficulty and time spent searching for collectibles, with various difficulties available, Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight makes for a compact, well rounded action plat-former experience that you can knock out in a day or two. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite my gripes. The story has two endings and solid resolution that left me with a bittersweet smile. I’d give Momodora: RUTM an 8/10. While the game released a few years ago on PC, it holds its own admirably on the Nintendo Switch.
Note: Game key kindly provided by the publisher.
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