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[Nintendo Switch] Touhou Luna Nights Review

[Nintendo Switch] Touhou Luna Nights Review
  • On January 25, 2021

Touhou Luna Nights from Team Ladybug and Phoenixx is a fun Metroidvania on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Touhou Luna Nights review!


In Touhou Luna Nights from Team Ladybug and Phoenixx, you’ll take on a fun indie Metroidvania on Nintendo Switch, set in a simulation of sorts. You’ll be playing as Sakuya, a maid who finds herself in a special simulation of sorts, a space created by Lady Remilia Scarlet – a vampire – as a game of sorts to test Sakuya’s abilities… most of which she takes away, forcing her to find a way to recover her full potential. Each area you visit will seem real, but that and the enemies you’ll find – while dangerous – are not what they seem. You will run into some characters who have been brought by Lady Remilia into this simulation, keeping you on high alert at all times.

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You’ll control Sakuya with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the A button, and gliding if you hold down the button. Pressing the B button will launch a bunch of knives towards your enemies, and there’s the possibility of adding more knives to your arsenal by collecting extra hidden knives or buying them – more on this in a bit. You can obtain skills, such as a special knife that will release a lighting strike or a deadly chainsaw that will fly upward in an arch. Attacking and using these skills will require MP. If you press and hold the B button, you can slow down time for a few seconds, which will be used for progressing through some areas or for staying safe during boss fights.


You will also have a special ability to stop time. This ability can be used to get the upper hand on enemies – or bosses – as you release a flurry of knives or a special attack or two, all while they remain frozen in time. Do be aware of how objects or enemies with a purple aura will be able to continue moving even when you stop time. On the other hand, objects and enemies with a green aura can only move when time has been stopped. As expected, these elements will be used for some of the trickier platforming sections to challenge your skills.

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As you defeat the many enemies you’ll run into, you’ll get to earn experience points. As expected, experience points will allow your character to level up, increasing her overall stats so that she can keep up with the new enemies you’ll find during this adventure. Sure, battling against small spirits, cats, fairies won’t seem like a big deal, but once you run into the massive Frankenstein monsters that can pack a punch – and will certainly take a beating before you can defeat them – will require that you are strong enough to survive.

While exploring the many rooms in this Metroidvania, your map will start to autofill, marking the areas that feature a vending machine that will recover your health and MP, a phone booth you can use to call and save your progress, Nitori’s store, or the interconnecting portals you can use to quickly travel around the map. You’ll need to find at least two portals before you can travel between them, which should happen around after you beat the second boss in the game.

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An important gameplay mechanic to consider is the Graze system. What this does is that when you get very close to enemies, Sakuya will siphon some of their hit points – shown by blue energy squares flying out of them and into Sakuya – to recover some of her lost health. This is crucial during boss fights so that you can manage to outsmart and outperform bosses. When you stop time, the Graze system will instead siphon MP from enemies so that you can be ready to use regular or special attacks as soon as the time freeze is over. Remember that, as to balance things out, when you stop time, regular and special attacks will use up the time stop energy gauge instead of the MP.


The opponents you destroy will also leave behind a variety of jewels. Jewels in your inventory will have different effects on Sakuya. Some jewels will increase the rate at which she recovers any missing MP, the rate at which the time stop ability recharges once it has been deactivated, as well as giving boosts to her attack and defense stats, or being able to recover a bit of HP when you stop time. You can also sell jewels to Notori in exchange for gold, which can be used to purchase stuff at the shop.

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There’s the option of buying consumable items that can be used to recover lost hit points, magic points, or energy for the time stop power. You can also buy an item that will allow you to immediately summon Nitori, who is the shop owner so that you can do business – and it even works during boss fights! There are also some more expensive items that will grant more permanent boosts to, say, your time gauge or increasing the number of knives you can use when you stop time. You could also buy some extra experience points to bring you closer to leveling up.


Touhou Luna Nights is a great Metroidvania to check out on Nintendo Switch. It has a solid pixel art style, a sparse but good soundtrack, fun gameplay mechanics, and a good challenge to overcome. It offers an adventure that should take you 8-10 hours to complete, plus an extra hour or so for collecting any items you might have missed if you’re the type of gamer who likes to 100% a game. Touhou Luna Nights is out on Nintendo Switch with a $17.99 asking price.

This Touhou Luna Nights review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Phoenixx.

Review Overview

A fun Metroidvania with interesting gameplay mechanics