Hunt the Night Review

Borne from Blood.
Hunt the Night header

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Hunt the Night is an ultra challenging top down action game that takes more than a touch of inspiration from the likes of Dark Souls in terms of its combat and exploration. That said, once you scratch below the surface though and it soon becomes clear that it is mostly From’s Lovecraftian horror Bloodborne that has really inspired Moonlight Games. Hunt the Night isn’t the first game to be heavily influenced by From’s imperious titles, and surely won’t be the last, so the real question is how does it play?

You play as Vesper, a member of the Stalkers – equivalents to Hunters or Witchers – and are tasked with exploring the land of Medhram when many of your fellow Stalkers are wiped out by a ferocious beast. While it’s rendered in a pixel art style and played from a top down view, the parallels to Bloodborne are clear, with the proliferation of eldritch creatures and Gothic architecture the most obvious visual influences, but it is the deep lore hidden within collectable ‘feathers’ that really seals the deal; filled as it is with unfortunate births, dark legacies, and cosmic calamities.

As you progress you’ll unlock a shadowy doppelganger you can call upon to complete puzzles and access new areas of the land. There are also a welcome number of puzzles that will require you to keep notes for combinations and codes, giving you an in-game reason to carefully read all the notes that you find.

Hunt the Night combat

Despite the presence of puzzles, the main focus here is frenetic combat. You find an assortment of weapons throughout your journey, but they all fall within a small number of types – swords, gloves, spears, and great swords. All of these have their pros and cons, but I found the higher base damage and range of the great swords to be far more useful than competing weapons.

As well as melee weapons you also have a sidearm (a la Bloodborne) that can be great for taking out foes from afar but has very limited ammunition. Every three melee hits you land replenishes one bullet, so mixing up the two becomes second nature after a while. Here you also have a choice of weapons, with pistol, shotgun, and crossbow.

Save points are scattered across the game’s environments at regular intervals, and not surprisingly work like bonfires or beacons. You can replenish your health and healing items at these, but regular enemies all respawn as you do so. This is particularly important to bear in mind as the common enemies can hit bloody hard. Many are little more than annoyances but others prove lethal, especially in combinations that can really test your skills. Alongside your melee and ranged attacks, you have an effective dash and eventually unlock some dark magic powers that can be helpful in turning the tide.

Hunt the Night boss

Boss fights are generally the most memorable parts of Souls-likes and that is very much the case here, although not always for the right reasons. Early bosses are super hard as your health pool and attacks are still limited, whilst the last few feel massively over powered with instant kill attacks despite your levelled up character. Many will demand multiple attempts as you slowly learn their attack patterns and the best moments to strike back. The final boss has proven beyond my abilities, and I think many will struggle to even get that far given the difficulty spike towards the latter stages of this game.

Hunt the Night is close to being a great Bloodbourne-inspired Souls-like, but it suffers from a midgame area that's a chore to navigate and a late game difficulty spike that goes beyond punishing and straight into sadistic. Some of this could be adjusted in updates, but as things stand, I can only recommend this title to those who really want to challenge themselves. If that sounds like you, then there is much to like.
  • Challenging combat
  • Some good boss fights
  • Decent range of mechanics and ideas
  • Huge difficulty spikes
  • Confusing level design
  • Derivative story and setting
Written by
Just your average old gamer with a doctorate in Renaissance literature. I can mostly be found playing RPGs, horror games, and oodles of indie titles. Just don't ask me to play a driving game.