Moons of Madness

Developer: Rocket Pocket Games, Dreamloop Games
Publisher: Funcom
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 24/03/2020
Price: £24.99/$29.99
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.

[ Introduction ]

If you take a narrative sci-fi story about one guy who has a bad day, throw in Mars and Lovecraftian horror then you have a good idea what you will be in for with Moons of Madness. I am a massive H. P. Lovecraft fan so my hopes were high.

Take control of Shane Newehart, on Mars, after being woken from a nightmare. Your day starts as any other, but soon spirals down into a horror-filled nightmare Lovecraft would be proud of… well partially at least.

The story unfolds as the days go on and does a fairly decent job of keeping with the Lovecraft style of horror. The horror of the unknown with very few jump scares. However, the story is a little all over the place with a few story-lines attempted to be gelled together but it does not gel correctly.

moons of madness mars base

[ Gameplay ]

The gameplay is very simple; it is a case of getting from one point to the next, solve a puzzle, then move on. All the controls are standard. On the whole the controls are tight and work very well, apart from walking. For no real reason walking speed just drops to a crawl be that on Mars surface or in the buildings. I found a quick crouch would sort that issue.
The puzzles seem to be more of content padding than anything else, also they a fairly easy in fact not challenging at all. When there is an instance where Shane meets a monster, they are really not all that scary at all or even challenging. One monster that was chasing me abruptly stopped for no reason and I could look at it up close  with no problems.
Moons of Madness is all about the narrative and puzzle solving. Unfortunately, going in to any of the story elements would ruin the experience so this review will be spoiler free.
If you are coming in to Moons of Madness looking for action and gun-play, then you will be disappointed. The story is told through Shane talking and investigating what has been happening within the base. If you are looking for a game that instills fear with the unknown, then this one could before you.
moons of madness device

[ Visual and Perfomance ]

Moons of Madness is a hit and miss with its graphics. Some parts look amazing like the world and the detail in some monsters, then when the tendril come along they look bad. Either lazy or lack of time spent in some places is very apparent in my own personnel opinion. The overall presentation of Moons of Madness is decent, but the devs could have done with more work on the tendrils.
Apart from the above issues, there was not much else that I noticed worth mentioning.
moons of madness shrine

[ Sound ]

The audio is the best part here. As the story and interactions come via comlinks, the voice acting had to be good. I felt that the VA did a great job especially when Shane is shaken. I got the sense that Shane was alone and left to his own devices, as the only other person was miles away.

The music kicks in at the right points to add pretty much the only tension in the game. The sound effects do a great job of making the world feel alive.
moons of madness monster

[ Conclusion ]

Overall Moon of Madness, struggles to make the story come together in the end. Yes, there is some Lovecraft in there and I can feel the dread, but the game is slow and task heavy. With no fear, it was missing that true horror vibe.

It’s not that the game is bad, just not what I was expecting for a horror game.
Check out this Lovecraftian inspired game Call of Cthulhu HERE!