Developer Movie Games Lunarium’s Lust for Duskness is a first person psychological horror of the Lovecraftian kind featuring influence from the paintings of Zdzisław Beksiński. Players dive into the depths of sexual content and shifting alternate planes to find a missing wife who has been abducted. The game is available on PC but started life on Kickstarter back in 2017. Is this game worthy of your time considering its brevity but lowish asking price (£10.99)?
To begin the game puts you in a modern day house as a man suffering from the loss of his kidnapped wife. You can actually explore and interact with quite a number of inanimate objects which becomes quite a theme throughout the game. However, you won’t spend too long in the house because a letter is ominously pushed under your front door giving a hint of your wife being still alive and a location where she is held. A quick look on the laptop and “Google” search and a mansion is suggested as the place to investigate. Grab the car keys and jump in the car. All very tame stuff to begin but once you reach the mansion there are some other gameplay elements thrown in. Sadly these don’t always work and in some ways are quite jarring to the walking sim presentation the game alludes to. There are stealth moments or sudden scenes where you have to run away from demon like beings. You are powerless to anything but run. Sure this is a horror game but these moments simply fall flat, and don’t let me get started on the “boss battle” in the last 20 minutes. Some things are quite painful gameplay wise and makes you wonder who thought these would be good elements to put in this game when frankly they are totally unnecessary.
In a nutshell, players solve some basic puzzles, examine objects, read notes, view a few sexual scenes, look at sexual imagery as they progress through various warp gates to an alternate dimension, and generally push forwards in a rather linear path. That’s not to say the game isn’t engaging. On the contrary, the walking bits and general atmosphere are very well done, with some neat visuals and haunting music to drive the player forwards. Even the character narration – whilst somewhat typical – fits the bill here. You can get engrossed in all the game has to offer which in turn extends the playtime somewhat given that you will race through the story in around 3 hours.
Obviously because this game contains sexual content, ooh shock horror, then anyone under the age of 60 will have to block their ears and cover their eyes. No, seriously this is not really a game for anyone under the age of 16 and even then some parents might ask the youngsters to go back to “Call of Shooting and Graphic Murder” instead – much better for them than exposed breasts and penises right? No, this is an adult game but in reality the sexual content is designed to be a layer of the story for atmosphere, something different rather than a pure focus to get the pulse racing. In context it is reasonably well introduced and rests on artistic rather than tacky, although not everyone will agree.
Aside from a lack of full controller support and fiddly opening doors – click hold and pull back with mouse – there’s not really much else to complain about here. It’s a nice game and for under £11 not bad for a quick fix. You can explore and find collectible side stories but it’s really a one play deal. If you like to be entertained with dark visual elements and controversial imagery then this is worth checking out. If you’re easily offended then you might want to look away. That said, the gratuitous moments aren’t really that impacting overall and its rather the poor stealth or running away moments which will raise your pulse more than anything.