Posted:  Jun 08, 2023
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Nocturnal was provided by Dear Villagers and Plan of Attack for review. Thank you!

Nocturnal is a side-scrolling action adventure that has you fighting for your home island after a journey away. As Ardeshir, you come home to notice a weird, dark mist that has enveloped your island. Now, with the sacred flame in hand, you must fight your way to the island's center and discover what happened. With the ability to encase your sword in flames, you will run, jump, dodge, and slash your way through enemies and use any ashes you gain to give you stat boosts and new abilities. Do what you can to save your home and discover the secrets that lie beyond the mist.

Nocturnal was one of those games that really stood out to me visually and that essence is definitely still there. The artwork is fantastic, but the way the flames are animated and how they interact with the mist is extremely satisfying. Gameplay wise, you will enjoy the game if you're a fan of the classic Prince of Persia games. It has a similar feel to it, with its simple combat and platforming, acting like a more modern version of the series at times. It can be a little on the short side, and the skill tree is a little bit bare, but it was an overall fun experience. And luckily, this is one you can quite easily enjoy on the Steam Deck!

Nocturnal - Steam Deck Performance

Nocturnal runs extremely well on the Steam Deck, for the most part. At 1280x720 resolution, the game can handle 60 FPS without much issue, but it can drain the battery. Without changes, I have seen areas where the game drains up to 16W - 17W, which I wouldn't say is acceptable for a game like this. There aren't many settings we can change to fix this, but we are able to change the resolution and use FSR, which does help a lot and doesn't change visuals much!


Combine this with a GPU Clock Speed frequency of 1100 and we get a smooth 60 with a TDP limit of 8, no spikes in drain above 14W whatsoever. This isn't a huge change and the game feels fantastic like this, making it my favorite way to play the game!

There is no 16:10 resolution support, which means there will be black bars above and below the game, and it doesn't have cloud saves, but there is full controller support!


Nocturnal is a gorgeous and enjoyable game that captures the classic Prince of Persia essence. The visuals are stunning, especially when fire is involved, and I enjoy the simple combat. The skill tree doesn't offer much, and the game is a bit on the short side, but overall, it was a really enjoyable experience that I would say is a worthwhile time. On top of that, the game can run extremely well on the Steam Deck needing changes only to optimize for lower battery drain in some areas. This is definitely a great game for your Steam Deck library!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Nocturnal is a beautiful modern Prince of Persia that needs little changes to really experience it flawlessly on the Steam Deck.

Build Score

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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