Noxia Somnia


You play Tristan, a young man who’s had a rough patch since his early teenage years. His parents are well-educated and successful in their respective professional fields. They are loving parents who never miss an opportunity to be with their children, but they do have high expectations of them. Tristan used to love those nights when the whole family assembled in front of the television to watch a show together. But things changed, and now he prefers going to bed rather than being with his loved ones. Is it the constant bullying at school from his peers and teachers, or the fear of letting his parents down as he struggles academically? Then again, is it the regret of not being by his grandfather's side at the hospital before his passing? All of these things are affecting Tristan’s mental health, and he keeps having horrible nightmares night after night! It is time for Tristan to face his fear and get his life back on track in Noxia Somnia.

Noxia Somnia is a side-scroller pixilated action/horror game developed and self-published by Reframe Games on the Steam platform on the 25th of January, 2024.

The game has three chapters and can be played on two difficulty levels. If you prefer more of a storytelling experience with easy combat, the Face Your Fears difficulty is probably for you. On the other hand, select The Nightmare difficulty if you enjoy a bit of a fighting challenge. At the time of  writing this review, I am facing the last two bosses of the game on the Nightmare difficulty. I had no problem beating the first one, but the ultimate boss seems to be a bit tricky, which is good. After several attempts, I’m still falling short and had no cigars!

What a challenging subject for a game.  It is really easy to relate to Tristan's story, as a lot of us have experienced bullying at school or at work, or fallen into this spiral of hopelessness that makes you doubt of your ability, or even opens the door of depression due to mental self-torture and lack of sleep. I was slightly sceptical before playing this game, wondering how the developers would approach the balance between the seriousness of the story and the combat sequences. I found the balance spot on!

So, you will be reliving Tristan's life at high school, at the hospital and at his currently place of work at a food store in a mall. You'll also have a few cutscenes within each chapter, including when he is with his psychologist. Another place Tristan will visit during his ordeal is a safe place, a forest within the Nightmare Realm where he will receive guidance from a ghost, upgrading skills and purchasing items such as health packs and other goodies. You can go back and forth to the forest using the pink portal within each level.

The levels are small and well-designed, but there is no map for you to go by; honestly, you don't need one as it is fairly easy to remember which door leads where. You'll be mainly playing within three buildings (school, hospital and the mall), but make sure to check their surroundings beforehand for goodies such as a key, for example. You can't miss them as they will sparkle on the ground. Each level is presented as corridors with several doors, and as you move forward, you'll encounter several enemies, most of whom are fairly easy to eliminate. However, you'll have one big enemy, one of the bosses (harvesters in the game) that will keep moving up and down corridors, and if he detects you, you'll be running for your life as you can't fight him or beat him until you've explored the entire level. It’s a bit of a catch-22, and you might die a few times. You have a gauge on the bottom of your screen that will let you know if the harvester is about to detect you. You can open a door, hide in a room, let him pass by, and then exit the corridor. But pay good attention to the footsteps and visuals before leaving the room. Make sure you turn Tristan's flashlight off, as the light might attract the harvester to check the room where Tristan’s hiding. However, each time Tristan turns his flashlight off, the fear and anxiety meter will start to rise, and when it reaches 100, the poor fellow will have a panic attack, which will begin affecting his health. Hopefully, you'll have some herbal tea in his inventory to calm him down; otherwise, you guessed it - death will follow.

There are plenty of objects to find in corridors and rooms, some to access new locations and others to help Tristan through his harrowing journey. Soul items are essential and will appear in the inventory, looking like some sort of shield. Each has a detailed description of what they add to Tristan when equipped. There are twelve items to find throughout the game, and you can equip Tristan with four souls at any given time.

Good pixel artwork, and the game runs very well. I haven't encountered any issues whatsoever. The developers have done an excellent job balancing a tough subject and gameplay. You can play this game with your keyboard, but I strongly recommend using a gamepad. It would have been nice to have the ability to save the game at your leisure, although the progress is automatically saved when you use a portal, and a mini-map wouldn't hurt either, even if it is not necessary.

Review written by THE CPT FROGGY for

Noxia Somnia Steam Store Page


+ Good pixel artwork
+ Good, emotional story
+ Two difficulty levels
+ Good combat sequences, especially with bosses’ fights
+ Good controls
+ Achievements


- Can’t save your progress when you want
- No mini-map
- No trading cards as yet

Review Summary

Noxia Somnia: Relive Tristan’s mental struggle from his early teenage years to young adulthood. A well-designed game with good fighting sequences.

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Zeepond Rating: 7/10