Fearmonium – Review
Follow Genre: Platform, RPG, Adventure, Fighting
Developer: Red Black Spade, Ratalaika Games
Publisher: Red Black Spade, Ratalaika Games
Platforms: Mac OS, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: Switch

Fearmonium – Review

Site Score
Good: Amazing designs, Wonderful story, Challenging
Bad: Button prompt not always clear, Overwhelming boss fights
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

So what do we know about fears? Most people will tell you that it’s all in your head and that you don’t have to be afraid of anything. But what happens if you experience fear due to a traumatic experience or circumstance? Will it dictate your life as you try to live with it, or will it overrun your life so you are too afraid to move? In Fearmonium, you get to experience this situation. You get to play as a small little phobia, who’s roaming the mind of our test subject. Will the phobia cause irreversible damage to our lives? Or can it actually be better for us to have it? Let’s dive in to find out!


Max is a sweet kid visiting the local fair to have quality time with his girlfriend. Alas, the girlfriend has some other plans. Just like the news, she broke his heart and broke up with Max, starting his destruction and path to depression. This is just the start, for when Max saw a clown, it formed our main character, named Coulrophobia (fear of clowns). And thus our adventure begins when we play a lot of tricks in Max’s mind. As the character, we have to break all his bright memories and everything good that’s left in his mind. Lady Depression loves this and gives us much-needed help whenever we come to talk to her. Throughout the game, we learn that Max isn’t just dealing with the breakup, but we discover a lot of things bothering Max. So we played our part and went rummaging in his mind to battle the upcoming foes and defense mechanisms of the human mind.

Now don’t be fooled by this approach, for this story, coding, game design, and much more, has been done by one person. Not just any person, but a true Psychology Major, Slava Gris. You can say that this game is his interpretation and vision of battling mental health in a rather epic and exciting way. The Switch port, however, has been co-developed by Ratalaika Games in order to reach a bigger audience.


The graphics in this game are absolutely stunning. It’s like Mr. Disney and Slava Gris shared the same mind for a moment. All the graphics are hand drawn and it does show. We were stunned by the first looks and we loved every bit of it. The story is more like a graphic novel and it shows from the very beginning. The story opens like the squares of a comic book. This game, albeit a little abstracted in horror, is quite something. From the simplest attack move to the boss fights, even the special attacks have their swing on creative approach. All the enemies and everything in the levels, mazes, and surroundings will have this cartoony, but very distinguished look over them.

We have made the comment that even Cuphead shared some similarities with the graphics and styling. It gives us those proper old-school animation vibes we all love to see. Whether some creatures are cute and cuddly, others can be weird, but all things considered, this is a lovely game that can stand on its own. This combination of the cartoon-like world combined with some Metroid, is something we haven’t seen in a long while, which makes this game yet again, something really special.


The sound design of Fearmonium is quite special and it finds fitting audio feedback for every type of situation. The soundtrack goes from all jolly and whimsical whenever you get a viewing of Max’s memories, to a more darkened, slow-downed tune when you’re off venturing into his mind. Even for gamers who don’t like to play horror games, we can still suggest looking up what Fearmonium has to offer. Though the game has some serious sections with their “hidden emotional presence”, it is a welcome change when the music starts being upbeat again. Especially in this game, the music has a big role to play and it helps to build the overall atmosphere. The biggest and most wonderful sound that the game supports is the sound of a page turning. It might seem small and not really that important but this little thing caused us to be immersed in the blink of an eye. The game even has a soundtrack that compiles all the 27 tunes in this game.


Fearmonium is a Metroidvania with its own original twists and turns that revolves around Max, a young kid with a troubled past who recently went through a storm of emotions. His grandfather died, his stepdad hit him, and his girlfriend just left him. So Max has a lot to go through and to make matters a bit worse, a clown scared the fudge out of him and now he has a severe fear of them. It’s on that jolly note that we introduce our main character, Coulrophobia. It is our job to make sure that Max never recovers from these blows and grows a few phobias. So armed with a hammer and a ton of abilities, we travel his subconscious and we discover if it is okay to have fears or that it will destroy our minds.

The game starts as your average platformer where your buttons are doing the absolute minimum, but over time, thanks to upgrades and accessories, you can pull off some serious shenanigans to complete the map, traverse the gaps, and beat all the bosses. At first, we had a hard time figuring out how to use the rocket launcher. Once we unlocked the rocket launcher, it would’ve been nice if the game could have shown us the button prompt to push to understand it. Next to these two small details, we can assure you that you will absolutely love this game.

Fearmonium is a game to take your time with. Trying to rush past all the enemies instead of taking them down one by one can become an issue as they can easily overwhelm your character. Some enemies are more annoying than others, especially those with ranged attacks or unpredictable movements, but none of them are too infuriating. Outside of the regular enemies, the game does have quite a few interesting boss battles. This is also where we noticed quite a few difficulty spikes. If you get stuck, there is a character that can tell you exactly where you need to go next in the game.

Fearmonium has almost everything you might need or search for. It has adventure and traveling Max’s Mind was a real pleasure. The world feels alive, connected with intelligence, with a lot of surprising gameplay elements and impeccable pacing and rhythm. While the game is excellent and lovely to play with its challenging situations, there are a few little points where some improvement can be made.

We played Fearmonium on Nintendo’s Switch Lite and looking at the map was a bit hard. The map itself is huge! You can enjoy every inch of it for hours and hours and still only have 2% discovered. But looking at the map to figure out how the rest of your journey should go was very difficult as it’s just too small. Yes, we can zoom in and out but it just isn’t that well made for the handheld. We can only assume that playing this on the Switch in docked mode would be a real pleasure as you wouldn’t have to squint your eyes to see where you are.


After spending many hours with Fearmonium, we can safely say that it is a great game. Despite the size of the map, the game held our interest throughout our playtime. We actually enjoyed the experience enough to backtrack to make sure we had inspected every digital pixel and digital inch. Fearmonium does have a few flaws but they are easily overlooked when it’s so great to play it.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Fearmonium - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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