Moonlighter is like… Recettear and the dungeons from Link to the Past went action-movie rogue-ish and then added super awesome bosses, not saying Link to the Past didn’t have super awesome bosses, but… I mean, giant slime armor? Got ’em.
Moonlighter is loads of fun, you run into a giant procedurally generated dungeon, collect a bunch of goods, and then turn around and sell them to adventurers, heroes, townsfolk, and others in your local town. As time goes on, you unlock further dungeons for you to explore, all while being yelled at by an old man about doing too much and not leaving real heroes to adventuring.
Graphically, Moonlighter is a treat. I mean, you’ve either seen the trailer, or for some reason you skipped the trailer in my review, which means you are either in a place you can’t see video or hear audio, which, either is fine, because written word is fan-fucking-tastic, but, I’m pretty sure nobody is here for my incredible ability to make people interested in games because of my wordsmithery. The audio works well, and, I never was upset about the music. I don’t think I’ve really ever been upset by a decent game’s soundtrack. This is no exception. It’s a solidly decent game and the soundtrack lives up to that. In fact, I’d say this is more than a solidly decent game.
As far as gameplay goes… this game really shines in it’s ability to dungeoncrawl AND manage the improvement of a small town. The store mode is fun, but, the simplicity of it kinda loses out on it’s mystique because of the mechanics involved. Lemme break it down for you.
Let’s say you have an item like… a piece of rough fabric. Rough fabric is found in the first dungeon – so… you bring it out of the dungeon. When you set it up in your shop, people might be interested in it. When they go to look at it, they will have 4 different reactions to the item. Overjoyed, Happy, Begrudgingly Accepting, or Offended. So, the goal is to get people to buy an item, make as much money as possible, and still keep enough demand that people are intersted in the things you’re selling. If someone is begrudgingly accepting, the game lowers the “demand” for an item, meaning less people are interested in buying the item. However, there isn’t a finite amount of money per person, or there isn’t a finite amount a certain individual will pay, there’s just… what is an acceptable amount of money, and what isn’t, which means you can’t leach extra money out of Moneybags McMassiveMansion, nor do you need to put things on sale to get the cheapest guy in town to buy it from you. So… the incentive, is to just sell everything for the maximum amount of money you can get for it. If nobody’s interested? Fuck ’em, they can wait ’til they are more interested.
This lack of ebb and flow really makes things boring once you’ve figured out the magic, or, looked up the magic on the internet. Item prices can vary dramatically. Some items sell for thousands and others for mere single digits. Don’t ruin the game for yourself by looking up the prices.
You dump your money into the town, adding buildings and other people, and then head back into the dungeons to get more stuff.
Overall, the game’s a gem. For $20.00 USD, it’s a fun dungeon crawler with a good mix of rogue-lite mechanics and an adventure worth going on. Plus, multiple weapon types and fun combat. Check it out!
Disclosure: We received this game for free.
Developed by: Digital Sun
Published by: 11 bit studios