Moonlighter – Death & Money

Have you ever played a game that you enjoyed so much you lost track of time? Went in to it thinking “I’ll play for a little bit” and then next thing you know, 3 hours had passed, and you have the sudden urge to eat because you forgot to for 3 HOURS? That’s me with moonlighter.

This game has sucked me in faster than a sarlacc pit with a dyson vacuum. The presentation, the story, the gameplay, everything about this game gives me that feeling of dread but satisfaction that I have a new distraction to stop the voices in my head from enacting “the plan”.  This is something I haven’t experienced in a long time as most games are either over too quickly or aren’t really worth staying around with for long enough for them to pull me into their gelatinous folds (I tried writing this sentence like 3 times and the only words that made sense to me were “gelatinous folds”).

The story of this game is simple enough on the surface. You are boy, boy runs a shop, boy gets items to sell in said shop by going into dungeon, boy sells items, repeat until profit. But there is always more to it, especially in indie games. So, these dungeons are always changing, and there’s some mystery of a giant door outside of the dungeons, and each dungeon seems to just be a gateway into another land as opposed to just an ordinary dungeon, all of these will be revealed? (I don’t know I haven’t finished yet at the point of writing.)

Gameplay is split up between two main forms; dungeon diving to find loot to sell, and the act of selling them and maintaining your business:

Dungeon delving, I can best describe as a top down dungeon crawling extravaganza similar to games like ‘binding of Isaac’ or ‘Enter the Gungeon’ with enough unique (and annoying) enemies to make it stand out. One thing that I appreciate is the pendant, which unlike ‘Dark Souls’, actually has a purpose, you can use the pendant to instantly return to the overworld with all of your loot and more importantly, your face still attached and by that, I mean not dead.

Maintaining the business on the other hand, is more of a tactical affair. You place the items you want to sell and set their price, you are given a rough idea of if what you’re trying to sell is trash or treasure and what level of demand there is for said item. And once customers come in, they will give a reaction ranging from “This is more overpriced than the ‘Apple Pro Stand’” to “this is more of a bargain than ‘2 for 1 taco Tuesday’”. Once they give a reaction they will purchase the item if the price is fair, make the sale and then consider your prices as you don’t want to make things too expensive, but you still need to make enough money to keep that rascally tanuki happy, I think I got my games mixed up there.

I’m having difficulty coming up with an outro to this review as all I want to do right now is go back and play some more of ‘Moonlighter’. Most games that I have reviewed that I didn’t already own, I simply leave after I’ve played enough to base an opinion on, but this one… this one’s a bargain.

“This game is good, this game is nice, this game is one I would recommend twice. It was released on that Nintendo switch device, all at a nice reasonable price…I don’t know why I’m Dr. Seuss all of a sudden but hey-o that’s what I do sometimes.”

+ From what I can tell, no spiders (unsure)

+ Great soundtrack

+ Gameplay tighter than yoga pants

+ Interesting world

–  I play games to escape retail work (JOKE)

– I struggle to find bad things to say about it

Score: 8/10

~Lach Lamey

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