Life can be tough for a humble shopkeeper, day in and day out tending to your shop can be stressful. But after a hard days work, pick up your sword and shield and begin your quest to become a legendary hero of the dungeon!
Moonlighter lets you live both sides. By day stock your shop with wares for travelers to buy. And by night enter the dungeon, defeat monsters, and find chests filled with valuable items to sell in your shop the next day. Come prepared because if you fail in the dungeon you’ll lose the items in your bag and have to collect everything over again.
This core loop of Moonlighter is fun and engaging but a little overwhelming at first. Returning from a dungeon with a bag full of items and stocking the shop can be challenging at first. It’s left up to the player to decide the prices of these items and the prices you set might lead to travelers not buying these items.The money you earn is not only used to upgrade your shop, but also to buy better armor, weapons, health potions, and make various improvements to your town. So finding the right price and maximizing your profits during the day can help you be more prepared for the night of dungeon looting.
Once I started locking down prices, it was easy to use that as a base and price things out more accordingly. Not to mention the right prices are shown in your handy notebook once you figure them out. Once the money started rolling in, everything else became smoother. The progression feels great as there’s always something to work towards. Be it big or small- like a piece of armor, shop upgrade, or a new weapon – there was always something I had to work for, but at the same time it didn’t feel too out of reach.
The pixel art and animation work are superb. With sword slashes and spear thrusts packing a punch just as much as the punches do. While acquiring these weapons and trying them out is fun, the combat itself is rather simple with most weapons just having a series light attacks and a powerful charge up attack. Upgrading them gets you more damage and elemental bonuses but I didn’t feel like they were enough incentive to upgrade many different weapons and just ended up sticking to ones i liked.
Moonlighter has a simple and satisfying hook that always made me ask myself if I could just open up the shop real quick to get that next upgrade or make one more dungeon run but end up making three more. Runs can be quick and its fun game that you could chip away at for many hours, but ultimately in its simplicity lacks the depth to keep me engaged to see it through to the end.
Review code provided by the developer, game was played on an Xbox One X