Review: Moonlighter (PlayStation 4)

Moonlighter is an Action RPG with rogue-lite elements that demonstrates two sides of the coin – revealing everyday routines of Will, an adventurous shopkeeper that secretly dreams of becoming a hero.

Pros:

  • Elegant modern pixel graphics.
  • 1.15GB Download size.
  • Options- Screen shake, Difficulty, Text speed and GUI.
  • Can rebind controls.
  • Three difficulties- Normal, Hard and very hard.
  • Can change difficulty unless in a dungeon.
  • Gameplay- Sell goods by the day, Dungeon crawl by night.
  • Ongoing tutorial.
  • Customers- They will come in and examine your goods, expressing an emoticon as to show if you have priced your goods too high, too low or maybe just right?
  • Price- You set the post and place the goods. You have to bear in mind, Stock levels, What is in demand or what is swamping the market.
  • The game is split into days, Typically you get to tend shop till closing time then go dungeon crawling, Coming home will end the day.
  • Dungeons- Has a mini-map and used a view like a top-down, Most commonly seen in games like Binding of Isaac or Zelda LTTP.
  • Earn cash by selling goods or finding it, Use this money to upgrade your shop or invest in new shops in town to kickstart the local economy.
  • Attacks- Weapon, block and dodge roll which can also be used to jump over small gaps.
  • Platinum trophy.
  • Once you sell an item for a price, It will be saved for future sales.
  • You get a breakdown of your days sales which help determine high and low sellers.
  • Cutesy animations.
  • Blacksmith- Craft new weapons, Sword and shield, Big sword, Spears, Gloves and Bow, and arrow.
  • Enchant gear to change stats and add buffs and elemental damage etc.
  • Play how you want.
  • Mirror- Allows you to sell items on the fly in the dungeon.
  • Pendant-Take a coin hit but allows you to leave the dungeon instantly.
  • Roguelike gameplay when in the dungeons. You lose everything if you die.
  • Big boss fights, Winning it will unlock a new realm/world.
  • Fun game.
  • A lot to do.
  • Dungeons randomize every time so it is always fresh.
  • Despite being basic and kind of barebones, The combat is both fluid and solid.
  • There are four stages in a dungeon with the last stage being the boss fight.
  • Many hidden secrets.
  • In game cutscenes.
  • Four different worlds with a secret fifth one to unlock.
  • Some great NPC to meet.
  • Can hire people to run your shop.
  • So much replayability.
  • Loot- Used to do crafting but you also need the loot in order to sell it in your shop, Make money and bring the town back up.

Cons:

  • Cannot skip cutscenes.
  • Doesn’t explain everything very well in some cases just being a simple picture.
  • Items can fall in holes or in walls.
  • Selling items at least at the beginning feel so hit and miss as you try and gauge what to sell at.
  • Never sure if you are playing it right or actually making progress.
  • Can get very grindy later on.
  • Some customers just waste your time or wander around doing nothing.
  • Never sure when it has saved.

The Numbers:
  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Accessability - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Fun Factor - 8/10
8/10

Summary

Going in the complete opposite direction of the games like this, You get to play as the shopkeep! Sounds boring as hell innit!? Well luckily you also stock your own shelves and to get stock, Monsters need to die and loot needs to be taken. Cue one of the weirdest yet satisfying game experiences of your life. For as boring as setting up shop sounds, You soon get addicted to it and take your time to research price, The market trend, and fulfilling customer needs. To do that for many many hours and still have a solid roguelike dungeon crawler in the back pocket really is something special. The combat is great as are the random nature of all the levels. The menu and item management bring it down a bit along with some dodgy decisions but to be honest it is a game that will surprise you and well worth a look.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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