Recently I was lucky enough to be given the chance to review Moonlighter along with its recently released DLC Between Dimensions by 11Bit Studios. For a person who grew up playing games like Zelda, and tons of other Action-RPG games, Moonlighter brought something new and fun to the genre.
What is Moonlighter?
Moonlighter is an Action-RPG with a few great twists. The game puts you in the role of a shop owner who moonlights as an adventurer. You have taken over the shop from your grandfather who has passed on the shop. The game starts with few details as to why you explore the series of dungeons outside your village. You find out more as you play. The game is beautiful and has a very watercolor painting art style. It is not your basic pixel art at all. The game’s soundtrack is beautifully melodic.
Take a second to think about the main concept of the game. You are a shop owner, who also goes into dungeons to collect artifacts and items to sell. This change of pace is not expected and for people who have played similar games, it can be annoying at first. But here is the thing, the selling aspect is incredibly deep and has a lot of intricate parts, like pricing and demand to account for. There are even shoplifters and pests to deal with. You will quickly learn to love or hate the reactions customers give your prices. Oh, and for another twist, you are also going to need those same artifacts to get better gear. Along with money of course.
Dungeons you say?
Let me say this game can drive you nuts early on. There are four different dungeons that increase in difficulty as you progress and clear a dungeon. It took me a while to realize just how hard this game would be. Thinking I am doing well, only to realize I have no health and walked into the wrong room and died. You lose everything in your bag when you die. Ok, try again tomorrow. The dungeons are procedurally generated, yup figure it out all over again. Not only that but each dungeon has stages that must all be cleared in one run to clear that dungeon. That can be frustrating but so satisfying when you clear one. Additional items and skills do make this much easier in the mid and late game.
Between Dimensions DLC
The Between Dimensions DLC is an interesting addition to the game. The game picks up after the events of the last game. Waking up you realize the town has a more tech or futuristic look to it now, which is tied to the story. The new shop added is essential to getting what you need to clear the DLC. There are quite a few new items to find and craft. Let me say that all of the gear I had from the main game meant nothing in the new dungeon. I might as well have been throwing pebbles at everything. Ok, so I figured I would run some of the old dungeons again to get my funds up. The enemies seemed to have doubled in hit points and difficulty but still give you the same loot. It feels like the normal grindy feeling of the game has increased. The enemies that have been added are really interesting and great additions to the game. I will say if you are a fan of the base game and you were looking for more story after the game wrapped up be sure to pick up Between Dimensions.
Moonlighter in general was a really fun game that took traditional aspects of an Action-RPG and added some interesting twists to it. The main story was interesting to play through and the DLC did a great job of building on that story. The shopkeeping and adventurer juggling aspect of the game was one of my favorite features in the game. Though the game can be grindy and repetitive at times even more so with the DLC, I think its an excellent game. The artwork and music are beautiful. The game is a wonderful throwback to when games were difficult and required time and patience.
Score overall was a 7.5 / 10