Moonlighter is an action RPG with some rogue-lite elements. The game has been developed by Digital Sun, and was originally released on the 29th May 2018 on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 (and is also planned for Nintendo Switch). Taking clear inspiration from games like Enter the Gungeon and The Legend of Zelda, Moonlighter has the player take on the role of Will, a shopkeeper that must do whatever he can to keep his shop running smoothly.
To download Moonlighter click on the Download button towards the end of this review. The game is available on Steam and on GOG.com. If you like the idea of selling RPG fantasy gear you should also consider downloading and checking out a similar game called Shoppe Keep 2.
Moonlighter isn’t exactly heavy on the story side of things, but typically gives the player the idea of playing as a shopkeeper named Will, who must buy, sell, and loot items to keep his business afloat. During the day, Will is expected to run the shop, but at night, he must head out on a grand adventure to one of four worlds, each with their own unique theme to gather numerous materials to put to good use.
The key gameplay loop for Moonlighter is split between both day and night. During the day, the player is expected to take care of their shop, selling items to the townspeople and generally doing their best to make a profit as time goes on. Throughout the town, the player can choose to create new gear for themselves, upgrade other business to gain their uses, and even improve their own shop to increase the number of sales they get overall.
The second loop of the game comes at night, where it truly turns into an action RPG. At night, the player is expected to go out adventuring, hunt down monsters, collect their resources, and raid chests for their loot to help improve both Will and allow for some new equipment for him to sell. By the end of each world, there is a boss in the procedurally-generated dungeon that will unlock the next world for the player if they manage to defeat the creature. By managing to defeat all four bosses for each world, a secret 5th realm will be opened to the player and its mysteries will now be available for exploration.
Aesthetically, Moonlighter has a very distinct pixel-art style, similar to that of classic top-down action RPG’s; a clear general inspiration the developer has pulled into the game. Colors are vibrant, characters are defined and distinct, and the overall look and feel of the game suits the game world perfectly well.
When it comes to comparisons, the mix of gameplay between Enter the Gungeon and The Legend of Zelda keeps players hot on their toes throughout the combat. Even the visual style is very heavily inspired from the older variety of The Legend of Zelda games, and thus makes the overall visuals pop that much more for the general player.
For fans of the action-RPG genre, they are bound to find plenty of content and enjoyment within the game, all alongside a pleasant visual style that shouldn’t be missed. There isn’t much to be said for the story, but it’s nice that players can simply go out and do what they want for their store and make the necessary upgrades to it as and when they please. When it comes to Moonlighter, the inspiration it took from other games in the genre clearly paid off very well.