Procedural generation has always been a way for game developers to add a bit of spice to games with not a lot of set pieces, making areas feel different each time you go through them while only using 10 or 12 assets. The world of Moon Hunters is pretty expansive, boasting over a hundred different locations and landmarks that help tailor your adventure. Coupled with a non-linear story Moon Hunters has great replay value.
Aesthetically, the game is reminiscent of the Legend of Zelda series with a Risk of Rain pixel flare, which I adore. Some of the character art work that is shown during dialogue feels like something out of a Dungeons and Dragons rule book. The audio work is spectacular, especially during the later stages of the game where things take a darker tone.
Combat is very simple, each character is kitted with two attacks and a movement ability in a twin stick-esque top down perspective out of the box. These abilities are augmented throughout your adventure by visiting merchants and buying upgrades. During combat there’s a secondary meter that is used when firing off your second ability and movement, as a druid I shot leaves in a sort of tri-spread as a primary, creeping tendrils that slowed enemies as a secondary and a wolf form that let me zip around the map complete with melee bite and charge attacks.
The character’s themselves have individual stats that rise as you make choices while interacting with the world. Besides NPC interaction between the stages there is a camp screen where you can rest and increase multiple stats by either; keeping watch, going hunting, star gazing, cooking and resting. These stats are also used when doing certain tests out in the world like pushing the lid of a sarcophagus or using pride to butt in on a conversation leaving a Dungeons and Dragons feel to interactions. Your interactions with others also shapes how people from other factions view your character post game.
I feel that both solo and co-op play have their own feels, during a co-op run the character with the most “Leadership”, a charisma based skill becomes the focus of the story, most decisions if in a tie go to the leader’s favor. There is a bit of challenge to the game when it comes to mob management but most monster will just run up to you and attack, making most groups a scoot and shoot if you’re playing solo or just mass clearing enemies with the projectiles that flood the screen when playing in a group. That being said, Moon Hunters is a surprisingly quick game, I was able to reach a conclusion within 45 mins of booting the game up.
At the end of your adventures you’re greeted with a neat block of text that sums up your actions in game, I ended up being cursed by blindness a la rock to the back of the head and dying a painful death at the hands of the end boss. I think that a really big draw of this game is the ability to craft your own mythos of the world by having multiple generations of characters play through it. Going through and reading up on each character’s accomplishments and failures makes choices mean something as you craft your own legends in this game world.