With multiple character classes to play as, and a story that you'll need to unravel over multiple playthroughs, Moon Hunters brings its own spin on the action RPG genre to the Switch.
After several runs through Moon Hunters, only two of which have been to completion thus far, the game has made quite an impression on me. Though I’m still not 100% sure what is going on or how best to operate within this world, there’s just enough there that I’m intrigued. With the core gameplay being focused on action, it can be somewhat reminiscent of a game like Kamiko. However, the variety in play styles, the overall challenge of surviving in some of these environments, and the many events that will help shape who your hero is and how they’ll be remembered continue to suck me in.
At the beginning of each game you’ll choose your hero. The first four choices available have quite diverse play styles, each with strengths and weaknesses. There are additional characters you can unlock and from what I’m seeing that may take require completing specific tasks in particular ways. The impression I get is that you’ll want to approach random encounters differently on each subsequent playthrough to realize opportunities you may have missed. You’ll also choose where you’ll start your journey from. Initially your options are limited but as you play you’ll also unlock additional starting points. What the full implications of these choices are I’m still not certain, though where you start on the map will have an impact on where you can go since each game only lasts 5 days.
Over the course of the 5 days in-game you’ll have to explore a location, kill random monsters, look for loot, and periodically talk into vendors. Depending on where you go and perhaps on how fate finds you there will also be random encounters where you’ll sometimes be given an opportunity to make a choice that could have a variety of effects. There are also times where you’ll find that your bravery, compassion, or other character traits aren’t up to snuff and you won’t be able to see what happens with them. This element to the game is one that I’ve found the most intriguing and is motivating me to play through perhaps as a different character, or to make different choices, in the hopes of being able to see how everything plays out. At the end of every day you’ll also have the chance to choose how to spend your time, perhaps opting to stargaze or hunt among other things. These events will help build specific traits but will also open the opportunity for additional random encounters. It isn’t until you play through a few times that you begin to realize just how far down the rabbit hole you can go.
Even though I’ve managed to “complete” the game twice with different characters, there’s still much I don’t know and want to better understand. Even after unlocking new classes, regions to explore, and places to start my journey from, the game is still a mystery. When I’ve encountered animals there are hints that I may be able to communicate with them and I’m intrigued to know what that may reveal. It’s obvious my efforts haven’t resulted in the most desirable outcome and I’m curious to see what I may need to do to get on the right path. There are just so many questions I have, even with quite a few hours sunk in, that I want to find the answers to. This makes Moon Hunters very appealing and I look forward to seeing how it plays on the Switch where I hope to play with some family and friends as well, taking advantage of the game’s co-op mode and exploring what possibilities that may also unlock.
This preview is based on the PC version of the game but should be representative of both the content and general appearance of the final product on the Nintendo Switch.