Handling a store during the day, brutally surviving at night.
Moonlighter is a game split into two different segments – it’s half business simulator, half roguelite. During the day you run a store which sells various good for competitive prices. The customers will come in, browse around your wares and instantly give a reaction to the price. This will help you to make better decisions and ensure that you know which customers desire certain products. You’ll make lots of cash either way, and you’ll want it for the bigger part of the game.
During the night, it becomes a roguelite – this is the bigger part of the game. You will venture into one of the five major dungeons to collect precious wares. With simple-yet-effective moves you will take down foes and collect their spoils to make a decent living. The trick is knowing when it is best to leave – easier said than done. After a certain point, you're inclined to push onwards in order to collect even bigger rewards. That being said, if you aren't careful, you will pass out. These will make you lose everything you have already collected without a way to get it back.
As long as you're successful, progression should be going your way. The money can be spent on purchasing armor, weaponry and different upgrades like increasing the size of your pouch. In the initial runs you will have to be careful as your resources are incredibly limited. In time, however, you will learn what is effective against certain enemies and how to extract the most out of them. It is this specific gameplay loop that was so endlessly entertaining as I explored the various parts of the experience.
What also impressed was the style of the game. The clean, pixelated style was jaw droppingly beautiful to behold. Moonlighter consists of incredibly bright colors with solid separation between the different layers. As this is an overhead game, it is important to see everything with in glance which is something the developers absolutely nailed to a point. The little animations done by the inhabitants and enemies were absolutely adorable in my eyes.
Moonlighter was one of the Indie Highlights showcased during the show. Without a doubt, it absolutely deserves that moniker. Both sides of the gameplay were extremely entertaining and the minutes just flew by. I'm certain that I stayed at the one stand for a solid 30 minutes or so, which I surely don't regret. Within that time, this action RPG managed to win me over. I enjoyed it so much that I would love to check it out now on another platform, but I really should just wait for the Switch version.