Title: Moon Hunters

Platform: Steam, Windows

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: Action RPG, hack n slash

Players: Single player, Local and Online Co Op (1-4)



Written by Whistler 31st March 2016

















One of the many unique aspects that sets gaming as a medium apart from others is the ability to give the player choice in how the narrative plays out. Seeing the tale unfold as you make meaningful decisions can elevate the experience as you weave together a personal journey.

However when the space in which to flesh out the journey is constrained to barely an hour it becomes far harder to seem personal and not just a random string of events. But does Moon Hunters fall victim to the same issues or does this ‘myth-weaving RPG’ shine through?


After the famous moon festival goes awry and the Moon Goddess fails to show you are handed the task from your local chief elder to find her.

During your journey you’ll find that the Occult of the Sun seems to have had a hand in her disappearance and that’s all there really is to the story other than a collection of random events. As the player your time will be spent exploring seemingly randomly generated wildernesses and having conversations with characters. In villages or during random events players can converse with various creatures and humans to unlock traits and affect different outcomes.





























The cast on offer is refreshingly diverse, no warriors or rogues are present, instead players can choose  from Spell Blade, Ritualist, Druid, Witch, Sun Cultist and Songweaver (the latter two unlocked after you achieve certain criteria). Each class has their own distinct attacks and playstyles such as the Songweaver’s ability to string tunes together for buffs or the Druid’s ability to manipulate the terrain. However once you’ve played a character once there isn’t really all that much to playing them again as sadly the combat is nothing memorable. Combat is at best average but far too soon becomes an unchallenging dance of repetition, while there are enjoyable moments fighting enemies is far removed from the game’s strongest aspects.


What I can confirm without a doubt is that Moon Hunter’s is a beautiful game, where both it’s art and music weave together to paint an almost perfect world to explore. Character portraits are shown in wondrous watercolors and accompanied by colourful lively pixel art. While simple you can feel the life breathed into each sprite as they animate against the lively forests, deserts and swamplands. Each locale is accompanied by a short but amazing tracklist, each setting the enchanting tone brilliantly.


However Moon Hunter’s selling point proves too often to be it’s biggest weakness. It’s story prides itself on being able be told multiple times as you piece together different jigsaw pieces to cultivate ‘your tale’. However more often than not you’ll be handed a random assortment of pieces that don’t fit together, when only after five or so playthroughs will you possibly manage to connect a few. Even then should you happen to get two fitting pieces you’ll then have to hope you just so happened to acquire one of the appropriate traits. As previously mentioned choices made during events or conversations with npcs will in turn gain you one of these traits such as courage, pride, compassion, wise, foolish and vengeful. While at first this sounds great in concept, sadly it only serves to unlock events should you happen upon them.





























After several playthroughs your decisions become meaningless bar unlocking some character skins or extra locations, so much weight is emphasized in Moon Hunters’ story and yet so little of the player’s choice matters.

Sadly what could be an amazing title is littered with bugs and doesn’t give the player enough time to immerse themselves into its world.

Kitfox have the making of something great but rely too much on the player willingly putting themselves through a menagerie of disjointed stories that would’ve been better suited to a more coherent structure. With each playthrough only lasting an hour there wasn’t enough space to flesh out an interesting journey and sadly I could only chase the moon for so long.



Pros:

Eye catching visuals,

Brilliant soundtrack,

Interesting concept.


Cons:

Online Co Op is a mess,

Repetitive gameplay,

Plethora of bugs,

Multiple endings feel unresolved and weak.


Final verdict,

Hopefully Kitfox can refine what they’ve learned, but for now Moon Hunters scores a rough 6/10.


Written by,

Whistler



 

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