Review by Jack Bankhead
Not many multiplayer party RPG’s are out there. Most party games tend to be minigame based, quick, fun rounds. Moon Hunters is an exception, it is described it as a “co-op multiplayer personality test RPG” Is it a good game? Yes. But why? Is it the art? Music? Gameplay? Multiplayer? Story? It is in fact, all of them.
To begin, up to four players pick a character and skin. After setting up your heroes, you pick a town to start in. This can alter what you do and play. After a brief introduction level (you trying to return to your town) you come to the Moon Feast, but mysteriously the Moon Goddess (the motif of the game) does not come and appear. Your job, as the hero(es) is to try and find the Moon Goddess and fight off the Sun Cultists. You then have 5 days to try to find clues before fighting the King of the Sun Cultists.
The gameplay involves action RPG combat and encounters in the maps to break up in between fighting. Combat is simple, real time, but does encourage teamwork. You have three abilities- movement, regular attack, and special attack. These abilities can be upgraded from merchants throughout the game, and they are very rewarding to gather enough opals (in game currency) and buy them. In between combat, there are encounters that, depending on what you choose, will shape your character with one of a few traits. A decision may affect more than just the dialogue- it may affect your current game. If there is more than one person playing, the leader’s decision (the one with the most Charm trait) will take effect.
The art is simply breathtaking, to me. The hand drawn portraits of characters is absolutely beautiful, and the sprite work is very well done. The maps are randomly generated, but still pretty. However, it doesn’t feel entirely natural. For a multiplayer game like this, that is acceptable. It shakes things up a bit when playing with friends.
Something important to note is that one game will at most take maybe a single hour. This is on purpose. It is literally impossible to do everything on one run. This genuinely makes you come back for more. Until a few runs, and doing some things specifically, you will not unlock all characters. You will not unlock all abilities, towns, types of locations, et cetera. I played some single player to unlock the extra characters, then play multiplayer with them all unlocked.
At the end of each game, the players and the decisions they made will shape a myth, in the game’s hubworld. You can use that character you played as to try your hand at the endless arena, which is not easy. Probably should get 4 friends as Ritualists. That should make it easy. That brings me to a few of my gripes: some of the characters are not balanced, and the music (that’s very good) doesn’t always come one. Some characters are very hard to play as, whereas others are very easy. Those are my few gripes.
The game is a very unique game, and I highly recommend it. Specifically the Switch version. That makes it easy for multiplayer. The art, gameplay, and story are beautiful, creating an interesting, but well executed game. Do get it.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch, not provided by Kitfox Games