Moon Hunters, originally a PC exclusive before making its way over to the PS4, was developed by Kitfox Games. With RPG play style, meshed with some hacking and slashing, the indie game is a unique take on the genre. The game is memorable, definitely, with different endings and an intriguing story, but overall, the campaign is quite short.
When I say short, I mean short. The campaign took me about an hour. Yeah, you read that right, a PS4 game with a campaign that lasts an hour. Why would you pay for a game so short? That is where Moon Hunters’ interesting storyline, level generator and battles come into play. Whilst the story does start off as somewhat vague and confusing, the more you play the game and play through its different choices and multiple endings, the more is revealed about its narrative. You need to explore the game fully, before you can piece the whole story together, which is super interesting and quite a clever take on a video game, if you ask me.
At its bare basics, the people in the game either pray to the sun or the moon, and after the moon goddess goes missing, you have to find her before something drastic happens. To build the whole story, you have to speak to NPCs, but some will only let you speak to them if you have certain skills or if you had made certain decisions. When all these factors come together, you can see how the story does not just pan across one play through, as with four different endings, you are somewhat expected to be interested enough to play it at least four times.
Of course, it is not all just chatting it up with the NPCs and seeing what is what in the world of Issaria. The world itself it randomly generated so no two playthroughs are exactly the same. This can make exploring fun for the first few playthroughs, but the familiar feel of the worlds will soon catch up to you can exploring does not become your main priority anymore.
However, if you choose to fight, the battles are fun to play. The combat is pretty basic stuff, but the enemies provide enough of a challenge that it is never boring. Strangely, whilst you can local play with up to three friends, the PC version also allows online play whereas the PS4 version does not. Not a very smart decision on behalf of PS4 players in the grand scheme of things, but the game is no where difficult enough to make you struggle, even if you play it solo, so friends are just an extra fun addition rather than a necessity.
Also, the frame rates are no joke and instead are rather irritating, especially during intense battles such as boss ones. The stuttering and slow chugging as the frames try to catch up with themselves is enough to make your shoulders rise with tension, but not enough to make you yell in anger. Moon Hunters story takes place over five days, which I think is a realistic amount of time. This is not a superhero story, where a crazy amount of stuff happens overnight, the game takes time to develop whilst still keeping the clock going. The game has some things you need to do, such as choose a hometown and attend the moon festival there, but there are so many times the game leaves choices up to you that you will never play the game in the exact same way twice.
I think this is really cool for an indie title, and I hope to see more like it in the future. Whilst the PS4 port could have done with more work, I am glad I played this game. With pretty graphics and a very nice soundtrack, I think more people need to hear about this game. Moon Hunters is not exactly a diamond in the rough, but it is enjoyable to the point where more people need to own it and share it with friends. It would be interesting to see how many people discover the true ending, and on how many playthroughs, but, all in all, if you are looking for a new RPG, this game is definitely one that you could add to your library.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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