Moon Hunters is a weird one. It labels itself as “a co-op personality test about exploring an ancient, occult world in 5 days.” Let’s discuss.
Moon Hunters Gameplay
In Moon Hunters, you are creating your own legend in a “co-op personality test” with up to four other players as you explore a Mesopotamian-ish environment.
According to the developers, every action and choice you take adds up and results in a different constellation in the night sky. You build your “mythology” on your journey and all of the maps are procedurally generated (you’ll never play the same area twice, hence the roguelike status).
Actual gameplay consists of choosing one of seven character types (four to start off – you unlock the others as you go) and with your partner(s), traveling around a map for five days/turns. Each turn you spend in a different area and most areas have monsters you must fight with your warrior.
Gameplay is a point-and-click top-down RPG and the art is pixel-based, as you can see:
Alex and I both really like mythological stuff so we thought this might be a good fit. I also really like personality tests.
This game really doesn’t have anything to do with either of those things.
The “personality test” component makes absolutely no sense. You get traits unexpectedly and randomly and there’s no rhyme or reason to what you end up with because, if you watched the video above, you also find out that the game itself is stupid short. Those five days/turns go by in a blur and a run-through of the game can be done under an hour, tops.
It’s good and bad, but mostly bad. The first playthrough Alex and I did, we chose a Witch and a Ritualist and it was mind bogglingly easy. And then when we tried another run, I chose a Sun Cultist and Alex chose the Spellblade and it was mind bogglingly difficult. Apparently, it’s very difficult single player so the scaling here is just way off. I’d imagine with three or more players, the game becomes ridiculously boring.
It’s also just not…actually a co-op game. There’s always one leader in the group and pretty much all of the decisions made by the leader set the course for the game. I know there’s no easy way to handle this (although Divinity Original Sin did a good job) but nothing about this game feels cooperative. You can become the leader by raising your Charisma stat but as noted above, there is no telling how you consistently do that.
There’s also tons of Steam reviews that co-op simply does not work online. The entire game apparently breaks down. I can’t fathom how this works with four people.
The worst to us was how seriously the game takes itself. The voice acting is overly dramatic. The music is overly dramatic and annoying (and I’m a connoisseur of video game music so…trust me on that). The writing is boring and we had zero interest in what was happening with our characters or with others, unlike in games like Divinity Original Sin.
Unfortunately, this is the first game we’ve played in a while that we both truly didn’t like. I really wanted to like it. It’s part of the Cozy Couch Co-Op Bundle on Steam with other games we like, like Battleblock Theater, Overcooked and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. So maybe we’re pretty unfairly disappointed because I don’t think anything could compete well with those sorts of titles.
The best part is that Alex got it for me for my birthday. Thanks for nothing, husband <3
Overall score: 2/10
Title: Moon Hunters
Developer: Kitfox Games
Game Type: RPG, Roguelike
Bartle Type: Explorer, Socializer, Achiever
Player Count: 2-4
Average Play Session Time: 30 minutes
Type of Co-Op: Couch, Online
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Linux, macOS
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