Start, explore, die, try again, loot, sell, get better and repeat.
We join Will, the owner of the adventurer’s shop, Moonlighter. Passed down through the family, this little shop sells items retrieved from one of the five deep peril-filled dungeons scattered throughout the land. As a young lad starting to run the shop on his own, Will takes on the challenge of going into the first dungeon. Armed with only the broom he uses to clean the shop, his first endeavour is to end badly for him. Beat up and spat out of the dungeon, he is found by an old man who knows more about the shop side of things, showing you how to really get started. After handing you a sword and telling you to use it next time you choose to go diving into monster-filled dungeons, instead of the cleaning equipment.
Once the shop closes it leaves you with one task, to restock the shelves. With this in mind, it’s now time to put that sword to good use, heading out to the dungeon gates, readying yourself for a battle, one you stand a better chance winning now you have a real weapon at least.
Killing enemies, smashing stuff like pots and tables and opening chests after clearing out a room gets you those vital items needed to fill the shop. Each item has a value you have to find out for yourself and with a little guesswork you can get a general idea of how much a gold bar would cost compared to an iron one, but there are items that can throw this pattern off. You will underprice things at first, but look at it this way, all it cost you in the first place was time. As you sell more and more, you record the values but beware, sell a rare item too much and it no longer becomes rare, so the price will change over time.
Also, as you get better, you can invest in the shop and even in the town, buying a bigger shop so more places to sell, more storage space and the like. As for the town you invest in, other shops like a forge and a potion shop and many others pop up. These can then be used to buy and make stuff from your recovered items, getting better weapons, a good supply of health potions, all to help the next dungeon exploration to get you further towards the boss at the end of each dungeon and unlocking the other dungeons to reach the fabled fifth dungeon.
No two visits to any dungeon are the same. While you may find the same campsites now and then, or some rooms may have the same layout, enemies are ever changing. This means while you do the same things over and over, you don’t get the monotonous feeling of grinding while playing because there is always something to surprise you.
One of those things is a creature that I can only think of as the game’s version of the Cleaner from Labyrinth, as when this shows up you just have to run to the next level or use your pendant to get the hell out of there, as this thing will follow you from one room to another. Maybe as the game progresses you could fight back against this brute, but in my experience, it was a very blatant one shot kill. Let’s just say my one hundred health didn’t fare too well against a blow I recall being something like fourteen thousand damage, but try your own methods. It could just be I didn’t move fast enough (I’m such a noob when it comes to these things).
Despite it not being my normal game style, I loved it. With cool pixel art gameplay and a rather beautiful soundtrack to back it up, the game in its own way is stunning and leaves the player wanting to get back into the action again as soon as possible. I could see this game devouring many lives and making pixel RPG entrepreneurs out of many of the people that play it, and now I have my bow even I stand more of a chance at a distance. Get it loaded up now and better clear that diary because this will get you hooked in.