I remember seeing the Kickstarter for Moon Hunters and being really excited for the game; Moon Hunters is a Diablo-like game with vibrant colors and dialogue options that affect how the game unfolds. There are a lot of neat ideas in Moon Hunters, but despite that — and my excitement to finally play this game on Nintendo Switch — Moon Hunters turned out to be one of the most disappointing games on the Switch eShop.
Moon Hunters is about creating your own mythology: everything you do, from the number of enemies you kill to how you interact with NPCs, shapes the stories future generations tell about your character. There are a handful of characters you can play as, each with their own class like spellsword and ritualist, and they each have the same basic goal of killing the Sun Cult’s leader and protecting the Moon goddess.
Because Moon Hunters is about crafting mythology, each playthough only lasts between an hour to two hours, and a lot of that is spent just waiting for the game to load new areas. Moon Hunters wants you to play through the game multiple times — forging a new mythology each time — and tries to encourage this by offering a variety of starting regions and scenarios.
The different starting regions are your typical fantasy settings like the desert and grassland, and don’t really offer much beyond cosmetic changes. No matter what character you pick or what area you start in, Moon Hunters follows this basic loop: explore a linear area, camp for the night, explore a linear area, camp for the night, and repeat until the Sun Cult comes for your head.
You’re given a world map with a bunch of different locations to explore, but I’m not really sure what the point is — each location is a linear walk in the park devoid of puzzles and branching pathways. You do collect opals by killing enemies, and these can be traded to upgrade your character’s attacks. The problem here is that the different characters are too imbalanced: I was able to breeze through the game with the ritualist, but I kept getting slaughtered as the spellsword. I ended up stumbling across the final boss early with the spellsword and actually beat him — he was much, much easier to fight than the rest of the game’s enemies. There just isn’t any sense of progression in Moon Hunters.
On the Other Hand…
Moon Hunters has some neat ideas in it, though. You’ll come across NPCs in your travels that present you with a multitude of dilemmas for you to offer your advice on, and what you choose shapes your character’s reputation and increases certain stats. One such dilemma was whether an orphan should be taken into the village — I suggested that it should be, and my character gained a reputation as compassionate.
There’s also couch co-op play with up to three of your friends, Diablo-style. Moon Hunters is more fun in multiplayer because it makes fighting waves of enemies a lot easier and each character in your party can have totally different reputations.
The soundtrack for Moon Hunters is fantastic. There aren’t a whole lot of tracks, but each one is incredible. You can listen to the OST on YouTube here.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: The reviewer purchased a copy of Moon Hunters for this Moon Hunters review.