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Sly Reflex

Moonlighter

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Moonlighter is a game about running a shop by day, and adventuring at night. That is the most basic way of explaining it without getting too complicated.

 

You want to know more about it than that, so here goes,

 

Moonlighter is viewed top down and is split into  a few parts. There's a bit where you manage a shop and a bit where you go out adventuring to stock the shop with items to sell.. 

 

Lets get the fighting bit out the way first. There are 4 (maybe 5) dungeons in the game that work off tile sets and are randomly generated each time you enter them. You know the deal. The fighting is not complicated, there's a few weapons that you can equip, 2 at a time, and then go hit or shoot stuff.  You can heal yourself if you have potions, as well as use and evasive roll which has a very large invincibility period. Killing enemies or opening chests in the dungeon has loot in them, or artefacts as the game calls them. It's these artefacts you sell in your shop. Except it's not as easy as that, because of course it never is.

 

Item inventory plays a big part in this. Remember all those times you spent moving stuff about in Resi 4 trying to get everything packed in? Well, it's the same here, except it's got a different spin. Items from chests sometimes have requirements on them. They either have to be kept in the left or right of your bag, or the top or bottom. Now this doesn't sound too bad, but there's other items with arrows on them. You have to read the banner on these items, because it all comes into how you pack your bag. Some of them immediately destroy items if the arrow is facing towards and item, some items break an item they're pointing to when you teleport back to town, other can break if you take too many hits, there's an item that changes whatever is pointed at to the item it is so you can transmog a bit of junk into something nice and finally one where the arrowed item sends something home to your box back in the shop.

 

Dungeons are split into 4 floors, with a boss on the fourth floor. They gradually get harder as you plunge the depths. You have a pendant that can teleport you back to the shop, however the deeper you go the more gold it costs to send you home. If you are caught short on gold you can also sell items to a mirror which you find when you go down a floor. You get a percentage of whatever the item you put ins worth. There's also another item called the catalyst which allows you to put a gate down and return to the point you're at for 2000 gold each time, although I'm sure this will go up as you get further into the game. This is a one use only, you have to pay each time, but I can imagine once you're rolling in it plopping it outside the boss door will be the smart thing to do. I think the biggest pain in the arse here is selling stuff to the mirror, instead of assigning it a button so you can send shit right to the mirror you have to directly drop the item in and it sort of feels like it was done with a mouse in mind and not a controller. It's easily patchable, whether they'll do that is another question entirely.

 

If you do not survive the dungeon and your HP reaches zero, it spits you out. Any items in your bag are lost for good. However, items on the top line of the inventory are kept, so if there's something really important you need you can bring it out with you no matter what.

 

When you're in town you have a shop where you can put the items on a table and open the doors. People come in and depending on how you've priced stuff will take of leave it. Occasionally you'll get a rich person come in that will buy inflated prices. More likely you'll get shoplifters who you have to apprehend once they've picked something up and tried to do a runner. If they get out the door your items are lost.

 

What to do with the gold you earn from all this? There's a blacksmith, a enchanter, a trader, a decorator and a banker you can spend gold on to bring into your town. These all use gold and items found in the dungeons to craft and upgrade weapons and armour, as well as enchanting them. The trader can get you items at an inflated price if you can't find them yourself, and the decorator allows you to put RPG like buffs on your shop, such and making people move faster or tip more. 

 

The shop itself is also upgradable.  You start off with a chest and a table with a bed to sleep in. As you progress you get more storage, bargain bins as well as more places to put decorative items that later the way your customers act. The bed gives you a set amount of HP above your standard health, I think it's bugged because it specifically says you get the buff after sleeping in the bed but you get it whenever you return from a dive. There's also cash registers that add tips to the base cost of an item which help mark up those items you cannot sell for a lot.

 

There's other stuff in here as well, stuff like supply and demand also rear their heads, if you flood the market with a certain item people will refuse to buy it at a regular price.

 

I think that's about it. In a way it reminds me of Rogue Legacy or The Swindle in that although you can die and lose your stuff, there's a part of the game where everything is still set in stone and is safe as long as you've banked it. Although I've not actually seen the boss of the first world I'm not that far off it, depending on how hard it is I'll have probably beaten it the next time I play. I'm wearing the thickest armour I can, I'm wielding the toughest weapons I can craft, it's just a case of getting to the fourth floor and giving it a hiding so I can get to the next dungeon and repeat until the end.

 

This game isn't for everyone, but there's a select few here that would be all over it. It's also the type of game I reckon would play well on Switch.

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Fucking hell, so many members posting stuff this could have fallen of the first page. :o

 

Anyway, boss killed. Was a push over really, I'm guessing  if you went in from the top and got to it it might have done a number on you, but I had a door teleport me right to it and I kicked its rocky arse up in the air. Also made a tidy profit from selling its corpse. I am guessing you can replay the bosses since there's loot drops specific to the boss when he finally pops his clogs. I think the mobs are generally more dangerous though. I might try and do a start and finish but I'd end up losing a lot of loot behind. I don't like leaving loot.

 

I have learned some game secrets. I am not going to share them here since they're sort of tied into the story, but it looks like a case of there's specific things to look out for that will help you on your journey.

 

I thought upgrades to the buildings and shops were just a free for all but that's not the case. The weapon and potions are gated by the materials you get from the dungeons, so that was a given, but also the upgrades to the shop. I tried to get the third upgrade for the shop and got told to fuck off. Similar with the banker, I guess if you finish the forest dungeon that might open some shit in the same way beating the golem did.

 

However now I am in the next building up from last time I can take requests from shoppers. I'm not entirely sure how this works as they don't request anything that makes any sense to me. It's not like they say "I want 5 iron ingots" so I can fulfil a request", They say "I want this from x mob" but I have no idea what the 'this' is. Unless it's just general drops from that mob. I'm going to have to work that out.

 

Profits have gone up seriously, I mean there's still shite dropping but in general the runs I'm getting are bringing maybe 20k in just by doing one floor. The costs to extract have increased loads though, it's 800 gold to get out the forest on floor one, that goes up to 1200 gold for a second floor extraction. The catalyst costs way more too, I think the first floor it's like 4000 gold. For reference a 3rd floor placing in the golem costs something like 2000 gold. I think it might follow a pattern of 400 gold per floor and 2000 per dungeon you go in.

 

As for difficulty it's increased a fair bit. It's brought status effects into the fold and although a lot of the enemies have been reskins they have different behaviours that can and will catch you off guard. I need to upgrade my kit and then see about making it down as far as I can before taking the boss on. I guess I'll make a tidy sum rerunning the level until I can get it to a point where I don't take too much damage. Although the upgrades are getting pretty costly too, there's a definite hike in prices going both ways over the counter.

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That's the second dungeon down. The bosses in this are pushovers.

 

I just did a quick run through the Golem dungeon to see if I could fight the boss again. Sadly you cannot. That is disappointing, the room is all smashed up and you fight some standard mobs and then loot some chests, it's very anticlimactic.

 

Hopefully there is a place you can boss rush, if only to be able to fill out your book for the rare loots the bosses drop.

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So when you joined me it appeared that my snowball had set itself to bot be default. I was happily talking away to you @RoboticMonk3y thinking you could hear me and it turned out you could not. Sorry about that. I should have checked beforehand.

 

Onto the game. The third boss is a cunt.

 

Spoiler


I think I need to fire more arrows when shit's bouncing around. I might not hit anything, but if I do it's less I have to trike off with the sword.

 

 

The third dungeon is hard and the most annoying thing is the bits I need to upgrade my damage output are completely RNG with the sneak peek rooms. I'll get that stuff eventually, but my god is it making me work for it.

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I like this. Up to the forest dungeon and the gameplay loop is very short but generally quite satisfying and dipping into a dungeon never really feels fruitless. I'm working through gear level 2 for stuff before properly trying to make progress through the second and third floors since I found with Golem dungeon that was a must. 

 

Main problem with the game at the moment is the combat. It's okay but having some enemies that damage you on contact, then some that have a wind up can be very frustrating. Especially if the room has multiple of each type. Those jelly guys that trap you can eat a dick as well. 

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It's alright but I was getting bored of the loop as I was finishing up the third dungeon. I would have pushed through but after placing down a portal before the boss, every time I tried to return the game froze on reloading the dungeon. That bug killed it for me as I couldn't stomach working through every floor again when I should have just been able to teleport back in and take on the boss.

 

I think the game is just a little slow at ramping up the shop mechanics, I'd find it more engaging if it was quicker paced.

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I should go back to this. That third boss really out a dampener on the whole thing, it spends more time off the screen than on it, but it can still hit you. 

 

It doesn't help that the bits I need to level up my gear are a tad rare. That would take the sting out of it if I was doing maximum damage. 

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Are the items you need not available at le retailer? I just bought the last component for the level 2 sword and shield since RNGeesus was not blessing me and the low damage was driving me crazy. 

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I don't actually know. You know those rooms that show you the next world on? I need items from that. I could try the retailer but I think his stock rotates? I'll have a look after I have finished with Fallout 4 in approx another 200 hours. Depending on how many floors you go down dictates the rarity of the loot, so that sword part you needed would have maybe been a floor 2 or 3 drop. I don't know if you've done any of the request things yet but that's what you need to be looking for, figure out where the thing drops and hope you get lucky with it. Or just hoard loads of them in the chests in the back and put the request out there and then.

 

Those foreshadowing rooms or whatever the game calls them have better loot the further down you go as well, same as they would if you were in the dungeons themselves.

 

There's also a set pattern to the layout but I don't know if you've realised it yet. The game flat out tells you at some point but if you are well smart you should be able to figure it out well before then.

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Le Retailer just sells whatever you have picked up. He is currently selling fire world stuff in my game so sells whatever you have collected from the world in advance as well.

 

I picked up on the fountain showing the way pretty quickly. I'm sure there is other stuff as well but since the focus is generally on grinding loot I don't pay much attention. Just murder everything. 

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2 minutes ago, Bob said:

Just murder everything. 

 

I wish everything was as easy as this, life would be much smoother if it was.

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Second boss done on the first try, total pushover and now I have an absolute butt tonne of money and severe lack of materials to go with it. Had a few trips into the third dungeon but so far the stuff I need to upgrade just isn't dropping. With the money I'm wracking up though I should be able to grab most of what I need from le retailer as soon as it's available. At the moment I'm just using enchantments to cover any problems with low damage. 

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Third dungeon done! 

Spoiler

Boss was a bit of a douche but just about managed to scrape through on the first try with maybe two hits of health left. I think with the desert dungeon they are trying to get the player to play a bit more methodically, dodging attacks and waiting for them to finish before going in to do some damage because the pace of the game has shifted significantly going into dungeon 4 with most enemies having long AOE attacks. 

 

Bought all the upgrades for the shop now and shit is looking fancy as fuck. The price for teleportation is getting ridiculous now though. 

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Finito! Took about 8 and a half hours and had the tiniest bit of health left at the end so the low health noise was playing over the entire ending and credits. I was also making a ridiculous amount of money by the end. More than I knew what to do with. PS_Messages_20190329_162424.jpg

 

Overall I was really impressed and glad it didn't wear out its welcome by being overly long. The pace increases significantly from the third dungeon on. Bit of last boss spoilers.

Spoiler

Not too hard although it did pull the old double boss fight on me and I was left frantically dodging and slashing near the end after using all my health potions, but just managed to scrape through on my second try. The ending was pretty simple but cute, full of typos though, as was the rest of the game in general. 

 

Will definitely head back for more if they add any sizeable content updates but I don't know what the story is there. 

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Just started this. I’m assuming you’re meant to get overwhelmed at the start and die? 

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Yeah. I imagine some cray bitch managed to get through it but not for mortals like us. 

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