About a year ago, I was perusing through Kickstarter’s video game campaign section. I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular, I just wanted to see if anything caught my eye. Eventually something did, a Myth-Weaving couch co-op Action RPG called Moon Hunters by a young studio called Kitfox Games.
The game had a brilliant next-gen pixel-art style and gameplay that resembled some of my favorite top-down dungeon crawlers like Diablo or Champions of Norrath. Obviously, I was hooked as were many others. The campaign went on to earn over $178,000; way above their target goal of $45,000. No doubt, it was a resounding success for the studio.
Then six months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing
the Creative Director on Moon Hunters, Tanya X. Short, who gave some great insight on the game’s development. She told me that the game’s three main design pillars are Deeds, Combat, and Reputation. Deeds allow the players to take action in the world around them to reflect their personality. Combat empowers the player and drives the action forward while Reputation is the resulting satisfaction the player sees from their actions in the game world.
Now finally, Kitfox Games has released Moon Hunters to the public on Steam (with a PS4 release due sometime this year), but unfortunately the game isn’t quite what I was hoping for.
I will say this for Kitfox Games, Moon Hunters is clearly the game they wanted to make. It’s unique ideas are on full display. Moon Hunters, in terms of its design, is a reflection of the freedom granted only to those in the indie scene; it’s just unfortunate that many of its ideas don’t pan out.
Let’s take a look at what worked and what did not in Moon Hunters.