Moon Hunters, out this week for Switch, is a short, fun game about creating your own mythology.
The point of Moon Hunters is to make up a lot of stories. The game takes place over the course of three days, during which a culture that worships the moon is threatened by a cult of the sun. You play as one of the heroes of the moon worshippers, clearing out dungeons and making moral choices that earn you personality traits that reflect how other characters perceive you. Whether you play poorly or well, win or lose, play alone or in multiplayer doesn’t really matter. It’s fascinating just to see all the different ways that the story can turn out.
As much fun as Moon Hunters’s bite-sized dungeons are, the most fun is finishing the game and reading the profile of your hero. My first go around, which I completed in about 45 minutes, I tried out the ranged sorceress character. During my game, I leveled up my faith stat and openly mocked the sun cultists I met in my travels. At the end of the game my character ended up arrogant, with a royal bearing, though she ultimately fell to the sun cult. My next game, which I started immediately afterward, I tried the stronger, slower witch character, who mostly stabbed things and ran through monsters with her charge attack. Although she was quite patient with her fellow villagers, she also has stockpiled lots of money. So far, she has a reputation for being cunning, or even greedy. Oops.
Moon Hunters is billed as a “personality test RPG” by its development studio, Kitfox Games, and that’s partially true. Like any good Seventeen magazine quiz, it doesn’t take long to complete, and I think that the results I’m getting correspond pretty well to what I’m choosing to do in game. I don’t think I’m learning about myself though, and that’s fine. I’m more interested in filling in the constellations that you can see in the menu screen, which will open up new backgrounds and character classes, as well as just reading more stories of the heroes that I play.
You can play Moon Hunters co-op, and I can see the appeal of that. It would be interesting to watch how characters develop differently over the course of a playthrough, and given the portability of the Switch, this game seems like a decent way to spend time with friends. That said, I’m not particularly compelled to get my friends to play this with me just yet. I still want to write a few stories of my own.