Moonlighter is an upcoming action role-playing game from developer Digital Sun that challenges the player to balance running a shop in a small village with exploring dangerous dungeons.
You play as Will, a humble shop owner in the town of Rynoka who dreams of becoming a hero and exploring a series of randomly-generated dungeons just outside of town. Inside of each dungeon, you’ll fight various enemies and unlock chests to collect materials to use back home, either by putting them up for sale or using them to craft better equipment. Inventory management can be a bit of a chore but it’s nothing that completely got in my way.
Back at home, you can place items up for sale in your shop. You’re in charge of setting the price of each item. Set it too low and customers will grab it for cheap; set it too high and they’ll sigh and leave. Finding that sweet spot is aided by a handy notebook that keeps track of prices you’ve already set and how customers reacted. Pricing takes a bit of trial and error, but it’s part of the fun, and seeing that money come in feels even better.
Once you scrape up enough change, you can put it towards upgrading your shop or the village itself. You can unlock a blacksmith who can hook you up with fresh gear or an enchantress who can cook up some potions and buff weapons and armor. It’s a satisfying loop that feels like a really slick metaphor for balancing a day job and a side hustle. I’m about 10 hours in, and I sat down with Riley, who’s also been playing, to show how the game works. Check out the video above to see Moonlighter in action.
Moonlighter is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on May 29. Digital Sun says they’re aiming for a Q3 2018 release for Switch.