A few creators on Kickstarter have proven that backing indie games can be a risky. Some of us have been forced to wait years for the product, or simply never got one. Other creators, however, deliver on their promise with a polished product deserving of that initial pledge. Digital Sun Studios looks they’ll be joining the latter group May 29th with the release of a charming little game called Moonlighter for PS4, Switch, and PC.
In Moonlighter, you play as Will, a shopkeeper who spends his off-hours dungeon crawling for fresh inventory. Will lives in the town of Rynoka, conveniently happens to be next to some mystical Gates uncovered in an excavation. Through the Gates lies mystical trinkets and treasures able to be sold at your shop or crafted into items (yes, you cannot make a game in 2018 without there being some level of crafting). Moonlighter was introduced on Kickstarter last year as an “action RPG with rogue-lite elements” and looked full of charm even then. Now, less than two weeks shy of its release, Digital Sun seems to have created a solid game that should deliver on that premise.
There’s been no reveal on how long the game is going to be. Personally, I’m really hoping that the game will have the kind of ongoing nature that something like Binding of Isaac has, except more linear in nature as we stay with our one character who grows rather than start from scratch over and over. The rogue-lite elements apparently will surface when dungeon-crawling through the Gates, apparently randomly generated realms filled with monsters, bosses, and loot. From what we can get from certain screenshots released with press assets, it looks like it will also have a familiar death screen, showing how far Will explored, how he died, and what enemy killed him.
Kickstarter is super ripe for awesome projects to throw your money at, and while I tend to limit my backing to “low-risk” projects—comics mostly—every so often a well deserving indie game pops up and I go for it. As a backer for Moonlighter, it’s been enjoyable to watch the game grow while maintaining its initial premise. Along the development, Digital Sun Studios has regularly communicated to backers with fresh info, great artwork, updated mechanics, and even an art contest. They’ve shared excitement when hitting development milestones and were transparent about any bugginess the game was experiencing. It’s the perfect example of what running a Kickstarter for a game should be—charming enough to attract backers, and simple enough to actually pull the whole thing off. Digital Sun has been steadily working while never straying from their goal or aiming too high. It’s obvious they’ve had a clear vision of what Moonlighter would be, and it’s been exciting to see the pieces all fit together.