A mother’s love for a child is never something to be questioned. When Queen Calypso’s daughter Moonchild is abducted, she becomes determined to rescue her no matter the cost.
Moonchild is a turn-based RPG that follows Calypso’s journey to rescue her daughter. I had originally wishlisted the game when it came out, and was recently able to get the opportunity to review it. I’ve grown quite fond of RPGMaker titles in recent history and Moonchild is no exception.
When you first start the game, you’re presented with the choice of if you want to view the introduction or not. After that, you’re presented with another choice – the difficulty you play on. You have one of three choices – RPG, Casual, or Story. RPG is hard mode, Casual is normal, and Story is easy. I had originally started the game on RPG but wasn’t really having much fun with how badly I was getting attritioned down. I decided to restart on Story so that I would be able to get through and review it.
If you play Moonchild on hard, I mean it when I say you will get attritioned down. On the other hand, playing on Story was almost laughably easy. I never tried Casual, but perhaps it’s a decent middle grounds between the two. In RPG, I made it about halfway through the first proper dungeon and was just not enjoying myself much. I was skipping a lot of enemies – something I generally dislike doing – and still running out of items and didn’t have the money to buy more.
Money is a big issue in this game. Luckily, if you’re on Story (Easy), you can often get away with not always buying the newest and best gear. A full dungeon clear would often net me enough to buy maybe a few pieces of equipment. I was generally only gearing a select few, though you’ll want to make sure you have enough gear for everyone at the end of the game! You’ll also want to spend a little time leveling up everyone.
Leveling isn’t that bad overall, though I imagine it’s a lot more of an attrition battle on RPG later on. You can see every enemy in the field and know how many enemies will be in a particular encounter. Sometimes it’s a little harder to tell if multiple groups get bunched off or some parts of the encounter are wandering off screen. I did generally like this though, as it did give me a sense of how many I needed to fight. Granted, in most regular battles I was just hitting Rush so that I didn’t have to mash through Attack on everyone. You’ll still want to specifically target some things however, especially on higher difficulties.
Dungeon layouts are large. You’ll often walk down a path, see a way to go to another screen and think, hey, I bet that’s the way to go! Then you’ll find it in two other places. Be prepared to do a lot of backtracking because of this. Luckily (sometimes unluckily if you need to level), not all of the enemies you killed respawn when you re-enter a screen. Some enemies do however spawn when you walk over certain tiles, with it occasionally actually slowing down the game as it loads them in. It’s often not actually obvious this happens, though when they appear right in your face it becomes a bit more obvious then.
Moonchild has a wide variety of side quests you can pick up. These are given to you in the form of scrolls, though it’s said they help you find where to go, I didn’t find the hints they gave generally that useful. As such, I didn’t actually do many side quests in this game at all. Either through lack of incentive to go back and search around or just not really knowing what to actually do for them. Some items you pick up are the same way, and while I presume they’re probably related to some side quests. I don’t really know. I actually missed the “secret” character you can get because of not having the right item for him and not actually being able to go back and get it. I didn’t really need to get him in the end, but it would have been nice!
Moonchild has a fair bit of default RPGMaker stuff built in though it did at least feel like it fit. There were some songs in it I hadn’t heard before so I’m not sure if they were original or just lesser used, but the general feel I got from the music was that it fit in. The lack of proper victory music was a bit off-putting though as the game transitioned from the battle music right back to the dungeon music.
If you’re looking for an RPGMaker game that you can make extremely challenging then check out Moonchild. It’s also decent if you’re just looking for a game you can get through the story of in around 10 hours (ignoring side quests). Want to do more? There’s a wide variety of achievements that will have you killing a lot of stuff with all of the characters. Unfortunately, some of the grammar in the game does fall apart, especially closer to the end. If I were to put my negatives on the game, it’s that it would have been nice if enemies actually dropped more money – especially ones that are tougher to respawn – and that there was quite a few grammar mistakes in the text. Other than that, I did enjoy my time playing Moonchild and would suggest it to others.
Moonchild Review Score
Moonchild is available now on Steam.
I would like to thank Aldorlea for providing me with a copy of the game to review.