Moonstone Island Review
Upon first glance, Moonstone Island may strike you as a charming, cozy life-simulation game, and you wouldn’t be entirely mistaken. However, this offering from Studio Supersoft goes beyond the surface. It offers players a delightful gaming experience that matches its appealing visuals. In Moonstone Island, the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” holds true – it plays as wonderfully as it looks.
In this game, you step into the shoes of an aspiring alchemist who embarks on a journey to complete their training on a floating sky island. Armed with your trusty broom and starter Spirit, your adventure begins with a less-than-graceful landing on your future sky island home. Despite the initial rough start, you swiftly settle into your new surroundings. From this point onward, the game leaves players largely to their own devices, offering a handful of quests to help you get started.
As mentioned earlier, Moonstone Island is indeed a life-simulation game, but it also incorporates social and relationship elements, farming, alchemy, creature collecting, deck-building, and exploration. Picture a blend of your favorite cozy indie games, all rolled into one delightful package, and you have Moonstone Island. Often, when games attempt to encompass such a wide array of features, they risk diluting the overall experience. However, Moonstone Island manages to strike a balance, allowing players to dive deep into the aspects that interest them most.
Focus, Focus, Focus
For me, the most enjoyable facets of Moonstone Island were exploration and creature collecting/battling. These became the primary focus of my gameplay. However, one aspect that initially presented a challenge was identifying which NPC or building corresponded to which shop. This became less confusing as I spent more time in the game. Still, it did pose a minor frustration, particularly given the time-sensitive nature of some in-game activities.
Another aspect that left something to be desired was the inventory system. While it mirrors the systems of some similar titles, it has always been a point of contention for me, especially as a controller-first player. Nevertheless, despite this personal preference, the crafting system overall functions effectively.
Throughout my time with Moonstone Island, one consistent element was the game’s beautiful aesthetic. While many indie titles excel in visuals, they often struggle to maintain consistency. Moonstone Island, however, maintains its visual excellence throughout, from the meticulously designed creatures to the captivating character portraits and the enchanting environments. This visual consistency not only pleases the eyes but also enhances the overall enjoyment of the game.
A Sum of Excellent Parts
Moonstone Island excels as a life-simulation game, creature collector, and deck builder. both individually. While it does a commendable job of integrating these elements, it still falls into the trap of being “wide as an ocean, deep as a puddle,” although not to an extreme extent. Offering players freedom and agency over their in-game experiences is certainly a plus. However, a bit more focus on certain aspects could elevate the game even further. Nevertheless, if any of the game’s elements pique your interest, I wholeheartedly recommend giving Moonstone Island a try.
Moonstone Island transcends its initial appearance as a cozy life-simulation game and offers a rich and diverse gaming experience. Its harmonious blend of gameplay elements, stunning visuals, and a touch of freedom for players make it a worthwhile addition to the world of indie gaming. While it may not delve as deeply as some might hope into every aspect it offers, the overall package is undeniably enjoyable. So, if you’re drawn to alchemy, creature collecting, or simply enjoy life-simulation games with a twist, don’t hesitate to dive into the enchanting world of Moonstone Island.
** A PC review code was provided by the publisher **
- Do what you like
- Great components
- Beautiful aesthetic
- Inventory system
- More focus would be nice