Moon Hunters: Where Legend of Zelda meets Gauntlet
Kitfox Games' retro-styled Moon Hunters is a beautifully designed action adventure RPG that allows you to create your own heroic legend to live on through the ages.
Shattered Planet's Kitfox Games is back for round two, this time exploring the fantastical rather than sci-fi: it has launched a Kickstarter for Moon Hunters, a game for up to four players the developer describes as a "myth-weaving RPG".
Set in an ancient fantasy world, you take the role of a hero: a generic adventurer who is called upon to help out when the Moon goes missing. With the Moon no longer providing its magical influence on the world, monsters begin to rise up, and your quest becomes a battle of life, death, wits, magic, and might.
As the game starts out, your character is a blank slate. Although you are a hero, you have yet to commit deeds that determine the type of hero you will become. This is where the "myth-weaving" part comes in: choices and actions you take in the game determine your spirit, and those who become worthy heroes by the end will take place of honour as a constellation in the sky, their tales handed down from generation to generation.
The team describes the gameplay as a mix of several games you might already be familiar with. "You could describe the game as Legend of Zelda meets Castle Crashers, or maybe King of Dragon Pass meets Gauntlet," studio head Tanya Short wrote on Kickstarter. "We empower players to experiment with their personality through the reputation and tribe-management, while combat challenges punctuate the journey as chances to prove their skill."
It involves a mix of melee blade-based combat and flinging spells, inspired by the accessible combat in The Legend of Zelda, and four customisable character classes will allow you to choose your play style. The Witch is strong in magic; the Spellblade in melee and endurance; the Occultist in long-range speed; and the Druid a shape-changing, flexible mix.
Each play-through only takes a few hours, but every one will be different: the game is procedurally generated, and, with landmarks revealing key myths about the world -- essential to develop your world and character -- you will need to play through several times to uncover all the world's secrets. This will also allow you to play the game differently each time, discovering what effect each of the over 50 personality traits will have, not just on the outcome, but on the game around you as you play.
"In the real world, as in Moon Hunters, legends are rarely about merely defeating villains. More often, folktales are the story of the Clever hero that tricked the gods into giving humans fire. Of the Loyal hero that ventured into the underworld to save a loved one's soul. Of the Brave hero that declined a god's advances, and suffered for impertinence," Short said. "Your choices determine how you are remembered, and what you embody to those who hear your story in ages hence. The reason why you do something can be as important as the act itself."
Combined with a gorgeous retro-inspired world and soundtrack composed by Ryan Roth, Moon Hunters seems destined to become the kind of game that takes you on a wonderful journey that's beautiful every step of the way.
It's currently being developed for PC and Mac, to be released on Steam, with support for local co-op multiplayer. You can reserve a copy of Moon Hunters, due out in July of next year, by making a minimum pledge of CAD$15 on Kickstarter.