PAX Prime Day 3 Recap – Better Late than Never Edition
Kitfox Games – Moon Hunters: The Indie Megabooth Experience Continued
My second notable stop in the Indie Megabooth involved a studio that no one had heard of until roughly a month ago. Kitfox Games is their name, and anyone that’s familiar with me knows I have a weak spot for foxes. This clever studio name lured me into reading about their Kickstarter project (that’s currently live, funded, and available to back! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kitfoxgames/moon-hunters-a-myth-weaving-rpg) where I discovered a co-op experience ideal for long distance LAN parties with friends. To my great joy, they have recently reached the stretch goal allowing them to promise this as a reality! But in reality it was their honest down to earth attitude I was met with at their booth that impressed me most about this company. Kitfox Games is humble and knows their limitations, and promises to leave the job of chasing the moon for their players rather than an overworked slave force of programmers.
At the core, Moon Hunters hopes to appeal to the core RPG audience. Not the Zelda audience. Not the ZOMG epic action combat audience. And certainly not those only won over by epic 3D visuals and modern million dollar funded console titles. Go into this one expecting a visual novel plus experience with decent brawler battles, multiplayer goodness, and a gameplay experience with enough pieces your choices can impact to make you want to come back again and again.
While discovering the mystery of the missing moon is your official goal in the game, building your own mythology through a hilarious game of medieval telephone is the ultimate fun of progression. Each town hub you reach will reward you with plenty of dialogue options, with the hope (but not the promise. Again, very realistic small design team here) of counterplay between characters to give you and your friends a good laugh, and maybe even a philosophical debate to follow if you’re in the mood, or just enjoying the full moon on a Friday night to the full extent of it.
Said decisions will be beyond obvious good and evil choices, and will paint your character as mysterious, serious, untrustworthy, flirty, goofy, and just about every other stereotype one would find in a typical harem anime. This will then impact the reception of your character in future towns as your own legend begins to precede you, and sometimes paint a picture more legendary than you actually deserve. Collections and completionists alike should rejoice as each round of completion you achieve will be archived for review to see if you can obtain all the astrological possibilities your hero is capable of gaining in memory of their feats.
But the Gameplay Damn it. What is the Gameplay?!
Ok enough rambling on concepts and text boxes. Let’s look at what the actual gameplay looks like here. Players can expect a 2.5D 8-bit fight to reach point A to point B. This old school setting will be spiced up by very modern special effects and a variety of classes with Witch, Druid, Occultist, Spellblade, and the stretch goal addition of Songweaver on the production line already. Players can utilize both skills and collectible items on their quest to maximize their chances in combat. While questioning Tanya on their influences, it was clear that Secret of Mana heavily inspired the design, so I have confidence to say that high defense leopard print panties will be on my priority list to collect in my travels.
Combat itself plays out similar to a more action intensive top-down Zelda title. Expect a good mix of melee and ranged strikes as you work as a team, or carefully navigate as a solo player, to cut through enemies as fast as you can to take out major bosses and continue to the next town where your tales can be told. Sometimes simple combat really is best, and Kitfox seems to know exactly the type of game they are about to build.
With a clear focus on mythology, lore building, and simple combat, I was worried about this game holding my attention for more than a single playthrough. Luckily just because the game carries the art style of the 1990s doesn’t mean the devs haven’t learned a few tricks in the past decade. The world map is a procedurally generated world that offers different challenges and locations to explore each time you set out on your quest. As such you won’t have to worry about mindlessly memorizing your combat routes until it’s ingrained in your psyche like some SNES title.
One of their particularly innovative features though is pushing for a unified mythology that connects past games’ actions to your current one. As such you may encounter characters talking about great heroes of old, and referencing your past play throughs and characters! That’s something I would seriously dig and come back for a few rounds of before putting a game down.
For more info be sure to check out the official Kickstarter page and join the backers if Moon Hunters is your style of game. We don’t get many titles in this genre so fans won’t want to miss out.
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