Game Reviews

Moonlighter – Capitalism, Ho!

Ever played Recettear?

Inherit an item shop, and a basic weapon. Go into the dungeon, kill monsters to get items and then sell those items in your shop. That’s the basic summary for Recettear – and the basics for Moonlighter are very similar.

Moonlighter takes place in a town once bustling with activity, now mostly in ruins. You’re one of the last few merchants left in this town and it’s your unspoken task to restore it to it’s former glory. Meet Will, son of a merchant family. Take a broom and start bashing monsters to get items to sell in your shop.

Two jobs

The name Moonlighter comes from the fact that you’re running two jobs. Shopkeeper by day, adventurer by night. Will does not sleep – sleep is for the weak. Moonlighter appears to be mainly inspired by Recettear, but the camera viewpoint is very Zelda-like (A Link to the Past). This gives it a classic, but still modern feel.

Most of the dungeons will have three floors, each with stronger enemies and a big end boss. The third floor will have significantly better loot for your shop. Also note which items can be used to upgrade your armor and weapons as you won’t want to keep using that broom forever.

Build your empire

You sell your junk precious loot at the price you want. If you’re cheap – people will empty your shop quick. If you’re expensive then most of your items won’t sell. The key here is finding the right balance with quantity and cost to ensure people will make you rich quick. In no time you’ll be able to call yourself a millionaire. Until you need to upgrade something that is,. The blacksmith and enchanter certainly aren’t cheap either.

Your shop starts with 4 simple tables. You can upgrade this to 8, 10 onward to 18 and space for various decorations to increase sale value.

A boss and a half

Each of the 4 (5) dungeons has a big “souls like” boss to defeat, but depending on your gear they’re not quite that hard. You even have some healing potions. The main challenge is to beat the game within a certain number of days, but this is only encouraged in the form of an achievement. In recettear you had to pay off your million gold debt. You have no such thing to worry about here.

For weapons you may bring your broom / spear, a sword and shield, knuckle weapon, great sword or bow and arrow. Aside that you can equip 3 pieces of armor and two rings so there’s not a huge lot of variety in gear. Each gear piece does have two or three different builds (more armor, less movement speed) as well as upgrades based on materials found in each dungeon.

Kill certain enemies often enough and they may drop an egg which you can hatch at your store. Once hatched the little pet will help you on your adventures deeper into the dungeon.

You can find Moonlighter on Humble Bundle as a steam key, and various other stores. It was recently in a bundle and well, this game needed playing! There is also a DLC available for it – but the reception on that has been sort of mixed.

Release date: 29 May, 2018

Minimum system requirements: Windows 7, Intel Core 2 Quad 2.7 Ghz or AMD Phenom 2 3 Ghz, 4 GB ram, Geforce GTX 260, Radeon HD 5770 with Shader model 3.0, 4 GB disk space and DirectX compatible sound card.


  1. You won me over once I read “Shopkeeper by day, adventurer by night”. I loved Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. Will watch a few online vids of this one.

  2. Everybody raved about how great Recettear was. So I got myself a copy and found it to be one of the most boring game concepts I’ve experienced in my life. Sell silly stuff to virtual people. Haggle pointless numbers. Eh…

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