As an action RPG, it felt a little sloppy - right off the bat the analog stick movement doesn't work properly (movement seems to tend to lock into 8 directions). Enemy hitboxes and tells are a bit hard to see, the colors of everything tend to blend together and in the first dungeon I wasn't able to have much of a satisfying combat experience. It seems like this roughness is meant to be balanced out by the grinding and gear upgrades, which is a little disappointing... that's kind of the design space a lot of ARPGs end up in, gear upgrades that end up making up for a gameplay loop that doesn't work too well.

The item selling side was fun for a while but setting prices - and even just the act of setting out items - felt perfunctory, repetitive - another step in the way of me upgrading my gear (which was frustrating to keep track of between all of the inventory management, wishlists). Sounded fun on paper, though.

That being said, I did like the roguelite idea of having four separate dungeons to go into and make your way through, which felt like a more accessible structure to a roguelite beyond the common 30-60 minute runs. At the same time, I guess this more accessible approach feels less mysterious? Not a fault of Moonlighter, just ... roguelite thoughts. Playing Moonlighter does make me think that ARPG mechanics do ultimately hurt the roguelite appeal/structure, making it a more flat experience.

Reviewed on May 14, 2022