A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Moon Hunters is a downloadable adventure game that's a lot like The Legend of Zelda, if it were an online multiplayer game where you get matched up with strangers or friends -- or can choose to go solo -- to explore randomly generated areas. Players level up a character, interact with people they pass by, and cross blades with enemies. It's an easy game to pick up and play, and though there's violence with swords and other melee weapons, the cartoonish thwacks and lack of blood limits the impact.
What's it about?
MOON HUNTERS has a really interesting premise: "On one fateful summer evening, the Moon, source of all magic and spiritual power, doesn't rise. Your course is clear. You must set out alone or with the other chosen children of the Moon to solve the mystery and restore balance." In the moon's absence, you find that monsters and chaos rise and spread throughout the land, and it's up to you and three other adventurers to find out what's going on and what to do about it. Players have five game days to save a randomly generated world, choosing from one of six player classes as you fight through these beasts and make your own legendary tale based on your actions.
Is it any good?
This is such a well-designed game perfectly suited to group sessions and an appealing solo game for action fans. A big thing that boosts the desire to come back and go through again and again is the fact that the world and maps are randomly generated -- so you'll never see the same level twice. The fact that there are multiple character classes (plus extras you can unlock) and that your decisions and interactions affect your character's leveling trajectory along with how others perceive you just encourages you to experiment and see what you could do differently next time. For example, if you are polite and kind and don't steal soup from an unattended tent, you earn a reputation for being honorable and considerate, which means people are more likely to trust you. The more people you can talk to, the more things that are possible in the world. Or you can choose to play as a cruel savage, which opens up other possibilities. It's all up to you.
Still, no matter what you choose to do, it's most fun when you're playing with others. Everyone playing as different character classes just adds more and more wrinkles and opens more doors for things you can do. The combat is straightforward, clearly intended to be as inclusive as possible to new and seasoned players alike and to encourage you to explore, explore, explore. The game's built-in length of a few in-game days before the big showdown gives a bit of tension to the gameplay; if you've played well and strategized, you'll be ready for the big fight. If not, well, that, too, opens up other possibilities. Like the best games, Moon Hunters acknowledges you and how you play and makes the world open up in a way that's specific and rewarding to you.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the factors that go into making any decision in life, big or small, especially when it affects others you don't really know. When is compassion necessary? Is there ever a time to act purely with seflish motives? When does being selfless start to affect and possibly hurt you?
If you could talk to animals, what would you ask them? What do you think they have to say? Should you treat them the same as you might another human being?
- Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Kitfox Games
- Release date: March 10, 2016
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.