A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The gameplay promotes teamwork and strategy between units, as well as competition and sportsmanship between players in online matches.
Positive Role Models
Each unit has its own backstory, ranging from noble warriors with distinct codes of honor to roguish characters that are looking out for their own interests. But these traits aren't really expressed during gameplay and are relegated to snippets of voice acting and lore.
Available units represent characters with a wide range of appearances in gender, ethnicity, and even species. This applies mainly to appearance, as there's not as much opportunity to dig deeper into characters during gameplay.
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Ease of Play
The main cycle of gameplay is relatively easy to learn, but requires a lot of planning and strategy to excel at. Players can hone their skills in AI matches, or test their abilities in online 1v1 matches. Painting units makes use of an intuitive and realistic interface, which should feel familiar to anyone that's painted miniatures in the physical world.
Violence & Scariness
Combat is central to the gameplay, though the game's tabletop miniature art style keeps the violence from being graphic. Attacks and damage are represented through special effects, and defeated units simply break into pieces and disappear from the board.
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Online matches against others could expose players to offensive language through in-game chats.
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Products & Purchases
Players are encouraged to use in-game currency, which is available to purchase via the shop or through gameplay, to buy "Booster Packs" that contain additional random units to add to players' armies.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Moonbreaker is a downloadable science fiction themed turn-based strategy game available on Windows and macOS based computers that's currently in Early Access. The game's presented as a tabletop miniature game, complete with virtual figures that can be given customized paint schemes. Players compete against the computer or online players to defeat the opposing team's Captain. Though combat is core to the gameplay, there's not graphic violence or blood, with defeated units simply breaking apart and disappearing from the board. Players are encouraged to use in-game or real world currency to buy booster packs and other items from the game store to gain new units and cosmetic upgrades.
Is It Any Good?
There are plenty of video games that try to translate existing tabletop games to a virtual environment with varying degrees of success. Moonbreaker, on the other hand, instead decided to start with a clean slate, taking the tabletop experience that fans love and faithfully recreating it in a fresh and original universe that isn't bound by the limitations of an existing property's expectations. The game's absolutely gorgeous to look at and the animations do a fantastic job of bringing the detailed miniatures to life in the confines of the board's 3D modeled environments. And tabletop enthusiasts will also appreciate the ability to add a little of their own personality to the game by making use of its surprisingly deep virtual painting tools, including familiar techniques like washes for shadows and dry brushes for highlights.
While Moonbreaker might look like a physical board game on the surface, the gameplay does a phenomenal job of streamlining the formula and welcoming players of all skill levels to the genre. Players can choose to spend time tweaking their rosters to take advantage of every conceivable strategy or simply choose a couple of Units they like and let the Auto-Fill option take care of the rest. Thanks to extensive tutorials, the basics are easy to pick up, but still leave a lot of room for players to improve and develop over time. AI matches make for great practice, as well as a good way to get in some training while earning experience and character masteries. But nothing beats taking the fight online against live (and often unpredictable) competition. If there's one ding against Moonbreaker, it lies with the in-game purchases. While players can earn some credits by completing matches and challenges, it's frustrating nonetheless to have a slew of Units and Captains locked behind microtransactions after already paying for the base game. It makes the earlier moments of the game feel incomplete and can also lead to some minor irritation when facing a foe that's built up a substantially larger and more varied collection of Units to pull from.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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