Moonlighter: Between Dimensions

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Moonlighter: Between Dimensions Game Poster Image
Expansion adds monsters, items, maintains bloodless combat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The shop-keeping part of the game promotes entrepreneurship and capitalism, while dungeon exploration encourages players to be analytical, making wise decisions based on a measurement of risk versus reward.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Will is a simple, honest worker who wants to grow his business and stimulate his town's economy, but he's prone to taking dangerous risks to do so.

Ease of Play

Three difficulty levels allow players to make the game a little harder or easier, but even the lowest setting will prove challenging for many. Gamepad controls aren't completely intuitive, but onscreen cues show what each button does.

Violence

Players use swords, gloves, scepters, bows and arrows, and other medieval style weapons to combat fantastical creatures, including gelatinous blobs and monstrous knights. Action is viewed from a top-down perspective, and the graphics are pixelated and without much detail. There's no blood or gore.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Moonlighter: Between Dimensions is a downloadable content (DLC) pack for the dungeon crawler RPG Moonlighter for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. The base game is required to play. It expands the core experience, in which protagonist Will runs a town shop by day and ventures into magical dungeons at night to fight creatures and find artifacts to sell. Combat is mild, with players using medieval weapons such as swords and bows and arrows to attack gelatinous blobs and monstrous knights that disappear instantly once defeated. The action's viewed from a distant raised perspective, graphics are simple and pixelated, and there's neither blood nor gore. The shop-keeping portion of the game promotes the concepts of entrepreneurship and capitalism by allowing players to adjust item prices based on consumer demand, with Will ambitiously doing whatever he can to turn a tidy profit. Note, though, that his business model requires him to regularly risk his life in order to give his customers what they want.

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What's it about?

The MOONLIGHTER: BETWEEN DIMENSIONS DLC picks up where the base game ended. Having built a successful item shop and reinvigorated his town's economy, shopkeeper Will discovers a vast new interdimensional dungeon filled with new enemies and bosses. This new area could help him grow his business even further with valuable new items and artifacts, many of which can be used to craft new gear, including weapons and armor. His adventures in the interdimensional dungeon attract a wave of new customers. They also lure another businessperson to the town: The mysterious Trader. While much of this content is only available to those who have completed the base game, new players starting from scratch will get a peek at what's to come via hidden interdimensional portals. These can be found by jumping off certain ledges to hidden floors. If you encounter a glowing green portal, you can pass through to explore a handful of interdimensional dungeon rooms, fight a mini-boss, and earn one of several powerful new weapons that last only as long as you remain in the current dungeon.

Is it any good?

Consider this modestly priced DLC (downloadable content) pack a gift to players who couldn't get enough of the base game. Moonlighter: Between Dimensions is content to simply deliver more of what fans enjoyed in the original, including Zelda-style dungeon crawling and combat, lots of shop-keeping, and a bit of simple crafting. There's also more challenge. The new interdimensional dungeon is very large and very hard. Completing it requires an awful lot of loot grinding in order to earn the resources -- and money -- necessary to properly gear up for battle. New players will get a taste of what's to come as they fight through the first five dungeons, occasionally transporting to smaller versions of the interdimensional dungeon, where they can earn powerful limited-time weapons that are both a blessing and a curse, such as a scepter that deals big damage but leeches away the wielder's life in the process.

But what the new content doesn't do is change any of the things about the original that might have left some players cold. The most notable of these is the loop-style grind involved in exploring a dungeon, collecting loot, and then either selling it for cash at your shop or using it to craft stuff. An in-game calendar that tracks the days as they roll by indicates that it takes Will months of grinding to develop his store and the town's economy. The new content adds weeks more by doubling down on this repetition. Some players love this kind of grind-y play, and some don't. If you're in the former category, then the Moonlighter: Between Dimensions DLC is an easy recommendation. Members of the latter can safely take a pass.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Is the impact of the violence in Moonlighter: Between Dimensions affected by the fact that combat is designed to help you turn a profit? Does this affect how you feel about killing the monsters you encounter? Would it have a greater impact if there was blood and gore shown?

  • Moonlighter: Between Dimensions makes it seem relatively easy to run a successful shop, but in what ways is running a business in the real world more complex and challenging?

Game details

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For kids who love fantasy

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