With a touch of Stardew Valley and a hint of Pokemon, Developer Studio Supersoft’s Moonstone Island is the perfect blend for every farming sim lover out there. This 8-bit RPG promises a cozy farming lifestyle mixed with lots of alchemy and creatures known as Spirits.
According to its lore, you are a young alchemist ready to take on the world. But before you can leave for an epic adventure, you need to prove your worth and spend a year on an island, farm for your livelihood, tame Spirits, and hone your alchemy skills. Moonstone Island also lets you delve into all the other basic farming sim elements that we have come to expect from the genre: fishing, crafting, and mining.
Moonstone Island Release Date and Platforms
Moonstone Island is set to release on September 20, 2023, for PC via Steam. A Nintendo Switch release is also in the works with a date that’s yet to be decided.
Moonstone Island Introduces Spirits Instead of Pokemon
The indie farm sim has its own set of Pokemon that they like to call Spirits in the game. These spirits reside on different elemental islands and can be captured by a device named Medallion. With over 100 spirits to collect, you can use them in battles, collect their spirit resources, and keep them happy and healthy by feeding them your own homegrown produce.
You can also tame a spirit and add it to your party by feeding it farm-grown crops and vegetables. Moonstone Island’s spirit can also act as companions accompanying you during dungeon runs, fishing, and even treasure hunting in the dark.
Unique Battling Feature
Although it shares similarities to many RPGs, Moonstone Island has a very unique spirit battling feature. Instead of your old selection menu for battling spirits, the game has a card battle system based on turns. You have to draw a deck of cards for your hand and strategically use them in the battle.
The tougher spirits have shields protecting them from damage which you must break before attempting to attack your opponent. Opposing elemental spirits like water can overpower a fire spirit, giving you the upper hand in any battle. Luck of draw also becomes a huge factor in this card battle format, you might have a strong spirit, but drawing its perfect attack card can make or break your whole spirit battle turn.
This Hearthstone-like deckbuilding feature adds a new quirk to the battling system and keeps it interesting. Each spirit you add to the party will include its own set of cards that can be shuffled into your own deck during spirit battles.
Too Many Tasks and Too Less Time
From farming, crafting alchemy ingredients, mining, going on dungeon runs, collecting spirits and even possibly dating some of the NPCs Moonstone Island has to offer, your to-do list in this game has countless entries. It seems like the game shoves all these responsibilities in your hand but does not provide the time necessary to accomplish each task. But we don’t necessarily fault any farm sim for that. Too much never hurts!
Unfortunately, you only get one year to finish every task, exploration, and collection in the game before your time runs out. The year finishes in the blink of an eye and you are left with so many unfinished quests that you could hardly comprehend. This is something the indie dev can iterate on, with post-launch updates.
All in all, Moonstone Island is shaping up to be a fun farming sim for the most part, but with so many features jam-packed into this one game, a bit more time and fewer similarities might do this game justice.
You can try out the game yourself and let us know how your experience was in the comments below.