Moonfall: Land of Dreams PC Review
It’s not very often that you come across a game that makes you question actually why you play games. Certain games may reinforce the reasons behind it, through a particularly great experience or a game that’s just a huge amount of fun to play, but Moonfall: Land of Dreams has the unique and dubious honour of being the first game to make me question what I was doing, why I was wasting my time, and when it would all be over.
It’s a shame, because the premise is actually very good; the village of Moonfall is one that’s shrouded in darkness, so much so that the villager’s dreams have become their reality. The problem is that the dreams have been changing, and it’s all down to a dastardly demon called Malus, who wants nothing but darkness and terror to reign. It’s down to the main character, who remains nameless, to fight back against these nightmares and return Moonfall to its peaceful state.
It’s a simple but good plot that should provide the foundations for an excellent, story-driven platform game. The problem is that Moonfall: Land of Dreams is, as a game, broken in so many places that it becomes almost unbearable to play.
The first thing that hits you is the look of the game. Any gamer worth their salt knows that graphics don’t make a good game, but there are DOS games that look better than Moonfall; bland levels, very few textures, poor models, and horrendously stiff and lifeless animation. It’s not completely terrible, but it certainly doesn’t inspire you to want to play the game based on how it looks.
Sadly it gets worse when you actually start trying to progress through the game. The main character walks unbelievably slowly, and so you’re forced to hold down the run button throughout 90% of the levels just to keep the game moving at a reasonable pace.
Enemies crop up here and there, but most of these can be jumped over or avoided by simply running past them. Combat is slow, clumsy and inaccurate, and it’s rare that the enemies will actually attempt to fight back.
Seeing as it’s a platform game, Moonfall has its fair share of jumping and climbing, although again these are painful and frustrating. Jumping is tricky thanks to the varying gravity of the jumps, meaning sometimes you’ll float slowly down onto a platform, and other times you’ll plummet to your death down a cliff face as you hurtle back to the ground quicker than you anticipated.
Climbing is merely a case of pushing up against the object you want to climb, and to get off a ladder or vine involves you simply pressing left or right and ‘floating’ across to the ledge or platform you want to get to with little to no animation. It sounds terrible, and yes, it’s terrible to see and play as well.
Items can be picked up as you traverse each level, although with each time you fall to your death, each enemy that takes your health away without seemingly doing anything to you. After each restart of a level due to dying for the umpteenth time, you’ll really question why you care about collecting these items or even carrying on playing full stop.
It feels unfair to be so critical considering this is an indie game clearly put together by amateur developers, but the fact you’re being charged $15/£10 for the privilege of playing is an insult.
Perhaps as a demo or a work in progress project, it might be passable, but at this price with the quality it’s currently at, Moonfall: Land of Dreams is really one to avoid at all costs. If you’re even so much as tempted to fork out to play this, download the demo make yourself aware of what you’re letting yourself in for. You’ve been warned.