In an age of ultra-realism and gaming frenzy, Moonglow Bay is one of those titles ready to surprise. It is a game that finds its strengths in the simplicity and accuracy of the storytelling. We have tried it thoroughly, and here is our review.
Moonglow Bay: Here is our review of this voxel-style fishing game
Before starting, a premise is a must: if you are looking for the classic fishing simulator, this is definitely not the right place for you. For everyone else: welcome to Baia in Moonglow, a small Canadian town that, to be honest, hasn’t been doing too well lately. But let’s go in order.
Moonglow Bay it’s a simple game, as simple and humble is the life of the characters who populate the maritime city of Moonglow. And it is precisely this feature that makes the title extremely appreciable. It is in fact a game that focuses on history and the veiled feeling of melancholy that pervades the entire gameplay. The voxel graphics and cartoonish colors perfectly contradict the protagonist’s desperation and his desire for redemption.
The story revolves around the sea, once a source of economic sustenance for Moonglow Bay, which it has now become object of fears and mistrust. The town has in fact fallen from grace: the boats rust at the port, and half of the population has migrated to other cities. The reason? Numerous people lost in the water and sightings of frightening sea monsters have fueled the rumors of one terrible curse affecting sailors and fishermen.
After all, the protagonist himself lost his partner at sea, and for about three years he stopped doing his job as a fisherman. To change everything is an unexpected visit from his daughter, which will push the man to take back the helm of his boat and, at the same time, also that of his life. This is where it all begins: the opening of a small fish street food kiosk will be a source of optimism for the entire town. After all Moonglow Bay is this: a game of redemption, both personal and for an entire community.
Fishing has never been so simple and satisfying
It will therefore be up to us to guide this change which, starting from the individual, will involve the entire city. We will in fact not only fishing, but also cooking, selling and interacting with the many characters that populate the streets of Moonglow. We will find who will tell us about scary monsters and who, more simply, will ask us to cook certain dishes for them. And it is precisely by complying with their requests that the story will evolve, solving the numerous mysteries that populate the Bay.
The game mechanics are essentially three: fish, cook and interact with characters / places. The first two consist of minigame extremely simple, while the third will be useful for the development of the story. Fishing can also be done in different ways: through fishing rod, with net and through traps. Fishing is, in fact, the most strategic phase of the game. If we decide to use the fishing rod we will have to choose hooks and baits: each of these attracts a certain type of fish. We will need the net mainly in boats, to catch several fish at once, and to discover particular species that do not bite through hooks. The traps are instead the only way to capture the precious lobsters, as well as other crustaceans.
The purpose of fishing is twofold: on the one hand discover new species to be presented at the aquarium of the city, on the other hand to obtain the ingredients to cook and sell the products. The aquarium, in addition to providing us with information on fish, is a source of attraction for tourists. The rebirth of Moonglow Bay passes through structures like these: the more new species we bring, the more the economy of the city will become solid again.
Cooking is simple and will make the citizens of the Bay optimistic
Cooking in Moonglow Bay is as simple as fishing, but definitely more repetitive. The proposed minigames, the accuracy of which will determine the quality (and consequently the selling price) of the dish, they are all meant for controllers. In fact, we will have to mainly use the analog stick and press buttons at the right time, nothing too complex. So if you play on a PC, we strongly recommend the use of a joypad. By cooking a dish certain times we will level up, unlocking always new recipes (and more profitable). The succulent cooked dishes can in fact be sold through the vending machine or given to the inhabitants in exchange for valuable information (but also gossip).
Moonglow Bay leaves huge freedom of choice to the player: you can freely decide what to do with the shellls earned (the city currency). These can in fact be freely invested in commercial activities of Moonglow, in order to promote the economic recovery of the town. The money will also be used to purchase upgrades, lobster traps and boat repairs. Yes, because we will also have a boat available, with which we can explore the various seas of the Bay. Each new location discovered will give us the opportunity to fish for new species, to take to the aquarium and to use in the kitchen.
The game time is divided into day and night, and the various commercial activities around the city will also have the own opening and closing times. Unlike many similar titles, our character will not need to sleep, although an icon will tell us about your sleep level. If this is neglected, however, there will be no negative consequences in game. Going to sleep, however, will allow us to set an alarm. This is useful in case you need to pass the time waiting, for example, for the opening of a shop or an aquarium.
One aspect not to be underestimated is the music of the game: extremely pleasant and relaxing. After each awakening there is a guitar arpeggio that music fans may be familiar with. This in fact is very reminiscent of the melody of La Storia siamo Noi by Francesco De Gregori. Of course, the musical quote is by no means premeditated by the Bunnyhug development team.
Criticalities and problems not to be underestimated: our review of Moonglow Bay
However, there are some critical issues that cannot be ignored. Playing the title on Xbox One S I personally encountered a bug: if for any reason your controller should disconnect, the game will crash. This will make any operation impossible and, being that the saving is totally manual, will risk compromising game progress. In fact, self-rescue does not exist, it will be up to you, from time to time, to remind you to save the old way. Furthermore getting around the city streets can be really difficult. The voxel world makes the get stuck between the too many obstacles on the map. In addition, some particularly tall characters will find themselves getting stuck in certain points of the city. Finally it should be emphasized that the game is only available in English.
For the rest Moonglow Bay is a title to try, especially if you are looking for a relaxing and unpretentious game. The story is well curated and the mechanics so simple that fishing will always be satisfying. The title is also part of the catalog Xbox Game Pass, so if you are subscribed to the Microsoft service, give it a chance.
- Simple game mechanics
- Extremely interesting story
- Pleasant music and settings
- It can be repetitive
- It gets stuck in the map easily
- Absence of Italian language