When I played Moonlighter earlier this year, I was so enamored that I wagered I'd have to play a game vaguely similar to it just to tide me over until its release. Turns out, I was right: I recently played Epic Tavern, a management sim about running a medieval tavern and coordinating parties of adventurers. It's good fun, but it didn't quite scratch my Moonlighter itch. Luckily, I don't have to wait any longer, because Moonlighter is out today on Steam, GOG and Humble for $20.
For those who missed the boat: Moonlighter is part top-down action RPG and part shopkeeping sim. It's kind of like Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, but with better combat and streamlined shopkeeping. You play as Will, owner of the Moonlighter item shop in Rynoka village, which is just a stone's throw from five mysterious dungeons. As Will, you explore the dungeons, loot everything you can, and sell the excess loot back at your shop while keeping the best stuff for yourself.
As a general rule, you manage your shop during the day and go exploring at night, but as you you upgrade your shop and help expand Rynoka, your options open up. You can hire a part-time worker to sell things at night, for example, or dump your junk in the bargain bin to auto-sell while you explore during the day. The dungeons and your shop connect in cool ways, and I got surprisingly invested in Will's secret desire to be a hero. It's a lovely, compelling mix, and I can't wait to play more. It's also darn pretty, as evidenced by these screenshots: