Moon Raider, a fast-paced 2D platform game by Cascadia Games, started as a Kickstarter project in June. Three months later, the game is available on Steam. I bumped into this game on Twitter. I immediately reached out to publisher Crescent Moon Games and not even 10 minutes later I had a key in my inbox. Safe to say I was super excited to try out and write about Moon Raider. Here are my thoughts!
What we liked!
- Overall gameplay: You play as Ava, a young girl, who has to raid the moon for much-needed gems to keep her mother alive. Of course, this is not as easy as it sounds and the evil aliens who have taken over the moon, won’t give up their new home so easily. Your main goal is to advance in the game and complete all areas, including the bosses. However, you can roam around every area a little more, if you wish to (more on this under ‘collectables’). The gameplay isn’t very difficult, and I liked that about Moon Raider. Yes, you’ll die every now and then, but the game isn’t unforgiving like some platformers tend to be.
- Boss fights: At the end of each area, you’ll have to defeat a boss in order to continue to the next one. Bosses vary, ranging from a dinosaur to a bull (I think), to an alien operating some sort of wheel. The boss fights aren’t too difficult, but it might take you a few tries to defeat them. I enjoyed them, even though some require patience and that isn’t always my strong suit.
- Graphics: I absolutely loved the pixelated graphics in this game! The environments, heroes, and enemies are all so colorful and fun to look at. Ava is very cute, and the Wanderers are even cuter. Your enemies vary from green little aliens (‘selenites’) to moon monsters that come in all shapes and sizes. Of course, there are also cybernetic monsters who were created by the selenites. Every enemy looks cool and discovering new ones was always exciting, as were the different types of environments (for example ice, gems, lava).
- Secret rooms: If you look around an area a little longer, you’ll be rewarded with extras, including bonus rooms. Every area has a hidden bonus room where you can simply collect a lot of gems without enemies getting in the way. It’s a nice touch and offers a little extra challenge for you achievement collectors or completionists.
- Collectables: Your main focus is, of course, gems. But you’ll find way more than that. There’s the Wanderers, a group of intra-solar explorers who have been imprisoned, and you get to free 10 different types of these. There are also upgrades hidden that can help you. You can upgrade your blaster damage, maximum health, and gem energy capacity. This can all come in very handy, of course.
- Very few settings: Moon Raider doesn’t let you change keybindings, or adjust difficulty. The former isn’t really a big deal (even though it would have been nice), but the latter can be. As I mentioned before, this is not a very difficult game. Hardcore platform game fans will most likely not feel challenged by Moon Raider. Different difficulty possibilities could offer help here. The only real options the game offers, are adjusting the voluming and changing the screen size of the game (and whether or not you want to play windowed).
What we disliked
- Honestly, there is nothing I disliked about Moon Raider, it’s just a really cool and fun game!
It’s safe to say that I’m very happy I asked and received a review code for Moon Raider. It’s a beautiful 2D action adventure platformer that isn’t too difficult. It offers beautiful graphics, fun boss fights, and nice little extras. I very much enjoyed the gameplay, and the only thing that slightly bothered me were the limited settings. Overall, well worth a recommendation!
Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂