A while back I reviewed Spellsword Dungeontop, which shares the same genre as this next game for review. Against the Moon is a rogue-like deck builder that creates mini-story episodic adventures with the same randomized rewards, cards, and challenges as one would expect. Mechanically, Against the Moon uses a three-lane system to differentiate gameplay: each lane is manned by a champion, and exposed lanes will lead to hp loss. So in other words, your champions are a front line to protect your total life, provide a steady flow of damage, and even special abilities that can drastically change the course of a turn. For instance, one of the champions is a tank that focuses on stunning champions and reducing enemy damage output, while another bolsters her attack and 1v1s enemies. Champions have different card pools associated with them, so mixing and matching teams will lead to diverging strategies. After each level layout, there are diverging paths that carry different rewards, allowing you to tailor your deck of actions or upgrade your champions on the fly. While the balance of the game may be a tad on the fritz, Against the Moon has a neat theme, story elements, and gameplay twists to make it worth your time.
The game will start you off with predetermined questlines to unlock some of the early content for the game. You will learn how to use champions, their chargeable special moves, and how to properly defend yourself. Your goal can range from surviving waves of damage, to taking out a commander unit, or the leader deploying units. Later on, you’ll be set on the Luma Runs, a classic game mode. Each successful run will unlock harder difficulties and other champions or variants. You will also gain currency that can be used to unlock cards for use in future runs. Each run consists of several events and two bosses. Between events you will receive cards, upgrades, champion upgrades, card deletions, or sarcophagus points that can be used to heal or increase rewards. I like the variety here, and being able to leverage sarcophagus points for health is handy and makes for interesting decision points.
There’s really not much more to talk about: there are interesting strategies that will encourage pushing a single lane, spreading across the lanes, or building around the ultori champions. It can be a little annoying starting off with characters that lack their evolution paths because you have yet to unlock them. It does give you new options to play around with even after you complete a run.
All in all, I like where the game is at, and I anticipate new balance updates, cards, and champions in the future. I don’t think this game edges out Slay the Spire, but it’s a great alternative that keeps things fresh in case you were craving a different flavor. High marks all around.
A review copy was provided by the devs.
hellfirebam has awarded Against the Moon the Indie Seal of Approval.