Unknown Worlds wants Moonbreaker to be a mini board game stylized as Hearthstone for trading card games. The essence of the true form must be poured into a video game in an accessible manner. We played Moonbreaker at Gamescom 2022 and are confident that it can succeed.
In the game “Moonbreaker”, players help a tabletop hero, here called Captain, to win against an opponent. Tactical turn-based gameplay is very reminiscent of “Xcom” or “Into the Breach”. While skirmishes against AI seem like a puzzle, duels against human opponents are the heart of the diverse title.
Xcom meets Hearthstone
Before starting the game, we choose a commander and an army. At first the captain was only on the battlefield. Who can join your team later depends on the composition of the army – it’s like a trading card game in which you build your squad. From an isometric point of view, we’re looking at a relatively small battlefield. The game world is not divided into fields, but like Warhammer in millimeters and centimeters.
The special abilities of the four captains available determine the gameplay. In the Gamescom demo, two melee fighters and two melee fighters are available. For example, one of the leaders is especially fast and improves his army, and another distributes mines on the battlefield and causes damage to the area.
It has always been noted that the developers of Unknown Worlds have taken “Heartstone” as a role model. What’s called mana in Blizzard’s trading card game is called cinder in “Moonbreaker”. In each round, another valuable ember is introduced into the resource pool, which can be used for special attacks or new units.
With this constant increase in resources per round, “Moonbreaker” escapes the traditional bad luck players can get when building in “Magic the Gathering”, for example: too much or too little mana in terms of heroes and abilities that can be game.
Thus Moonbreaker plays as if you were imagining a classic trading card game, but with the added tactics of a dynamic battlefield with lines of sight and cover.
work in the ear
The universe is created by author Brandon Sanderson. “Moonbreaker” takes place in the Reaches region, a small solar system with many moons and colorful aliens. The plot must be told via a so-called audio drama, which must appear in the game or simply as a podcast.
There has already been material for a few years, the universe is already very stylized, as Unknown Worlds at Gamescom explains. However, it is not yet clear how many leaders will be available in the final match. The balance of the game is more important for the team than the mass.
As if deceived
Unknown Worlds currently has no plans to release the beautiful characters from the “Moonbreaker” universe as real tabletop characters. Since each unit can be customized with pixel precision in the complex editor, we also like to have the result on our desk.
Shape drawing – also thanks to tools like automatic constraining to individual polygons – worked very cleanly. Incredible results are quickly achieved with simulated washes (thin, almost translucent colors that create shadows) and fabric filters known from the microcosm.
New colors, filters, and shapes can be unlocked over time. At first there is no in-game store. What the monetization of “Moonbreaker” will eventually look like is still open. As with “Subnautica,” the team at Unknown Worlds would like to base the Early Access title on fan feedback.
“Moonbreaker” is scheduled for release on September 29, 2022 in Early Access on Steam. Shortly before that, there should already be open play tests. The title will initially appear for Windows and Mac OS, but it actually works smoothly on Linux via Proton. Steam Deck supports touch screen. A Nintendo Switch release was deemed unlikely at Gamescom, but it’s not impossible.