Moonstone Island

Posted:  Sep 21, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Cloud Saves

Review

Moonstone Island was provided by Raw Fury for review. Thank you!

Imagine if Stardew Valley had a baby with Pokemon. It sounds awesome, right? You would run around the world, collect creatures, battle with others, and when you need a break, farm, fish, mine, craft, and build your own home while getting to know an interesting cast of characters and finding your mate. Thankfully, that's exactly what Moonstone Island is and I love it.

As a young, aspiring alchemist, you have embarked on a journey to complete your training. After crash landing on an unknown island, you will get set up in a village before venturing off alone. You will then travel to over 100 islands filled with different creatures and biomes to build your life and become an alchemist. As mentioned, you will build your own life, farm your crops, mine, and gather materials to craft different structures.

MoonstoneIsland2

Then, we have the combat. Like Pokemon, you will capture monsters and take part in turn-based battles. The battles themselves are very similar to Slay the Spire. You will have a set of cards to use and attack, buff, or take other actions to get new cards or give yourself armor. As you battle, you will gain experience, level up, and choose to increase attack, speed, armor, or health. Each time your monsters level up, you can add a new card to your deck, too.

And while we need a little compromise, playing Moonstone Island on the Steam Deck is possible and can be quite enjoyable.

Moonstone Island - Steam Deck Performance

I fully expected the game to run without any hitches because of how Moonstone Island looks and its minimum spec requirements. And with a native Linux build, I was hopeful it would be a flawless experience. Unfortunately, it does have some framedrop/stuttering issues.

I started playing the game without any caps and aiming for 60 FPS. While the battery drain never went above 11W, the framerate did stutter to 58 periodically, but there was a massive drop in cities that went down to the lower 40s. I tried different combinations of compatibility layers, GPU Clock Speed Frequencies, and TDP limits, and I realized the Windows version with forced Proton worked better than the native Linux version.

MoonstoneIsland1

No matter what, there are still some drops, so we will need to set the game at 40 FPS/Hz. This can make the game feel a little less smooth than I would have liked, but there are almost no stutters, and that is much more important for me to have. There aren't any graphical settings to change in the game, so this is all that can be done.

Accessibility

Moonstone Island doesn't have a ton of accessibility options. Still, it has options to change which UI elements are showing, audio levels, and gameplay elements like screen shake, controller rumble, spawn rate, and battle difficulty.

The game does support 16:10 resolutions, as well as full controller and cloud save support.

Conclusion

Moonstone Island is a fantastic creature-collecting sandbox that gracefully combines slice-of-life simulation with Pokemon-esque elements. It feels like the game has a little bit of everything, and it does each one well. Combine this with the gorgeous pixel visuals, and we have a solid simulation game you won't want to put down. It requires a little compromise for the Steam Deck with the framerate, but otherwise, it is a great way to play!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Moonstone Island is an awesome slice-of-life creature collecting game that needs a lower framerate cap to run stable on the Steam Deck.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Current Price: 
$19.99
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