Kickstarter campaigns are fickle beasts. Without the right guidance, terrible ideas can seem great, while perfectly good ideas can look catastrophic. Either option is unfortunate, but neither is as detrimental as campaigns that leave potential backers on the fence about pledging. Moon Child, unfortunately, falls into this bizarre limbo.
Created by Kefir Games, Moon Child tells the story of Kooy. A Kiowa native and literal child of the Moon, Kooy is tasked with saving mankind. Evil monsters are plotting to block out the sun with a massive eclipse and plunge the world into darkness. Kooy must travel around killing powerful monsters and closing portals to liberate the sun.
It struck me as more than a bit odd that Kefir chose to specify Kooy’s heritage as Kiowa before promptly having him living in the jungle of a medieval fantasy world. Why not just create your own culture instead of poorly co-opting an existing one? Regardless, that’s an article for a different website.
Elder Scrolls of the Colossus
Perplexing narrative choices aside, Moon Child doesn’t actually look bad. The graphics resemble what I remember from The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, but with the color palette and enemy scale of Shadow of the Colossus. Maybe a bit dated, with choppy animations, but overall not a bad effort. Despite this, there are some issues within the campaign that temper my excitement.
It’s unclear how far along in development Moon Child is, but the Kickstarter features a decent amount of gameplay footage of Kooy battling tentacle crabs and discovering mysterious mysteries. It also shows him getting implausibly stuck on tree hit boxes, gliding across the ground, and so many clipping errors.
What’s before pre-alpha?
I bring this up, not because I expect the game to be in a perfect state already, but because these issues shouldn’t show up in the campaign. Think of it this way, if this is the best the devs have to show then the current build of the game must be even more unpolished and buggy. When you make a crowdfunding campaign you want to show the game at it’s best, even if that means static screenshots.
Personal marketing preferences aside, Moon Child is designed to be a sprawling, non-linear experience with survival and RPG elements. This is not an insignificant undertaking which makes it difficult to feel confident about a two man team being able to pull it off. The developers recognize this and are planning to invest backer funds into recruiting more team members, but that will only work if they hit their goal.
Truthfully, the campaign, which hopes to raise $165,672, could go either way at this point. With over a month left to go, there is still plenty of time for Moon Child to find it’s footing before it falters.