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Creature-collecting life-sim Moonstone Island is out now

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With a curious blend of deck-building, creature-collecting and a little sprinkle of a life-sim, Moonstone Island is a colourful and very inviting game to add to your collection. It comes with full Native Linux support and it is Steam Deck Verified. Note: key provided by Raw Fury.

Taking some inspiration from Studio Ghibli classics like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky and more this is a real gem for people who want a more laid-back experience.

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Game Features:

  • Explore a Wondrous World: Travel by balloon, broom, and glider through unique biomes to reach the farthest edges of the sky.
  • Settle Into Your New Home: Build, decorate and customize a cozy new home of your own on any of the 100 islands in your procedurally generated world.
  • Make New Friends & More: Become a true member of the community – befriend your NPC neighbors, go on dates, and fall in love!
  • Discover Wild Spirit Companions: Tame and befriend wild Spirits to fight alongside you in card-based combat.
  • Go Dungeon Crawling: Explore dungeons to earn upgrades, collect loot and uncover secrets.
  • Become a Full-fledged Alchemist: Optimize your alchemist with unique skills and upgrades, and craft dozens of items and vehicles to prepare for the treacherous wilderness.
  • Build Your Own Farm: Grow crops and flowers to brew potions and tame Spirits!

It works great on desktop Linux, although at times it seems the Steam Overlay refused to work. Running it with Gamescope seemed to get it to work though. There's also some minor stutter while exploring, which is a known issue they're working to improve. Other than that, I haven't encountered any problems so it's good to see another nice release.

Absolutely love the setting, it's just so ridiculously charming and sweet. The exploring is definitely interesting too, quite different to other similar games since it's all based on islands. Although, the exploration is a little slow to begin with, since after the intro you're making use of just a balloon (yes really — dangerous much?!) which also uses up your energy. But eventually you'll get more tools to explore a bit quicker.

Sure hope I don't have a bird strike…

Overall it really does seem like a lovely game that I've enjoyed exploring and finding new creatures, while going through many quests. The blending of all the different genres together is a bit odd at first but it really does work quite well. Always fun to see how other developers explore creature-collecting like this. Exactly the type of game you're going to want on Steam Deck too, with the colder months coming in - nice to cozy up with.

How long is it? You can expect somewhere around 40-50 hours, so it's certainly not a short game and once you finish the main story you'll be able to continue after in a more sandbox like way to just keep on doing your thing. It's a single-player game too, with no current plans to add in co-op.

This is one you don't want to miss out out. Wonderful.

You can buy it on Humble Store and Steam.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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StalePopcorn Sep 29, 2023
Soundtrack sounds like a Neverending Story remix. —romance? Nah, not getting it for my kids now!
benstor214 Sep 29, 2023
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Moonarid Mountain probably would have been too obvious.
redneckdrow Sep 30, 2023
Another addition to the "when my rich uncle gets out of the poor house" list!

I believe this ol' Jim and Jesse tune fits my situation and the theme of the game.

But it'll have to be something special to beat out Stardew Valley in my mind.

For my money, a farming sim should make the villagers interesting and fun to interact with. (Most recent SoS/HM games might as well use cardboard cutouts. The remake of Mineral Town being an exception.) Stardew has this in spades.

I haven't started Portia yet, even though I've owned it for years.

Stardew is just too good. Between my Linux PC, Switch, PS4, and phone, I've invested ~1000 hours into a game I've purchased four times! I'll happily buy every port for any device I happen to own! Plus, what other $15 game has received this level of support, post launch?
Philadelphus Sep 30, 2023
A review I read on RPS suggested that there wasn't much overlap between the "monster battling" and "cozy farming sim" sides of the game, and that it was sort of a missed opportunity. Anyone who's played it have any thoughts on that? I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold on the game yet.
WorMzy Oct 1, 2023
Quoting: PhiladelphusA review I read on RPS suggested that there wasn't much overlap between the "monster battling" and "cozy farming sim" sides of the game, and that it was sort of a missed opportunity. Anyone who's played it have any thoughts on that? I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold on the game yet.

I'd say that's a fair assessment from my ~2h playtime so far. It does feel like two games mushed together rather than one game with two play styles. It's still fun though, although the dialog system is a bit odd.
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