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RetroReview: Moonstone - A Hard Days Knight

I can remember the very first time I saw Moonstone on the Amiga. It was at a computer users convention in Invercargill, and the person who owned the game said that "This is the Amiga's answer to Doom". While that claim was probably exaggerated somewhat (The Amiga is now dead and buried, save a hard core legion of fans) Moonstone is still a kick ass game.

There can be only one!
Moonstone attempts to be a hybrid of turn based RPG and real time Fighting. Set in some medieval land, England probably, you play one of four Knights assigned to reclaim the Moonstone from 'The guardian of the Valley' and return it to Stone Henge or something. There’s a vast land filled with swamps, deserts, forests, plains, lairs, cities and towers. You have to explore pretty much all of it to find the four "Keys to the valley" required to fight the guardian, while fending off attacks from the hordes of monsters, the other three Knights and the insidious Dragon. This task is made somewhat complicated by the lack of a save function and the limited lives available.
Its only a fleshwound!


Moonstone features surprisingly good combat scenes. Even though there us only one action button (can anyone else remember the days that Joysticks only had one button?) your Knight can block, dodge, lunge, swing, chop, stab, strike backwards and throw knives. You fight boars, ratmen, swamp things, ratmen, trolls, dragons, more ratmen and the other Knights. You can even battle a mate for bragging rights. However it gets really frustrating fighting a Monster that can kill you in one hit, and also its a pain in the ass when you have to fight three ratmen at the same time. There’s a crap load of gore in the combat scenes however this is far more humorous then horrifying.

Burninating the Countryside, Burninating the Peasants!


The heart and soul of Moonstone is its multiplayer action. The game supports four players (either human or AI) and each player takes turns moving their Knight across the land, attacking enemy lairs and eventually, each other. The RPG side of things is really simplistic as there is only a small amount of weapons, spells and armour, but this is more of a plus as it makes the game less confusing and easier to learn how to play.

The vast land of Moonstone. Its really really big.

Moonstone could have used some more variety (admittedly the original game took up three discs!) but other then that, it is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with three mates. As you can see from the screenshots, the graphics are absolutely fantastic given their age. I give it four healing potions out of five.

Publisher: Mindscape Platform: Amiga / PC Year: 1991