View of Moonglow Bay
Games,  Review

Moonglow Bay review

After spending decades together in the city, you and your spouse decide it’s time for a seachange and move to beautiful Moonglow Bay. Once thriving, it is now shrouded in rumours and superstition of monsters lurking in the bay and surroundings. Your spouse’s lifelong dream is to discover the secrets of the bay and disprove the monster rumours once and for all. After surprising you with a present, they leave for an overnight fishing outing. You promise to open the gift when they get back tomorrow.

Fast forward three years, another day begins, and you’re waking up alone again. Your spouse has been missing since that day and is now presumed dead. What do you do now? Can you keep going without them? Maybe it’s time to open their gift.

The locals are filled with suspicion and distrust.

Over the years, the rumours of Moonglow Bay have run rampant, destroying the fishing and tourist trade of the bay. After finally opening your gift, you remember your spouse’s dream, and it inspires you to help the community and restore the town. With help from your daughter and some locals, can you turn the town around before the big centennial festival to give Moonglow Bay one last chance?

Cooking up some fish cakes - The cooking minigame in Moonglow Bay
Cooking up some fish cakes – The cooking minigame in Moonglow Bay

After a few tutorials on how to fish, cook and get out on the bay, you’re on your way! With no time constraints, Moonglow Bay gives you the freedom to play how you like. Get out on the open sea, discover new species for the aquarium, and find out which dishes the locals love most. Everyone is eager to tell you the tale of their favourite fish, too; Complete with silly names. Fortunately, Marina at the aquarium will set things straight and update your journal with accurate information when bringing her a new fish.

Running around town, playing the cooking minigames and getting out onto the sea are all fun experiences, though more so with a controller. The keybinding on keyboard feels clunky and isn’t a good experience. It is obvious the controls are designed with a controller in mind, and it is how I’d recommend playing. The dev team, Bunnyhug, are working on getting a patch out to improve keybindings and allow user-defined mapping.

Combat the demons of the bay

Something that surprised me about Moonglow Bay is that there are boss fights. They are integrated well with the storyline, but they are something I didn’t expect and didn’t particularly enjoy. Moonglow Bay is a combat-free game, so you don’t need to attack anything. Instead, they require you to think about how to solve the situation.

Moonglow Bay has an interesting voxel art style which many people compare with Minecraft. It makes me think of an enormous lego world where the characters, fish and backgrounds comprise hundreds of lego pieces. Your journal is also beautifully designed and full of info on your tasks, fish, recipes and a little something extra from all your friends.

Your journal has everything you need to know.
Your journal has everything you need to know.

The soundtrack will accompany you on your journey around town but also out into the great beyond. Composed by the fantastic Lena Raine (Celeste and Chicory), it made me feel so adventurous as I sailed out of the bay.

Initially, I felt like I was fighting with Moonglow Bay, but everything improved when I switched to controller. I anticipated a 5 or 6-hour game but spent 20 hours immersed in the bay. It was lovely to learn more about the locals and learn the fascinating lore of the bay.

Moonglow Bay explores grief with care and allows our character to find a support system they never knew they had. It is an excellent example of how a glimmer of hope in a community can touch and change many lives.

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Platforms: PC (Steam and Epic) and Xbox inc. Gamepass
Genre: Adventure, fishing, RPG

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