After first launching in May for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, Moonlighter is now available on Nintendo Switch. No version of Moonlighter has exclusive content that can’t be played on another, but what makes the Nintendo Switch version better than the rest if they all contain the same content? Well, besides the main factor of portability, the game is also a bit easier to manage when playing on a smaller screen.
Just last month, I interviewed Javier Gimenez, the founder of Digital Sun, and when I asked him about other games Moonlighter was inspired by, he mentioned The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, and Golden Sun. Besides being made by Nintendo, what do these games have in common? They’re both exclusively on handheld platforms, primarily the Game Boy Advance (if you don’t count the Wii U virtual console ports, but let’s be honest is anyone actually still playing that console?). When first playing Moonlighter on PlayStation 4, I always felt that it would be a better fit on a portable system, where I would have the choice to watch something on TV while playing it, as that’s something I’ve done ever since I first had my Game Boy Advance SP.
Whether in the dungeon being able to see all the enemies and obstacles around you, in the shop on a busy day making sure you have items on display for customers to buy or keeping an eye on no so sneaky thieves, or just sorting your weapons, armor, and collected items, a smaller screen is beneficial to Moonlighter‘s gameplay. Of course, if you have a small TV or monitor then maybe you don’t see a need to get the Nintendo Switch version, but in that case you lose the portability factor and most players don’t carry their console and screen everywhere they go unless it’s a Nintendo Switch or another handheld.
As I mentioned in my Spotlight on the game, because of it’s roguelite elements, Moonlighter is great for brief play sessions. Depending on how much free time you have on a given day, if you enjoy it then you’ll likely end up playing it for a longer amount of time than you had originally thought. This is due to the (well done) gameplay loop of exploring dungeons and collecting items, dying or trying again, selling the items you’ve found and using it to upgrade and enchant your armor and weapons and improve your shop, and then doing it all over again.
Of course, in the end which version you get all comes down to preference. With no graphical change and all of the same content and updates available, if you have a Nintendo Switch and are interested in Moonlighter then why would you not get the Switch version? I’ve enjoyed my time with Moonlighter on both PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, but I enjoyed it much more on the Nintendo Switch despite having to start it all over again. The gameplay loop makes it so that if you’ve already played up to a certain point, then you’ll be able to catch up in no time at all.