Moonglow Bay (PC) Review

By Athanasios 13.02.2023

Review for Moonglow Bay on PC

The best thing about the world of video games is that it can be described as a spectrum of pretty much all kinds of experiences. There are two extremes in that spectrum. You want to wage one-man, larger than life, epic warfare? Have fun with killing demons of all sizes and colours, while heavy metal blasts through your speakers in DOOM Eternal. Want to relax while building a - relaxing - community? Enjoy your time with the anthropomorphic denizens of Animal Crossing: New Horizons as you craft, gather, or swim for hours upon hours. Moonglow Bay belongs in the second end of the spectrum, no doubt about it. A chill fishing/business management sim, this cosy adventure lets players slowly bring life to a small town, while also providing the populace with tasty dishes with fresh ingredients straight from the sea.

Moonglow Bay begins and players are offered a simple character creation screen where one gets to pick among four slightly grey-haired individuals, plus their significant other from the rest of the options. Note that this is one of those rare (for now) games that lets one pick a preferred pronoun. The one writing this isn't really a fan of the whole pronoun thingy, but it's definitely a plus that you are free to create a same-gender relationship, something that many other similar titles definitely lack. After that you will be served a small tutorial, which will explain the core aspect of the following adventure: casting a line and catching some fish. After a certain event and a three-year leap, the actual adventure begins.

Screenshot for Moonglow Bay on PC

A mix of three types of sim games: a fishing sim, a cooking sim, and a store management sim, this adds a little bit of roleplaying to spice things up, with the protagonist going around talking the people of Moonglow, listening to the stories, and helping out in all sort of ways… but mainly by fishing and cooking, fishing and cooking, fishing and cooking. This is the main thing on offer… and it gets boring really, really fast. This is one of those chill kind of experiences and thus it's no surprise that everything takes its sweet time, but it's all super repetitive as well. Again, this is meant to be a relaxing, casual-friendly kind of deal, but maybe it takes things a bit too far.

The second problem is the way this handles the whole process of fishing and cooking. No, scrap that. Cooking. This is the annoying part. Fishing is nice and simple. One goes out to the sea, uses his/her/their fishing rod, net, or whatever, and catch a variety of… err, catches, depending on the bait used, the location and so on and forth. It's simple, fun, and relaxing, and adding new species to your library can be addicting in a weird, Pokémon-like way. Cooking on the other hand is an assortment of repetitive, QTE-esque button presses. It's tedious work, and not the kind that can be fun despite being tedious. This is tedious, full stop.

Screenshot for Moonglow Bay on PC

Everything, and especially cooking, makes it obvious that this isn't meant to be played with a keyboard, but a gamepad with analogue sticks. Even when doing so, though, there are moments where the controls are over-sensitive. That's not exactly a deal breaker. This isn't action-packed, so it's easy to stomach such a small issue - however, it does offer taste of Moonglow Bay's lack of polish. It's super easy to "forget" which button does what, frequently forcing you to stop and think, even after a few hours. It's not that the controls are complex or anything. It's just that the logic behind the control scheme on offer seems to change every now and them, so the brain struggles to register inputs. It doesn't feel "natural" if that makes any sense. Even the simple process of saving had this veteran of a gamer scratching his head for a second or two…

Another problem with Moonglow Bay is that it provides little incentive to go out and do stuff. The first reason is practical. Unlike other similar titles you are rarely given any new tools or upgrades to work with, and there's also very little in your way of doing things. When you get your boat for example, you are basically ready to go almost anywhere you want, and completing quests rarely alters the gameplay by adding a new mechanic that's required in order to progress. As for the second reason why it's hard to care, that would be the weak writing.

Screenshot for Moonglow Bay on PC

As mentioned earlier this is also an RPG of sorts, and as such it includes a story. Once again, you get a taste of how generic it is very early, as the introductory tutorial chapter tries to make you feel emotional way too soon, before even getting the chance to know the characters involved, and thus completely fails at it. The rest of the experience is even worse, with the sole purpose of 90% of the NPCs being to offer some tips, or provide some boring small talk.

Moonglow Bay has a severe lack of character. It's one more bland and generic casual game, complete with its bland and generic casual game soundtrack, and bland and generic casual game voxel visuals, even though there are definitely some parts that look pleasing to the eye. Furthermore, while a lot of the bugs that this was initially plagued by have been eradicated, many still persist. It's hard to say why this isn't that good, it's not one of those thousands of indies that are incomplete garbage. The developer's love for its creation shines through, but maybe the team behind it just isn't there yet skill or budget-wise. Either way, this isn't as good as it could be.

Screenshot for Moonglow Bay on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


A super-calm mix of fishing, cooking, business management, and town-restoring RPG, Moonglow Bay is a decent idea that wasn't executed that well, and is thus very boring and repetitive. It also struggles with making you care about anything. Players do things just to do them, with the tiniest sense of progress possible. Take your fishing rod and fish somewhere else.






Real Time RPG



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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