|Dev: SideQuest Studios|
|Release: July 10, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Language, Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence|
Outside of battle, Rainbow Moon has a difficult time deciding exactly what kind of game it wants to be. While the simple storyline and turn-based battles are a great nod to RPGs of yore, other old school features the game employs should have stayed put in the '90s. Each character has a stamina bar that must be replenished by eating and drinking, but shopkeepers are plentiful and the stamina bar can also be replenished by spending a night in the inn. Since Rainbow Moon doesn't play like a resource-management or survival RPG such as Legend of Grimrock, the stamina bar feels like a meaningless extra chore, pointless grocery shopping that should have been dropped from the game. Borrowing from the tactical RPG genre, the game requires characters to land the killing blow on opponents in order to receive character advancement points. Again, this feature feels out of place in terms of how Rainbow Moon actually plays. It leads to nothing but pointless grinding on easy monsters should a party member fall behind in terms of statistic growth. Other old school features like needing torches in dungeons and dealing with limited inventory space work a bit better, but still feel a somewhat superfluous to the experience.
At least the scenery that one passes through while trekking to and from shopkeepers is pleasant. Rainbow Moon's HD graphics are sharp, diverse, and very bright. Anybody who thought Diablo III's color scheme was too cheerful is likely to have a coronary upon viewing the Crayola-bright palette in this game. Personally, I'll take Rainbow Moon's cheerful and somewhat cluttered world over the dark and samey feeling of environments in many of these types of games, but it's probably a matter of personal taste. Also a matter of personal taste are the character portraits, which look a bit off somehow. They're not a huge part of the game, though, since they're only shown in the menus. In-game character and monster models look quite nice.
The sound design is similarly decent if not spectacular. The music tracks are catchy enough, and the sound effects are crisp. The voice work is rather obnoxiously over-acted, but is only found in the occasional narration and the greeting sounds of NPCs. Basically, the sound in Rainbow Moon isn't going to win any awards, but it also won't drive most people away.
I enjoyed Rainbow Moon despite its design flaws. The game has a certain charm to it, and the battle system is pretty fun, though the sheer number of battles needed to progress is a bit overwhelming. I'd like to see what SideQuest Studios can do with more experience under its belt, stronger control implementation, and a more competent English localization. For now, though, Rainbow Moon is a solidly middling game that makes a good choice for somebody looking for a cheap summer time-waster.
Date: July 20, 2012