I’m not really sure I “get” Mooncharmer. Released last month by Paws Menu’s Michael Berto and artist Joost Eggermont, Mooncharmer is a self-described “visual moment” – collectively an interactive diorama, a Bandcamp EP and (if you pay up) a collection of media “arranged musically”, Mooncharmer isn’t even really something you play. Leave the game running and it’ll chug along of its own accord, strolling and resetting at a steady pace.
What I am sure about, however, is that Mooncharmer is a delight. A lovely little lunar dance to enjoy for five fleeting minutes.
Inspired by the work of Greek artist Yiannis Moralis, Moralia Mooncharmer dances under the surprisingly warm glow of Earth’s oldest mate. Each frame of her movements is a Moralis painting come to life, a sculpted adaptation of works like Dialogue stuttering steadily through new forms. A gallery soon rises from beneath, empty frames, bold architecture and wireframe wisps of visitors growing amongst the trees.
Very quickly, more Moralias appear. They – and you- move like nothing I’ve seen before. At times, when they’re closest to you, you’d almost swear there’s a human figure hiding in all that mass.
Again, I’m not so sure I understand it all. My “Moon Mysticism” smarts are a little rusty, let’s say. But Mooncharmer does, at least, stand as an example of what I love most about Itch as a platform. A short, lovingly crafted little journey to someplace new, if only for a moment.
Mooncharmer is pay-what-you-want over on Itch.io. Yes, that means it could be free, but Paws Menu will donate towards replanting trees in Australia for every purchase made until the “first full moon of the decade”.
That’ll be the end of January, then.