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Dungeons And Debtors: Moonlighter

Shopkeeper by day, adventurer by night

Do you remember Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale? Released in Europe and North America in 2010, it's a dungeon-crawling RPG combined with shop management. You're the person adventurers turn to when they need an upgrade on that rusty sword and battered leather armour.

Moonlighter [official site] looks like a fresh version of the same idea. In the daylight hours, you manage your shop and at night you head into randomised dungeons to gather the materials and items you need to keep the shop running.

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Moonlighter has been in development for a good while, and after a successful Kickstarter, updates are coming thick and fast. Release is planned for March next year and you can follow development on TIGSource.

And here's why you might want to follow along. Details on SHOPPING:

"Customers have different behaviours and interests. Some of them would buy an item even if it's a bit overpriced. Others, on the contrary, will leave the shop empty-handed unless they find a bargain... and, be careful, there will be some shoplifters too.

"From time to time, some customers will request for an specific item. If Will can deliver it within a few days, they maybe very generous!

"Upgrading the shop by investing a large amount of gold is key to increase its benefits dramatically. You will be able to sell more items at the same time, attract better customers and so on."

And you can't have a shop without stock. ITEMS:

"Moonlighter is all about the items. There is no 'level progression' so having powerful equipment will be the only way to beat the game. Choosing what to keep, what to sell, what to upgrade, and selling the items at the right price will be crucial.

"Each item has a base price which is initially unknown by the player. When an item is first picked an entry about it is added to a merchant notebook that Will carries with partial info about the object, resembling the current knowledge that Will has about the object.

"All items belong to a culture, linked to each of the dungeons. The player will know more about an item as he obtains more items from that specific culture. All items which are part of the same culture will look alike, so it will be easy for the player to associate them. As the player knows more about the items of a culture, it will get easier for him to set the 'perfect' price on the shop.

And where do you get those items? Well, you go into a dungeon and harvest the body parts of monsters, of course. Dungeons have three floors, with a boss lurking on the third.

"Unlike other similar games, when the enemies spawn, the doors of the room will be kept open, so player can keep walking and explore faster. If monsters are defeated they will not respawn, even if the players exits the room and enters again, giving the player the possibility of 'cleaning' rooms and slowly take control of that instance of the dungeon.

"Chests will spawn randomly on rooms and the player will only be able to open them after defeating all the enemies in the room.

"The loot that enemies drop on death will consist of parts of their bodies, or weapons and armors they are carrying.

"At the end of each dungeon the player will need to defeat a very tough boss that will drop a very valuable loot and unlock new possibilities for the player."

Sounds good to me. I didn't get along with Stardew Valley because I find the actual farming too repetitive, but the balance between management and looting here could be better suited to my tastes.

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