It can take years for an RPG developer to fully understand the intricacies of the genre. This is why so many new studios stumble with the most basic elements of gameplay.
Rainbow Moon feels very much like a first attempt at a turn-based role-playing game, as you might expect given that this is SideQuest Studios's first release.
Yet it's a surprisingly solid release, which can provide many hours of enjoyment if you're willing to look past some fundamental mistakes.
I can sing a rainbow
Rainbow Moon is an isometric tactical RPG, with a real-time overworld to explore, and turn-based battles to take part in.
It's very much in the same vein as many other turn-based RPGs, with you pushing onwards through thick and thin, levelling-up, learning special moves, and forging a path through the gameworld.
But Rainbow Moon does manage to throw in numerous neat ideas. For example, time progresses in-game, and battles are affected by whatever time of day it is. Meanwhile, you get "subturns" as you level-up, which help you to turn the tide of battle in your favour.
Elsewhere, items that are dropped will block spaces for enemies but not you, while Rainbow Points allow you to level-up each of your individual attributes.
It may be a slow-going experience to begin with, but Rainbow Moon soon reveals itself to be an RPG with plenty of its own clever twists and enjoyable progression.
It's raining, it's pouring
Rainbow Moon is a great RPG for both newcomers and veterans, but it does have numerous quirks that no doubt betray SideQuest Studios's lack of experience.
The difficulty spikes are the most notable problem. One moment you're slaying everything with ease, and the next you're getting trashed. There's no careful balance, meaning you're regularly forced to grind, and then coast through the next half an hour easily.
There's also very little need for tactics when it comes down to it. You can essentially back yourself into a corner, get an enemy to drop an item on one available space, then take baddies out one by one in the remaining space.
Meanwhile, the controls are rather irksome in places, while the animations are crude. Plus, while the overworld appears quite open, it's actually very linear, and regularly forces you down a set path.
Regardless, Rainbow Moon is a great first attempt. Hopefully the team will take the lessons learnt from this RPG bash and make something truly spot-on next time around.