Moonlighter hands-on - innovative controls and great design (Updated)

Moonlighter hands-on - innovative controls and great design (Updated)
| Moonlighter
Updated: The trailer didn't quite make it, but we will have exclusive content on our livestream which starts from 5PM UK Time. See you there!

One of the few mobile announcements to grace the recent flood of digital showcases was that 11-bit studios would be bringing over their action rpg sweetheart Moonlighter to mobile.

We've been talking with 11-bit studio about the upcoming mobile port, and have managed to sit down with the game as it stands, in order to bring you some exclusive information at Pocket Gamer LaunchPad.

Firstly, we can talk about the UI as it currently stands. Moonlighter's previous releases were definitely optimised for controllers, which was definitely well represented with the screen layout: never afraid to show you your weapon options at any point in time. The UI has a major redesign to reflect the shift to touch controls, with a very cool touch-to-move-to control brought in - rather than a digital joystick - which means that it works well on smaller screen sizes, without players blocking off corners of the screen with waiting thumbs. 

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This does take a little bit of getting used to, however, it also means that one of the more essential components of the game - the dodge - is even more intuitive. You swipe to dodge in the direction you want to roll into. This, cleverly, means that you can dodge roll with either of your thumbs, making movement decisions split-second to action. Importantly, the input that you put in for where you want to head to remains through the dodge roll, meaning you can dodge to adjust your path slightly.

As you can imagine, this is quite a major change to the way that Moonlighter plays, and definitely mimics the speed and malleability afforded by a controller's analogue sticks. With that said, touch screen controls are naturally superior in a few things, and that's definitely the case here too. The menus when operating the store-stocking and selling aspects of the game feel far more natural on a touchscreen, and as such there's no real risk of menu/selection gore as you tend to get in some RPGs.

Moonlighter will be released on mobile devices later this year, we'll let you know as soon as we have a release date. Keep your eyes peeled on our Pocket Gamer LaunchPad hub later for our Twitch Stream where we'll be showing off some of the game in action.

Head to the Pocket Gamer LaunchPad hub to find all of our exclusive announcements from our three-day event
Dann Sullivan
Dann Sullivan
A job in retail resulted in a sidestep into games writing back in 2011. Since then Dann has run or operated several indie game focused websites. They're currently the Editor-in-Chief of Pocket Gamer Brands, and are determined to help the site celebrate the latest and greatest games coming to mobile.