You walk into a game store and look at the boxes on the shelves. Perhaps someone is standing in the middle of a sea of cellophane-wrapped artwork. You pay the clerk your hard earned money and head home to find a world of miniatures at your fingertips. After that, you get lost in the endless void of drawing sculptures and learning rules. Before you know it, additional rules emerge and you need to learn a completely different gameplay style. There must be a better way. Welcome to Moonbreaker, the game many tabletop gaming enthusiasts have been waiting for.
Moonbreaker is a turn-based strategy game developed by Unknown Worlds Entertainment. While you may know about studios from Subnautica or Natural Selection, Moonbreaker is quite different. This tabletop-style game is similar to titles like Warhammer 40K or Star Wars: Legion. Moonbreaker gives you the complete tablettop gaming experience without spending hundreds of dollars on figurines.
In-depth, strategic combat
Image via Worlds Unknown Entertainment
If you’ve ever played a tabletop game, you know the rules of battle can be a hassle to learn. Some games require rulers to measure distance, multiple sets of dice, and calculators to find out how much damage your Marine has dealt to an enemy monster. Moonbreaker gives you respite from the dull and dry aspects of standard tabletop gaming. It lets you focus on engaging combat where your goal is to outwit your opponent and accomplish your objective of defeating your captain before you bite the dust.
Moonbreaker will test your strategic mind during every battle, whether against an AI enemy or another player. While the game doesn’t have as many miniatures as it is in early access, there are enough that you can create a good number of different teams that will work for most play styles. Combat employs a mana-like system called Cinder that determines how many actions you can perform in a single turn. As the game progresses, you’ll find additional cinders each turn so you can perform more tasks and summon additional allies. The only downside to combat is that there are very few maps to play and only two game modes. Hopefully, the full release brings a bigger map variety and more ways to play.
a more cost-effective hobby
Screenshot by Gempur
To take the tabletop-style of gameplay even further, the devs at Unknown Worlds Entertainment have included a very in-depth paint system that allows you to customize your miniatures however you see fit. If you want your crankbait figure to be completely monochrome, you can do that. There are so many possibilities to choose from and your imagination is the only limit. While painting is fun, it would be nice to see a feature that allows you to tape off parts of shapes so that the paint doesn’t get everywhere and the lines can be smooth.
related: How to get blank space in Moonbreaker
Besides painting, another big part of the hobby is collecting minifigures. Luckily, you don’t need to spend any money in Moonbreaker to get the minifigure. You can get booster packs containing idols just by playing the game. However there is still the option to purchase in-game currency. If you are not afraid to spend money, the game can turn into a win-win scenario. Hopefully, upon full release the devs decide to turn it into a cosmetics-focused feature.
A better way to experience tabletop gaming
Moonbreaker is a great game whether you’re a seasoned veteran or someone who wants to indulge in the hobby but is intimidated by the heavy presence of a tabletop counterpart. The combat is fun and engaging, giving you the chance to outwit your opponent in smaller stages that will hopefully become bigger and more varied when the game is in full release.
The rest of Moonbreaker is focused on assembling and painting your minifigure. While this part of the game is great, there are some parts that could use a little tune-up to truly enhance the experience. In its current state, Moonbreaker is worth buying but it may not hold your interest for very long.