Welcome to the Hotel Moonlighter: Friends and Foes update gives game new life

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The Moonlighter: Friends and Foes update gives me the perfect excuse to go back to the most addicting game I played in 2018.

I’m not someone who tends to get addicted to games. Honestly, I usually do the bare minimum to get to the end and move on. Aside from having to review stuff, I have a personal backlog that I barely keep manageable. So it takes a lot for a game to not only get me really hooked on a game but to want to go back to it when I have plenty of others that need my attention.

Coming to the Nintendo Switch in November of last year, Moonlighter just seemed to have the right mix to get me hooked instantly. Its combination of The Legend of Zelda-esque dungeons and running a shop where I sold my findings kept me busy for many sessions.

Eventually, though, it had to come to an end as most games that aren’t massively multiplayer online affairs do. The shop was upgraded to its max, the dungeons were all finished, the story was done. There was new game+, but that’s a mode I’ve rarely bothered with in any game, plus I had plenty of other games to work on. Still, all I probably needed was a good excuse to dive right back into the addictive loop Moonlighter successfully provides.

That excuse seemed to happen this week, as Moonlighter released it’s “Friends and Foes” update. Not only did this add minibosses to dungeons and more lore and background to get into with certain characters, but it added an entirely new gameplay element, “Familiars;” these are mini-versions of certain monsters you can raise and have travel with you in dungeons, providing various kinds of support. Here’s the trailer for the “Friends and Foes update below:

Updates, even significant ones, are rarely enough to get me back into a game I have already finished. I mean I have beaten the game, what else is there to do? But, the key difference between Moonlighter and most other games that I’ve played is that the appeal was never in finishing it. It’s way more about the journey than the destination. All I needed was a little push back towards it, and that’s what “Friends and Foes” provided.

Granted, there is a timing element to this that has to be stated. February is a huge month for games, but none that appealed much to me personally and the next few months look fairly sparse for me as well. It might have completely escaped my notice had this update dropped late last year or even if I had just picked up the game and this update was already added, the content would already be there. It’s a serendipitous combination of things to be sure.

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Moonlighter has been out since May of last year, and it’s been on the Nintendo Switch since early last November. Odds are if you were even slightly interested in the game, you’ve gotten and beaten it and maybe shoved it to the bottom of your library like I tried to. There’s still something more there though.

I started my new game plus, and I’ve unlocked my first couple of familiars and I find myself taking far more time with the dungeons. I’ve only finished the first one so far this time, and am in no rush to move on to the second just yet.

I’m sure I’ll move that that second dungeon and the others eventually, but what I may either take a very long time doing or never do is finish that very last dungeon. Because there’s so much more enjoyment in just doing runs with my little familiar, finding stuff and selling it, that I have no urge for it to really end any time soon. I’m very thankful to the Friends and Foes update for getting me to realize that.