Review/Walkthrough: Moonstuck the Game Part 1


I'm sure many of you have read or encountered Egophiliac's Moonstuck, the sprawling epic about a pony princess on the moon loosely based on Andrew Hussy's Homestuck. A few months ago, the story came to an end, and it appeared that Woona's adventures were over.

Until now! Sylrepony has just released the first episode of many covering Woona's time on the moon in an isometric adventure format. Can this ambitious project live up to the offbeat humor of the comic? The answer, (and a bonus walkthrough,) below the break!

After starting a new game (which you may find yourself doing several times) the player is greeted by a blaring Super Mario theme and a monochrome landscape that roughly resembles the world of the comic. Movement is grid-based and a little unorthodox: The isometric world is skewed far to the left, so that pressing the up arrow key moves Woona in a northwesterly direction. 

After a minute or so, though, the controls of the game become more or less intuitive. Mouse-over instruction flags dispense hints (although they're not always helpful.)

Beyond the controls, the game doesn't provide much information on how to progress from area to area. This can be frustrating, especially when several events must be triggered before your way is clear. Moonstuck: the Game is as vindictive as the first few pages of the comic: it's not uncommon to die unexpectedly. (For ways to avoid death and bypass the less intuitive challenges, see the walkthrough below.) 

The "dress up Woona" feature may earn this game a 10 all by itself.

However, the confusing aspects of the game can be as rewarding as they are frustrating, often coming with the satisfaction of an old-fashioned, point-and-click Escape the Room games. The game follows the comic's storyline admirably well, and your progress through it can be traced through the panels.

Moonstuck part 1 contains several minigames, but most of the entertainment value stems from the bizarre sort of problem-solving necessary to the story and the humor inherent in the comic. The many panels from the comic scattered throughout the game are a nice touch, and serve their purpose as cutscenes well. Overall, I'm very satisfied.

 If you're a fan of Moonstuck, this game is a must. Failing that, it makes a great casual, quirky adventure for anyone. Final grade: a subjective 8/10.




Walkthrough

So, you've gotten through the first few rooms, accidentally zapped yourself to pieces a couple of times, and now you're totally stuck. There are several places in Moonstuck where this is possible, and failing to recognize a certain trick can stop you in your tracks. Every challenge can be solved by the the "try everything until it works" method, but for the impatient among you, I've put together a guide for the trickier spots. [WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD (obviously)]

 After starting the game, make your way southwest, entering the portal at the end of the long corridor. Do the same for the second room. The Apple, found at the end of the second room, can be picked up but is unnecessary.

Pressing space (or clicking on Woona) opens the command menu. Don't jump or use your attack magic on the space which you're standing, as both will kill you and make you restart the game.

To advance from the third room, play the Stargaze minigame in the east corner of the room until the message "Good job stargazing!" appears in the message box at the top right corner of the screen. Special triggers, like the one to start this minigame, are available based on where you're standing - Stargaze can be played from the command menu when adjacent to the sign in the room's east corner. Then, approach the sign in the room's south corner and 'Raise Moon' until it reaches the top of the screen. Now, with your princessly duties complete, head north and pick up the Dapper Topper that has appeared. Equip it from your backpack and enter the portal which appears to the southeast after the cutscene.

Pictured: Dapper Topper in action.

Venture forth through the fourth, fifth, and sixth room. The entryway to a dark cavern is hidden in the center of the seventh room.

Mazes are located in the game's eighth and tenth rooms. While the first is straightforward, the second is much larger and blocked by boulders at several points. Locate the Key in the center of the room, then use it when standing next to the gate to the southwest to clear your path.

In the eleventh room, stand in the enclosure to the southeast of the room's entrance to reveal the entrance to the room's other side.

When you enter the pitch-black twelfth room, light it up from the command menu before proceeding. The key to escape the thirteenth room is hidden inside a rock (just walk through it) on one of the light-colored tiles. On one of my journeys through these two rooms, I acquired the superfluous (but highly radical) Stetson. I haven't been able to replicate this, but if you know how to find it, give a shout in the comments!

A secret entrance in the fourteenth room (pictured below) leads to a room containing the HM Rock Smash. Although unnecessary, you can smash rocks!

The entrance is located one space to the northeast of where Woona is standing.

Room fifteen has two exits: One, down a flight of steps to the southwest, leads to an action-packed chamber we'll call room 16. The other, in the room's east corner, leads to a room which appears at first glance to be empty. Not so! Step off the map at the east side of it's lowest level to discover an invisible ledge. Walk around the corner to snag The Power of Cute.

I admit I never would have found this one without DeviantArt comments.

Return to room 16 and use The Power of Cute to unlock the chest. Transfer the Monocle, Mysterious Scroll, Widdle Shoes, and Socks to your inventory. Trying them on is mandatory at this point. Use the Mysterious Scroll and turn it into the Cartographer's Cap. Again, this should be worn immediately.
Now, examine the machine a little ways to the east. After naming it "Jeffry", open its side panel and flick the switch marked "Moon's Gravity" until it breaks. There is a mannequin in the room's west corner, which, when examined, will drop Toast.

When you return to room fifteen, a new route leading to the zombie room will appear. After entering, stand on the light-colored block and start the Zombie Game minigame. Switch to Attack mode and zap the zombies until you earn 9,000 points (mash the mouse button when the largest one appears.)

Finally, climb the tower in the next room and enter the Observatory. Here, you can pick up the Cupcake, Warpstone (a handy item for getting around the map), and Zap Apple. When you're done with the first installment, rest on the cushion to end the game.


Well, that's all for the Part 1! Got a secret that I missed in the walkthrough? Drop it in the comments!
- Arctic Lux

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