Moonshine, Inc. Review: Brewing Trouble and Blending Strategy
Moonshine Inc., a game where you tread the line of legality to create the finest illegal spirits, is a niche dive in the complex world of simulation games. Developed and published by Klabater, this game brings to life the risky yet rewarding world of moonshining, a venture filled with challenges, strategy, and the delicate art of brewing.
At its core, Moonshine Inc. tantalizes with a premise rich in potential: the player, as a budding moonshiner, must navigate the nuances of recipe creation, resource management, and evasion of law enforcement. The game’s essence lies in its distillation process – an intricate dance of ingredient mixing, timing, and adjusting variables to concoct various alcoholic beverages. This process is both a science and an art, reflecting the real-world complexity of moonshine production. The thrill of unlocking new recipes, akin to a tech tree with various branches of liquor types, offers a semblance of progress and achievement. However, the lack of intuitive feedback leaves players guessing the outcome of their brewing efforts.
Graphically, Moonshine Inc. presents a mixed bag. While certain elements, like the crafting screen, are visually appealing and informative with unique icons for each reagent, other aspects, such as the base location, suffer from unclear and foggy textures. The overall aesthetic, though aiming for a rugged charm, sometimes falls short of really engaging the player and making this feel like a truly lived-in world.
Moonshine Inc.’s narrative, though not its strongest feature, does provide a context for the gameplay. The story of taking over a family operation and evading law enforcement adds a layer of purpose to the distillation and distribution activities. The game’s mechanics, though ambitious, reveal a shallowness beneath the surface. The simulation of running an illegal operation, complete with staff management and distribution logistics, initially seems engaging. Yet, the experience quickly becomes monotonous, lacking the depth and challenge that might appeal to strategy aficionados. The police alert level, intended to add a layer of tension, feels underdeveloped and fails to impact gameplay significantly. Furthermore, the main base, which could have been a hub of interesting activity, feels more like a backdrop than a functional part of the gameplay.
Despite these criticisms, Moonshine Inc. does have its moments. The process of fine-tuning recipes and the satisfaction of successful experimentation is a highlight, providing brief glimpses of what could have been a more rounded experience. The game’s concept itself is intriguing, offering a novel twist to the business simulation genre. Still, the lack of clear guidance and feedback during the brewing process and the game’s technical issues dampen the overall enjoyment.
Moonshine Inc. is a game that, while rooted in a promising concept, ultimately delivers an unfinished and unrefined experience. Like a batch of moonshine itself – it has the potential to be great, but it’s not quite there yet.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5.0 stars.
Moonshine, Inc. is now available for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series S/X.
A press key for Xbox Series S/X was received from the publisher.