If exploring Starfield's 1,000 planets is proving too exhausting for you, this new life sim offers a much more manageable 100 islands and a cozy Stardew Valley vibe.
It's called Moonstone Island, and in it, you take on the role of a budding alchemist embarking on a new life in a magical land among the clouds. You'll spend much of your days carrying out everyday activities such as decorating your home, growing crops, and befriending the local NPCs, all in a colourful and charming open world that will instantly appeal if laid-back life sims happen to be your jam.
But Moonstone Island goes beyond the typical life-sim tasks of farming and chewing the fat with your virtual pals. As an alchemist, you also have the ability to brew potions and tame wild spirits. These spirits will then fight alongside you in battle, essentially making you a magical version of Ash Ketchum. Add to that card-based encounters and deckbuilding, and you've got an intriguing mash-up of genres. And judging by the Steam reviews it's a recipe for success.
The game has managed to rack up almost 700 reviews on Valve's platform since its launch last week and currently has a "very positive" overall rating. "Moonstone Island scratched my (very desperate) Stardew itch, despite its focus surprisingly being on exploration and combat," said one reviewer. "It's like Stardew Valley if you add creature collecting like Pokemon with Slay the Spire combat. Very interesting combo, I know, but they actually work splendidly together."
Another wrote, "What an excellent cozy game. This game blends a whole bunch of genres in a way that works really well. If you are a fan of these cozy farming/town games, card battlers, and creature collectors, you will find a lot to love here."
Moonstone Island is available now on PC via Steam, and a Nintendo Switch version is planned for later this year. Check out the trailer below to see it in action.
Take a lot at our upcoming indie games guide for more exciting indies coming your way in the near future.