Title Moonstone (A Hard Day's Knight) (Second Review) Game Type RPG Company Mindscape Players 1-4 HD Installable Yes (With Patch) Compatibility All (With Patch) Submission Adrian Simpson Profiled Reviewer Review Knowing that the subtitle of Moonstone is 'A Hard Day's Knight' will tell you two things. Firstly that the game involves knights in some way and secondly that it doesn't take itself seriously. Further proof of this lack of seriousness is seen with the now legendary (sort of) 'gore on/off' option in the menu. Today it may be common practice to include an option to turn any blood and gore off, but when Moonstone was released, it was a somewhat unique feature. Moonstone sees up to four players battle each other in a fantasy medieval land. You start the game by selecting a knight to play as and this will determine what part of the land you start in. The map is split into four distinct pieces in a geographically improbable way. There is a flat land of plains and fields, a dense forest, a murky swamp and an arid desert. Each knight hails from his home village at each corner of the map, and proceeds to visit monster lairs in each of the four sections, looking for parts of a key. One key can be found in each land. The key allows access to the central area, and completion of the game, following a final battle. If the game was only about moving your little knights around a large map, then it would be a little dull. Luckily, you get to fight whatever creature's lair you have invaded. The game changes into sideways beat-'em-up mode, and from here you can hack and slash creatures (or other knights) with your large sword. This section is a lot of fun, and is a change from most beat-'em-ups, due to the use of a sword. It is reminiscent of the scene with the two knights from Monty Python And The Holy Grail, with a lot of blood spurting from wounds. There is a different set of creatures in each of the four areas on the map, and with specific pre-set moves being effective on each creature. For example, with the small and quick monsters from the forest, swift jabs are effective, while with the large and slow monsters from the desert, you need to swipe at the creature and then move quickly away. Once a battle has been won, you can steal the treasure, which can be gold, magical items or weapons. The gold can be exchanged for some better equipment at the large towns. Dying can happen often, but you can top up your lives at the land's equivalent of Stone Henge for a price. You can also go back to your home village for some more lives. Each knight has the normal stats - dexterity, stamina and strength. Knights gain experience points by winning battles and these can be used to increase any of the above stats. The game changes it's difficulty level to suit the proficiency of your character, and this keeps the challenge up. However, it does mean that you feel like you are not getting on top of the game, as the reward for playing well is extra creatures to fight at once! The game has so many good points, but little that is wrong with it. The disk swapping and loading was always annoying, but the recent install for it solves those problems. That means that there is no excuse not to play it and see it as the classic that it is.