Moonbreaker | Gameplay, Release Date, Free Weekend & More

Moonbreaker is one of the most exciting releases in the next few months. The Sci-Fi strategy game written by Brandon Sanderson and developed by Subnautica makers Unknown Worlds is coming out very soon, and we were able to play it ahead of release. Here's everything we know about Moonbreaker.

Moon Breaker Key Art
Moonbreaker is coming soon and we are very excited for it. | © Krafton

Moonbreaker is one of my most anticipated games of this year, especially since being able to play it for myself at Gamescom. It's the new game by Unknown Worlds, famous for Subnautica and Natural Selection, and it's written by famous Mistborn author Brandon Sanderson. In this article, I will tell you what got me so excited about the Sci-Fi strategy game, which combines elements from Hearthstone, XCom and Tabletop to a very cool and promising package.

Here you will also find all info you need on the game, including overviews on the story and gameplay, the release date and how you can play the game for free very soon. Let's dive in.

Moonbreaker Gameplay Overview

Moonbreaker kind of sounds (and looks) odd, but the official description of "a turn-based strategy, tabletop tactics game" pretty much nails it on the head. The game is split into two parts: fighting and painting. We will

Turn-Based Fighting

You fight in 1v1 battles either against the AI or another player with a roster of units. Your team is made up from a selection of 50 characters, which you unlock throughout the game. You select a Captain, a unique character with special abilities, and ten crew members to send into battle.

This is where the Hearthstone comparisons come into play most strongly. Sorting out your team really feels a lot like a deck builder. You have your deck of units, which are then randomly drawn into your hand, or the "bridge" as it's called here. Every card has different attack and health stats as well as special abilities. These, among with the deployment of units, need a special resource called "Cinder". This builds slowly with every round and managing it is a very important factor in Moonbreaker.

Moonbreaker Gameplay
Moonbreaker is all about turn-based strategy battles. | © Krafton

You also get something called "assists", which are randomly chosen special abilities that you can trigger at certain points. At the beginning of each battle, you choose between three couples of two assists each. We didn't see much of this system as we only got to fight one battle, but it promises a large amount of variety.

It's not just Hearthstone though, the XCom is also strong with this one. We quickly felt the comparison when we got to play the game ourselves. After your units are deployed on the field, and you start battling it out with your opponent, the gameplay is very similar to the iconic strategy series. Line of sight and cover are hugely important, as they strongly affect the hit chances of your various attacks.

We immediately had tons of fun with the fights. The game looks absolutely great, the different combinations of units promise tons of variety within and between fights. I immediately wanted to play more of Moonbreaker, but then I was shown the painting. And that part of the game took me by surprise.

Moonbreaker Gameplay 2
Moonbreaker offers exciting tactical action. | © Krafton

Painting

Maybe the biggest catch of Moonbreaker is the fact that every unit in the game is a little tabletop figurine, uniquely designed and painted by professional designers. However, you can paint every figure in the game yourself! And this is just super lovely.

While I like editors in games, I'm not necessarily someone who loves design and painting as much. Moonbreaker's painting feature seemed incredibly cool, though.

Moonbreaker Painting
Moonbreaker's painting editor allows you to customize every figurine in the game to your heart's content. | © Krafton

The editor seems very detailed and powerful (professional designers used the tool to paint every figure in the game), but also includes comfort features which can help make it more accessible. A lovely and unique feature that is guaranteed to result in extremely creative productions by the community.

Moonbreaker Story Overview

Moonbreaker is set in a unique sci-fi universe, which is created by Sanderson just for the game. It is described as "bold" and "expansive", but we don't know many details about it yet. The design of the characters and the world look very cool, though.

When we got to talk to the developers during Gamescom, they gave us some hints about all the lore Sanderson created for the game. It involves hundreds of moons orbiting around each other and weird and different habitats and lifeforms and... so much more.

As the game doesn't have a campaign, the lore is going to be told through different ways. While there are different types of flavor within the game, one of the main vehicles will be a podcast that is produced by the developers and performed in-universe. You will be able to listen to the podcast on your podcast app of choice, or in-game while painting the figures.

This is a pretty neat idea, and we haven't really seen video games use podcasts as a supporting medium. We will have to wait and see if it will be enough to flesh out the cool ideas that are mainly surface level in-game.

Moonbreaker Release Date

Moonbreaker is launching for Steam Early Access on September 29. We don't know yet what the price will be, or how long the early access phase will last for. The developers confirmed that, just like with Subnautica, they will keep Moonbreaker in early access for as long as they feel like they need to. It worked out extremely well for the previous game, as fan feedback strongly shaped the development. This is supposed to happen again for Moonbreaker, where Unknown Worlds will let the game steer in whichever direction the fans take it in.

The game will have seasons. However, we were told that it is not clear yet how exactly they will be structured. Further down the line, an in-game store will be introduced where players can buy cosmetics for the painting editor and packs. But how exactly this will work is still being discussed internally.

Free Weekend

Before the early access release, Moonbreaker will be available for free over two weekends. This allows players to check out the game before they decide to buy it. We highly recommend checking it out on these weekends. I personally was skeptical of the game after the initial reveal, but actually playing it immediately made me hyped for it.