Moonglow Bay is a charming fishing sim. When you’re not fishing, you go around and talk to your fellow villagers and take on quests which are usually related to fishing.
When you start the game, you can only fish from the shore line. You have access to one rod, three different lures, and one bait. The lures attract different types of fish. Depending on the type of fish, you have to use different techniques to reel them in. The faster agile fish require you to pull the rod in the right direction more quickly while the slower, stronger fish require multiple strikes. As of this writing, you can sort of cheese the fishing by casting close to the shore line and striking backwards immediately after the fish bites. I have no problem with this as I want to catch as many fish as possible.
After catching the fish, you can cook up recipes at your home kitchen. Each recipe requires different steps and some recipes will require a specific fish. Once you pick a recipe and start cooking, the cooking minigame will start. You have to press buttons to clean, chop, boil, fry, and bake. One of the mini games in particular are very difficult to do with the keyboard so controller is recommended.
Once you are finished cooking, you can place the food items into your vending machine to sell to townsfolk. You can easily accrue a large amount of money very quickly by fishing nonstop and then cooking nonstop. You can spend the money on upgrades for your boat or fishing gear as well as reinvest it back into your village. This will increase tourism to your town and increase the profit per food item sold.
You also have access to a boat once you earn one hundred shells, which is quite easy to do. Once you have a boat, you can explore the different regions of the lake to catch different fish. When you aren’t fishing, you can go talk to the villagers for some wholesome conversation. Villagers may give you a quest, teach you new recipes, or give you information about a new fish. The quests usually consist of you catching a specific fish or making a specific dish.
The game is pretty fun to play. The fishing mechanic is simple and engaging. It’s a great feeling to catch a large amount of fish and then cook a lot of dishes and watch the money roll in. The village also adds another layer of game play on top of the fishing. It feels like a very simplified version of Animal Crossing where you just talk to your fellow townsfolk and mingle.
There are some flaws however. Firstly, the keybinds are very questionable. The mouse is not used at all and while this is not a problem, the default keybinds are very awkward. For example, WASD is used to move around and O, I are used to rotate the camera. This is madness. To make matters worse, they updated the game and bound IJKL control the camera now. This isn’t any better. The default camera rotations set to QE would be infinitely more playable as it would let you move and rotate the camera with one hand.
The action confirmation buttons are confusing as well. It used to be K,L. Some actions required you to press K, some actions required you to press L. This made no sense as you could just simply bind everything to one action button, especially for the cooking minigame. Now the action buttons have been bound to CVNM. Madness! The default controls make the game a hassle to play.
Secondly, there are plenty of bugs in the game. Most are manageable and slightly annoying. Others break the game. I’m assuming the bugs will be fixed over time but I can make no guarantees so take this as you will.
Overall, Moonglow Bay is a fun game with a great premise marred by questionable, awkward keybinds and way too many bugs. I have a hard time recommending the game in its current state but these two problems are fixable and hopefully do get fixed as there’s a great game hiding in there. I’m writing this article near the release of the game so anyone reading this article many months from now, hopefully the game is in a playable state.