Moss Destruction is a neatly stylized twin stick shoot ’em up. I gave it an early access look months ago before it was finished, at the time, it was selling for $4.99. The game was easy to recommend for that price. It has since had its full release and with it, the price has increased. So, is it still worth the money?
In Moss Destruction you play a sentient Moss piloting a mech, yep, that’s a thing. Your goal is to navigate the maze-like levels and locate the exit to progress to the next stage. There are three worlds, each one has five levels and a boss fight. The layout of each maze is randomly generated.
Being a rogue-lite means that death sets you back at the beginning of a world. You can choose to start on the first stage of any world you have unlocked. However, it is to your advantage to start on the first world for a complete run, as you have more opportunities to acquire mech tech. Each world has its own unique roster of baddies and the farther you go the more dangerous it gets.
You will encounter a wide array of enemies types, but have no fear, the variety of weapon pickups is also large.
You do have some progression that carries over between runs. As you play, you acquire Krysol. You can find merchants in some stages where you can spend your Krysol on global upgrades that affect every run going forward, cartridges that can be slotted into your mech at the start of a run and new mechs.
Each mech has passive and active cartridge slots. Passive ones may affect abilities, such as making your melee attack more effective. While active ones grant you new moves, such as a dash, that you activate with the push of a key or button. The game has great controller support.
The core gameplay is fairly simple, it’s a twin stick shooter where you can move and aim in any direction. You can pick up new weapons and power-ups while shooting enemies until you find the exit. However, you can’t dawdle for too long, as the sun sets, the enemies spawn in greater numbers.
Leveling up to acquire mech techs between stages is the key to a successful run. I quite like the artwork for each one, very reminiscent of Earth Worm Jim.
You can level up twice per stage, each level up grants you a choice between three random mech techs or a supply drop. Mech techs are integral to your success, each one benefits you for your entire run. One may grant you a pet that helps you fight, or an orb that deflects projectiles. Others may reduce the damage you take or make a weapon type more powerful.
It quickly becomes a game of risk versus reward as gaining two mech techs per stage is very helpful. However, the longer you stay and engage the ever-increasing hordes of enemies, the more likely it is that you will die. But, it becomes more likely that foes will drop that precious Krysol as you have a larger chance for combo attacks as the enemies numbers increase. It’s a gamble you have to decide on in the heat of battle.
You also have to manage four types of ammo. You will find a wide variety of weapons from laser beams, chain guns, shotguns, flame throwers, rockets and more. Each one will use one of the four ammo types and you can carry two weapons at a time. It’s a good idea to carry weapons that use different ammo types as running out is a real threat and can be devastating during a boss fight.
Each of the three worlds has a theme. The Blue Wilderness utilizes a lot of narrow mazes for example.
If you are extremely low, you can choose a supply drop instead of a mech tech if you leveled up. The usefulness of the mech techs makes that decision a tough one. You also acquire different colored one use power-ups. These are also risk vs reward in nature.
They can have helpful effects such as increasing your maximum health or doubling your damage. They can also jam your weapons or make you walk slowly. You don’t know what the power-ups do until you use them. But once you activate a power-up, you will always know what the power-up does when you find it again for that same run.
The enemies variety is satisfying. You will encounter several kinds of melee and ranged creatures, baddies with shields or ones that call in back up. Eventually, you will run to types that are immune to certain types of ammunition. The clay-like art style is pretty nifty looking and the enemies explode when killed into satisfying bits.
The enemy types get progressively more difficult as you venture deeper into each world.
If you manage to beat all the worlds, you will unlock an endless mode that you can play and see how far you can get. You start with a well-rounded mech but can unlock two others. One mech is slower but has more health, while another is more fragile but quicker and has more cartridge slots. You can use Krysol to unlock cosmetics for them which is a nice touch.
The game effectively has three times the content it did back when I gave it an early access look. It’s a solid twin-stick shooter that entertains you the moment you pick it up. It’s a nice game to jump into when you need an immediate fun fix or you don’t have a lot of time to dig into something deeper.
While I would like to see it priced at around $10.00, I can’t say it is not worth the $15. It is fun, and addictive, especially when you unlock endless mode. Moss Destruction doesn’t try to revolutionize any genres or break new ground. It tries to be a fun, action-packed arcade experience. In that, it succeeds very well.
A copy of Moss Destruction was provided for Gideon’s Gaming by Shotgun with Glitters. You can read my FAQ here.
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- Fun twin-stick shooting.
- Great Rogue-lite elements between cartridges and mech techs.
- The endless mode adds a lot of replay value.
- Nifty Artwork on the mech techs.
- Addictive “one more try” nature.
- A large variety of enemies, weapons, and power-ups.
- A bit simplistic for the price.
- Environments can get repetitive.
- The game outside of endless mode is a little short if you are particularly skilled or lucky.