Friday, May 21, 2010


Travel back in time to the prohibition era and use old timey spreadsheets to manage your liquor empire.

Moonshine is an implementation of the turn based stock simulator, one of the oldest and possibly most satisfying types of games. Who doesn't like to accrue ridiculous amounts of virtual currency, all while reclining comfortably on your couch?

In Moonshine, currently available via the Xbox Live Indie Games Channel, the stocks are replaced with various forms of liquor, the manufacture of which was illegal back in the 1920's. The boxart above depicts a remote shack where a few enterprising individuals would come together and produce Moonshine, or the hard stuff.

Indeed, Moonshine starts you off in a simple shack, represented on the screen by a wrinkled page with scrawlings depicting the rise and fall of liqour prices,

If you buy a storehouse, you can afford decent paper

Buy low and sell high, the trader's mantra. I quite enjoy these types of games, even though in real life I tend to give everything away. Go figure.

Every day you can check the local paper for anything that might affect the day's liqour prices,
I pity the fool that plays this on a SDTV

Then you click over to your spreadsheet and buy and sell. Although I don't know why the developer felt an extra screen was needed to actually purchase the liqour, why not enable this from within the spreadsheet? After that there's another screen where you can upgrade your storage facilites, and a few other things. Then you end your day and do it again. Pretty basic stuff.

The news items are pretty interesting, a mix of the real and the surreal. The game features a collection of music that obviously took some thought to put together, and the game has quite possibly the greatest credits screen on the indie channel so far, but I feel as though there is something lacking here.

Perhaps it is the lack of variation at the game's core, On the first day buy Moonshine for 10, then wait 3 days, and sell. Look for a liqour that is low then buy and wait for it to rise. I bombed past the dev's high score table in Quickplay mode pretty quickly doing this.

Quickplay only lasts 30 days and I don't think it has the police raid option turned on. I'm going to try a longer game soon, you can set the game to last up to 365 days, and adjust the frequencies of  raids. Although in Moonshine, a raid is simply a loss of a portion of your liquor stores.

The game is currently on the top downloads list so there is some interest in the game, hopefully it is enough to spur the developer into working on Moonshine V2.0


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