Moonstone is an adventure game released in 1991 for the Amiga
and later ported to the PC
. Four of the greatest knights in the kingdom are summoned by Stonehenge and put on a quest to receive the Moonstone. A hybrid-genre game, Moonstone features role-playing elements as well as a real-time battle system. The game is a cult-classic and considered one of the finest games for the Amiga.
Moonstone is a turn-based adventure game. The object of the game is to retrieve four keys in order to retrieve the Moonstone. 4 human or computer players are each placed in each corner of the world and take in turn in moving throughout an overworld map. Each turn allows the player to travel a small distance across the map and enter lairs to attack monsters with the possibility of obtaining a key, or enter one of multiple villages and towns across the map. A town allows the player to reorganize their inventory, purchase items, receive healing and even gamble their coin at the tavern. When all players have ended their turns, the day ends, where a glimpse of the moon is shown. Different enemies are stronger during different moon phases
, a full-moon for instance will make wolves one of the strongest enemies in the game.
Moonstone features a real-time battle-system with a 3D plane, similar to a beat-em-up. The player can level up by defeating enemies or donating to temples. Each successful battle will give the player EXP, which they can put towards one of three skills, Strength, Consortium or Intelligence. The game is notorious for it's high level of gore and death sequences and unforgiving instant deaths: A player can be killed almost instantly if they encounter a dragon, who can set them ablaze, or giants that can obliterate players with their gigantic tree-branches. In the swamp area the player can encounter a mud-monster that upon contact, will immediately pull the player under, killing them. Each player begins the game with a full set of five lifepoints, losing one each time they die in battle. To restore a life, the player can either visit their hometown or travel to Stonehenge and make an offering to the gods in the form of an item. A presumably overlooked flaw in the game design allowed the player to offer a simple throwing knife, an abundant object in the game.
When a player comes into contact with another player, he can choose to engage in battle. If victorious, the player can loot the body of the other player. This goes both ways, so if the player is not careful, another player can take all the player's gold and good items and turn the tide. This opens up several tactics, where a player can wait for another player to retreive a key, then attack them as they're weakened and take the key for themselves. When the player obtains all four keys, they must travel to the center of the map where they fight a guardian and if victorious, receive the Moonstone. The player must then bring the Moonstone back to Stonehenge to win the game. The player can still be attacked while traveling back, where they must defend themselves from all players still in the game, who will attempt to take the Moonstone for themselves.