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Moonlights


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Rating: 3.9/5 (107 votes)
| Comments (33) | Views (12)

MoonlightsArtbegottiThe next time there's a cloudless night, head outside and take a look up. It's beautiful, isn't it? Lots of stars, possibly some planets, maybe even the moon... How amazing would it be to just climb up a tower and reach the moon, and beyond?

Rather coincidentally occurring around the 40th anniversary of when the Apollo 11 voyage landed man on the moon, BonusLevel has launched Moonlights, a construction game of lunar proportions. Each level asks you to reach the light of the moon in the sky, not by a shuttle, but with a tower.

In most cases, each level starts you off with a triangular base of semi-solid rods and nodes. Your goal is to reach the moon by adding more branches to your structure in a fashion not unlike World of Goo. Here, instead of dragging balls of goo, you can simply move your mouse to where you'd like to place a node (white rods will appear if you're close enough), and click to plant it. If you wish to remove nodes (and you eventually will, as later levels require you to recycle your nodes), simply click and drag to form a box around the nodes you wish to remove. Once you've built your tower so that any node touches the moon(s), it must remain there for about five seconds before you've officially cleared the level.

However, a man-made tower to reach the sky isn't without faults. Your tower is affected by both wind and gravity, although in some cases, gravity isn't always pulling you downward. Also, you must work your way around other planets and asteroids that can affect your tower. While green planets are like terra firma and act as the starting point in most levels, they will also cling on to nodes that touch them, and solidify the rods coming from them. On the other hand, purple asteroids will instantly disintegrate nodes that touch them. Light blue planets will solidify a portion of your tower, but also make it impossible to remove nodes by dragging a box over them.

Also available for iPhone and iPod Touch.

Analysis: One benefit to a game like Moonlights is that it gives you a glimpse of a commercial title, but at no cost. Some would argue that this game is practically a "rip-off" of World of Goo, but a better description would be that it's an offshoot of the genre of physics-based tower-building that WoG popularized. So for those who haven't had the chance to purchase WoG yet, Moonlights could be an introductory sampler.

On the other hand, some concerns might be raised over the restrictions on the game if you aren't a member of BonusLevel. Roughly speaking, people who play this game could fall into two categories: People who play to try to get the lowest scores possible on each level (and subsequently are more likely to be BL members), and people who play just to get to the end of a game. If you belong to the former category, you'll most likely get more enjoyment from this game than those who don't (although I would love to be pleasantly surprised). Yes, the usual BL level-saving restrictions apply to non-members, and yes, only members can record high scores, but it might be worth it to consider a membership just to get the full enjoyment out of this game.

In terms of controls, you might have a bit of trouble getting a specific rod/node configuration when you're working in tight spaces (especially if the tower is moving), and if you attempt to drag out a section of the tower to remove by starting too close, it might count it as adding another node. Otherwise, the controls feel natural for a construction game of this type. Moonlights even helps you visualize the underlying physics by coloring over-stressed rods red, showing you where you might want to quickly place some reinforcement.

While the graphics might not consist of much more than colored circles and lines on a star-ridden background, the simplicity works to its advantage. This is, after all, the night sky that we're dealing with here. Factor in the soothing background music (not unlike that of Boomshine) that swells whenever you complete a level, and you're in for a pleasant experience that'll have you drifting among the moon and the stars.

Play Moonlights

33 Comments

wlangford Author Profile Page July 21, 2009 1:24 AM

My favorite part (aside from the gameplay, of course.) is the way the music swells not only as the moonlights show up but also as you near the moon itself. It builds a sense of "almost there- OHNOTHEBOTTOMOFYOURTOWERISREDFIXIT!" (The lack of spaces is intentional.)

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I like this. It does remind me a little of Boomshine with regard to the overall sense of doing something soothing and pretty. Perhaps it's just the power of music.

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The music is great, really fits the setting of the game. I looked through the comments on that site and found out the song used is Instrumental #4 (Mash Up). You can find it at http://reasoner.newgrounds.com/audio/

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Two things that quite ruin the fun:

1.) The play area - and so the graphics - is annoyingly small. I have to play on about the one sixth of the screen. The dots are tiny and hard to see.

2.) when the structure is getting unstable a bit and starts to move it happens quite often that you select the right to dots to connect - and just at the oment you press the button, the structure moved enough so that you'll end up connectin two very different nodes. Because the play area is so small, it happens almost as a rule.

I guess the game designers should have put more thought about what - and especially how - they were doing.

bio

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Is it normal, that the level ends not when one of my nodes reaches the moon? I had a node sitting comfortably within the moon, but the level ended only when i placed a node that was actually out of it.

bio

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Unfortunatly i cannot get past the level "Base Jumping". Anyone to help out?

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Could be my monitor, but I had quite a bit of difficulty seeing what was going on through quite a few of the levels (black blobs on a night sky). I'm a fan of the physics-based tower builders so I had fun with this but I was consistently frustrated with the build AI. (The picking for the nodes which the next piece should be added between.) This could also be attributed to the relatively small construction space (felt like I was playing a game at 33% or 25% zoom when I should have been at 100%).

Music was fantastic in this though, thought I should mention that since I did enjoy myself despite my frustrations.

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Can't do "Crawler", any help? When I click the "Show Me" button, it doesn't show me anything at all

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For crawler you have to delete your old nodes so you can make new ones. To delete the nodes click far away and drag a box around the ones you want to delete.

For the base jumper just extend your structure as far up and away as possible and then delete the anchors, keep trying until you get two nodes to land in the green.

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warriorofgod13 Author Profile Page July 21, 2009 2:57 PM

Ok, so on crawler, how do you make new nodes after deleting the old ones!?

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I didn't know for the longest time you could erase points.

So sam, the crawler one you have to...

Draw a few at a time and erase what you leave behind.

Anyone have any tips on Base Jumping? The wind is powerful enough to move your attached structures around, but not enough to carry it. I think the idea is to get it to the green area below, but I can't get more than one dot down there. I've tried catapulting, slingshots, build out and coast down, nothing yet.

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lvl 23 "Falling Planets" is impossible for me. There is no way I can build fast enough to reach the 4th planet in time before the 3rd planet sinks off the screen.

Not being able to skip a level is a big failure.

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I had to give up on this after the third level because I cannot see a thing. The green planets and moon stand out fine, but then the best I get for tower visibility is black against a dark blue sky- which then fades to black against a black sky. They couldn't be white circles and lines? The one thing I have to see to play?

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And the walkthrough, what a joke. I clicked on one, showed me someone doing nothing. Perhaps, they should edit them? This game has no professionalism whatsoever, it looks like if you had the physics engine you could make it in an hour. The whole game is awful.

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What do you do for level 7? How do you do it with only 2 places?

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dibkins Author Profile Page July 21, 2009 5:04 PM

Has anyone any tips for 24?
Really enjoying it up untill now, but it just moves too fast for me to do anything but spam on this level:/

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SkfyS Day Author Profile Page July 21, 2009 5:18 PM

The control is horrible. My first ever 1 star was given to this "game", if it can be called a game at all.

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A lot of haters for this one, interesting.

I loved it, though it does have flaws. The colors do suck, the no level skipping sucks, and it is a bit too hard in places. Currently stuck on 66...and I may be done because I don't see any answers.

I thought the physics was excellent, and most of the levels were great fun. A nice riff off of World Of Goo.

Base jump (26)

Go up as high and to the left as you can, and jump with just two points. Took me a few times to do.

Falling planets (23)

Certainly one of the harder ones. I made a lot of unstable towers anticipating that they will fall to the right and hit the next planet quickly.

Crane Grab (24)

I found this one pretty easy. Just timed it right, deleted the points holding me on the moving planet, and dropped a few points right on.

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Zorinix Author Profile Page July 22, 2009 3:27 AM

Is it too much to ask for?

A LITTLE intelligence when designing levels?

Apparently.

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dibkins Author Profile Page July 22, 2009 9:55 AM

Thanks for that ninti. Now i'm stuck on 45. Fast moving things once again defeat me!

As for level 23, i thought that was one of the most enjoyable ones. Didn't take me long to figure out and i got it after a few trys:)

For those having trouble

Build upwards as quick as you can, making sure it leans to the left so when the tower falls (or you overbalance it yourself) it falls onto the next plant. Just work quickly and you will be fine.

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It's pretty enjoyable, but i just wish there was a skip button so i could just pass easily over those annoyingly hard levels.

One of those levels would be "So Close," level 67. Can't seem to figure it out, anyone have any ideas?

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ViciousChicken Author Profile Page July 22, 2009 6:15 PM

I couldn't get ninti's solution for Base Jump (26) to work, but I did succeed with a slight variation:

I also went up and left, with two points anchored on the planet, but I only dropped one at a time (by deleting everything except the two anchor points and the tip). Repeat as necessary until two land successfully at the bottom; then delete everything up top and build to the light.

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Loved it. Until the level "Falling Planets" Hate this game.

My arm hurts and I'm going to bed.

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I need a little help on "A Little Ride". It gives you 4 dots total, and the floor is "iced" so if you drop any, you don't get them back. But the moon seems too far from the starting point, which isn't the best place to anchor anything to begin with. If I could only get to the green circle between them...

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Oh nevermind, I figured it out:

Hints:

1: Notice that the thing jumps when you try to place a dot inside the gray.

2: If you can't reach it at first, maybe it's too heavy?

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 12:18 AM

This game was fun until the So Close level. Not fun!

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JACKPOT is not fun. Although I do like me a good Plinko sequence.

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Has anyone passed Level 67 "So Close" ?
I cant' figure it out... i hoped on a lucky move that'd solve it but neh...

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Some of the comments are a little bit harsh.

Levels are unlocked now, you can skip the hard ones.

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For ree and jiguest looking for help on 'so close', here's a hint:

Remember you can make longer linkages by joining 2 existing nodes.
If it's not enough, solution is below:

Make it so you have 2 nodes on the ground directly under the moon. Then make a hexagon with a corner missing on e.g the right hand side. Then join the bottom right and top right corners, you should get an almost vertical long link. Then delete the left hand side corner and make another vertical link in the same way. You should have a tall box with and X in the middle. Use your last node to get to the moon!

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Any help with lvl 22 fast crawler? I have my nodes in the moon but it won't complete? Am i missing something? Whats the trick?

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Anonymous August 10, 2009 9:03 AM

I'm enjoying the iPhone version of the game, but I'm stuck on level 14 "stars" - after I get to moon, it says I have to "catch all the stars" but I have literally filled the level with the tower and have surrounded all the visible stars - but it's not completing the level and I'm stuck - what am missing? There's not a demo video for this level - any assistance would be appreciated.
Thanks

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how do I beat level 76 "360"?

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