A Strange Inheritance
I stand before a Victorian manor, a letter from my deceased parents clutched in my hand. I was raised in an orphanage; it’s hard to believe my parent’s estate has been here, waiting for me to turn eighteen. Entering the manor, I notice it’s been well cared for. There isn’t a speck of dust. As I explore the mansion, I hear movement. Suddenly three strange men appear before me, dressed in period clothing, demanding to know what I’m doing here. Panic courses through my veins as I run up the stairs searching for a place to hide. I come across an ill-looking young man. I ask him for help. He grabs me tightly, and I struggle against him, my back against a window. Glass shatters, and I hurtle towards the ground. Pain racks my body; I’m going to die. The strange men surround me. “You must choose which of us saves you.” Says Vladimir, the blond one, who seems to be in charge. Wearily I point at him. Then everything goes dark.
Moonlight Lovers: Vladimir – Dating Sim by Beemoov Games allows players to live out their vampire romance fantasy. You play as Eloise (You can change her name, but Eloise is her name by default), who inherited a mansion only to find it’s full of vampires. Vladimir is a temperamental, brooding soul with a kind heart underneath. He is essentially the stereotypical vampire love interest. Even the name, Vladimir screams of vampire tropes. It’s the other vampires in the manor that are fascinating, however. Raphael, a blind vampire, is as charming as he is kind. And then there’s Beliath, a sarcastic troublemaker, with a quick wit and a knack for throwing great parties. The story, while enjoyable, is ripe with tropes. Anyone who has read some vampire literature will note how that a large run-down Victorian manor filled with brooding immortals and gothic furniture has been overdone. Despite these tropes, Moonlight Lovers offers a story that compels the player to keep clicking. The game’s 2D graphics are beautiful, and the score, though it tends to lag, is eerily beautiful and changes to fit the mood of the conversation.
A Vampire’s Chalice
The story revolves around the bond between Eloise and Vladimir. By drinking Eloise’s blood to save her life, Vladimir bonds her to him as his chalice. The bond prevents her from leaving the manor and entitles Vladimir to feed off her. The Vampire’s chalice angle is a great plot device that easily explains why the player character doesn’t run in terror and quickly establishes a deep bond between Eloise and Vladimir.
A High Price To Pay
While Eloise pays a high price for Vladimir saving her life, so to must the player if they wish to finish the game. The mysterious vampires of Moonlight Lovers may be a turn on, but the incessant need to pay to play is a real turn off. Just as you become invested in the story, you’ll run out of AP points which are needed to click through dialogue. Every day you are granted 510 free AP with 30 AP spent per click. After spending your daily free AP, you must purchase more if you wish to keep playing. Prices range from 4.49 for 2400 AP to 54.99 for 40000 AP. That is a lot of money to spend on a mediocre vampire drama. However, if you don’t pay-to-play, it will take weeks to finish. While Moonlight Lovers is intriguing, it isn’t worth the financial investment. If in-app purchases don’t bother you, then you will enjoy this game. Despite its cliched story, Moonlight Lovers: Vladimir is a fun dating sim, with beautiful graphics. However, the flawed AP system gets in the way of what could be a captivating experience.
Is It Hardcore?
With an intriguing storyline and fun characters, Moonlight Lovers will keep you clicking. However, its playability is negatively affected by the AP system. Unfortunately, the only way this game is genuinely hardcore is in how it hits your wallet.