Animal Crossing is one of the pioneers of the life sim genre as we know it, first hitting Nintendo consoles in 2001, just months after The Sims came to PC. Unlike The Sims though, Animal Crossing was a little more fantastical, moving away from the realistic human companions of The Sims and bringing adorable anthropomorphic animals to a colorful and engaging world. With the Nintendo series not available on PC, this left a gap for games like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon to become instant hits, but none scratch the Animal Crossing itch quite like Moonlight Peaks.
With myriad life games and games like Animal Crossing available for the PC, Stardew Valley is surprisingly one of the few household names. Its pixelated, 16-bit inspired aesthetic sets it apart from Animal Crossing, with more recent games like Coral Island and Paleo Pines more closely adopting that more 3D, cartoonish style. All doing their own thing, none quite resemble the landscape and decorative aspects of Animal Crossing like upcoming cozy game Moonlight Peaks, so if you’re still waiting for that perfect AC-like on PC, you can try Moonlight Peaks in a free Steam demo ahead of its full release date, which is yet to be announced.
Don’t think that Moonlight Peaks is a direct rip-off of the Nintendo games though. The look of your town and buildings might be familiar to fans of Animal Crossing, but cute animal neighbors are replaced by vampires, while the dating aspect of Stardew Valley and Coral Island is even mixed in, giving you the chance to date from a pool of eligible humans, werewolves, and vampires alike. Farming isn’t just for food and decorations, as magical potions and spells are another unique Moonlight Peaks mechanic – and one you can test out in the demo. There is also a unique and heartfelt story aspect to Moonlight Peaks, as you work to get out from under the shadow of your father and prove that vampires can be caring and compassionate friends.
From Thursday October 26, you can download the Steam decorating demo directly from the Moonlight Peaks store page, giving you seven in-game nights to decorate your home, garden, and surrounding areas. Despite being limited to seven-nights, there is no limit on how many times you can replay, so you can try out multiple layouts as you plan your village ahead of the full release date. Some future features are not included in the decorating-focused demo, such as NPCs, character customization, and dating, but farming, house customization, potions, spells, crafting, and shapeshifting are all fair game.
We’ll be jumping into this free Moonlight Peaks Steam demo while we can, soaking in those purple and teal dusk tones which are perfect for spooky season. While we await the game’s full release though, we’ll be biting into some of our other favorite vampire games and management games, and we recommend you join us.