Moonglow Bay - Switch Review

"A fun, if not flawed, fishing game."

Moonglow Bay - Switch Review
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Moonglow Bay is an RPG fishing adventure set in a run down seaside village off the Canadian coastline.

The town has hit a slump; there’s no money to keep the town afloat. This is all due to a mysterious tall tale of a monster living in the bay scaring off all the fishermen, which has caused everyone to stop fishing there.

However, you’re not going to let a little tall tale stop you. With the help of the many unique townspeople, your daughter and you are going to rebuild the town one brick at a time, grow the community, start fishing again, cook up a storm and fulfil your partner's dying wish.

The Good

Upon starting your adventure, you will be able to select a character out of a small selection of pictures. One thing I didn't realise was that whoever you select will be your love interest, e.g., partner in the game, allowing you to have a wife or husband depending on your preference, as well as selecting three pronouns that will be appreciated by many. 

After you’ve set up your character, you're treated to a short cut-scene/tutorial on how to actually fish, which is pretty easy to learn, to be honest, before a monstrous creature crashes into your ship (Clearly, the legends are true of a monster stalking bay). However, your partner tells you this is his or her dream of living near the coast and fishing. A dream that has been 40 years in the making... The scene fades to black, and when we resume the game, three years have passed and it's clear your partner is missing, feared dead or lost at sea. As the story unfolds, your daughter tries to pull you out of your slump and fulfil your partner's dream, turning a once bleak tale into something brighter. I found this to be quite profound and enjoyed trying to piece together what actually happened, even though the writing can sometimes be hit or miss.  

The town is pretty run-down as you explore, but by completing requests from villagers and tasks from the bulletin board, things will gradually improve over time. This allows you to purchase new items from the various shops that begin to pop up around town.  

You can fish at pre-made fish spots around town or on your boat using a selection of rods, lures and bait which you buy and cook up, allowing you to catch many different species of fish. You can then either cook at your homestead or donate to the museum. 

Fishing is pretty simple in Moonglow Bay. You can select from different lures and baits that can attract different types of fish, but the art of fishing is pretty basic. For example, you cast your line into water with a press of the A button and wait until the fish bites, at which point you press the ZR trigger, which will reel it in. You can move your rod in the opposite direction that the fish is moving, drawing it closer. You can even yank on the line to draw the fish in quicker with a tap of the ZL trigger but don't overdo it as the fish may get away. That's pretty much it.   

So you’ve just caught a fish... it's time to go home, cook it and start making a little bit of money. After you’ve headed home, you can use your fridge to gather the required ingredients listed on a check-list in the top left hand corner. It's nothing in depth, just a series of QTE’s that are briefly used to complete a series of tasks like cutting a fish or boiling a potato. Completing these will net you a star rating and then allow you to sell your culinary delicacies at your vending machine to earn money. It's a novel idea, allowing you to learn new recipes, sell them to your villagers around town. 

You can also donate to the town's museum curator: Marina who will record the fish you’ve donated and update your journal with information about the species, such as what lures were used, what type of water they can be found in and a detailed description of the fish. There are a large number of fish to find—151, to be precise—so there is a lot to learn about what's swimming below the surface in the bay. Once you’ve unlocked your fishing boat, you can venture further afield, locating new fishing spots like the glaciers, azure crossings and perching isles, among others. I really like sailing the boat across the ocean waves and exploring new areas, catching new species of fish. It makes me feel more like a fisherman. There were encounters with boss fish that were a little hit, miss somewhere better than others, although I prefer the quiet life of just fishing, making money... Not trying to surf a tidal wave.


  • Story about loss, mystery and family
  • Grow the community and rebuild your town
  • Fish, cook and donate
  • Sailing your fishing boat

The Bad

During my playthrough, I did encounter a few bugs rearing their ugly heads during play, such as seeing a NPC character spinning on the spot or watching my dog fly through solid objects at light-speed; this was kinda funny at first, but definitely unexpected. Then there was the slow-down during cut-scenes and sometimes just exploring the island; it was nothing particularly game breaking but it was certainly noticeable.

I found myself, on a regular basis, getting lost on the island. The game has a map, although I was still getting lost as nothing is labelled. The map on the HUD screen just shows lots of golden markers (depending on what tasks are activated), but there were times I was standing on the exact spot of a task but couldn't see the character I was looking for. It was frustrating.

It doesn't help that the camera is at an asymmetrical view point, making it even harder to find anything. The game would have been a lot easier to navigate if the camera had been third-person.


  • Performance issues
  • Easy to get lost
  • Asymmetric view-point

Final Score: 6/10

Moonglow Bay on the Nintendo Switch is a fun, if not flawed, fishing game. I like using the boat to explore, find new fish by collecting data on them in my journal, plus there’s lots of tasks to complete, allowing you to rebuild the town, along with a pretty cool photo mode, but the performance issues hamper this relaxing voyage somewhat.   

Thank you for checking out our Moonglow Bay Switch review, thank you to Coatsink for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: