Of Murder and Moonshine Review – Rum-Runner and Gunner

Of Murder and Moonshine Review – Rum-Runner and Gunner

Platforms: Windows PC, Steam

Game Name: Of Murder and Moonshine

Publisher: Prestige WWW

Developer: Prestige WWW

Genre: Action

Release Date: March 1st, 2024

Of Murder and Moonshine by Prestige WWW

Of Murder and Moonshine is a 2D side-scrolling shooter set in New Orleans during Prohibition in the 1920s.

What initially sets it apart though, is the game is completely written and develop in Python. In fact, the developers believe it may be the biggest Pygame/Python commercial release ever.

That intriguing footnote aside, Of Murder and Moonshine offers up a fast-paced action game with a slice of stealth on the side.

The thematic and retro-stylized game features brief, snappy, punchy levels with open, explorable environments and an assortment of weapons to choose from. The protagonist is a hitman working for one of three rival gangster crews, and each mission is a hit with a target to take out. The narrative is used primarily to frame the many levels and largely features the gangsters plotting their next kill.

The setting is well-developed to create a particular atmosphere, with starry skies serving as a backdrop to each level and an assortment of wooden buildings – both inside and outside the city – and immersive sound design making for some evocative environments.

Of Bullets and Bootleggers

Most levels offer a selection of weapons at the outset: you can choose from pistol, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, baseball bat, or Molotov cocktail (a one-shot choice).

Only one weapon can be carried at a time; I generally stuck to the rifle for range and the shotgun for close-up levels, as the machine gun doesn’t tend to kill quickly enough to prevent return fire. The baseball bat is also very useful in tight levels as it kills quickly and doesn’t alert nearby enemies.

Combat comes fast, like Python fast, and mistakes lead to a sudden death. This tends to result in levels either being quick and easy or there being one or two tough moments that require puzzling out.

Thankfully, levels restart quickly, and overall the experience reminded me of Hotline Miami.

Sadly, the level design is somewhat more limited, and the side-scrolling setup offers less potential for this subgenre than the overhead view.

Cops and Countdowns

That said, the combat is punchy, and twitch reflexes are called for to swiftly dispatch foes before they loose their own volleys. It is often necessary to use the environment and withdraw to effective choke points to neutralize enemies.

Vertical movement seems to bamboozle the enemies, and I found bouncing in front of a door would lure foes close enough for a quick shotgun kill without risking much in the way of counter-fire.

Many levels feature an inherent time limit that kicks in after the shooting starts; the police will eventually arrive, ending the mission with a failure. It seems a shame and a bit of a missed opportunity not to have the fun of the police pouring into the level and joining the fight, as this would add some interesting complexity and another tactical option: take your time, but fight the police on the way out.

It is possible to hide your weapon to sneak past some enemies, and the police could provide another opportunity for that kind of stealth gameplay.


Of Murder and Moonshine is a fast-paced, 2D twitch-shooter with well-crafted, pixel art levels to explore and shoot your way through. The action is well conceived if a little dependent on getting a shot off before the enemy can respond.

With a variety of levels ranging from sniping scenarios to tight corridors filled with enemies wielding baseball bats, Of Murder and Moonshine has plenty to offer 2D action fans looking for some quick drop-in shooting.

Murder and Moonshine is available via Steam.

Watch the trailer for Of Murder and Moonshine below:

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