To the Moon (PC) Review

Written by Zach on 05 April 2012.

To the Moon is not your average game. You don't kill anything that moves, and there is little puzzle aspect to it. At this point, you may be wondering, "Why would people play this game?" The story, it is simply mesmerizing.To the Moon


You play as two Doctors, Eva and Neil, and you are sent out to help a man named Johnny. Eva and Neil are no ordinary Doctors, however, they traverse memories in order to help people think they fufilled their one wish in life, giving the game a universal theme of "What would I do differently?" Upon arriving, Johnny is in critical condition, he won't last more than a few days longer. In order to do their job, they need to know what it is that Johnny wants. He replies with a nonchalant, "To the Moon." In addition to knowing what it is, they need to know why in order to convince his past self to go to the Moon. He does not know why. The rest of the story consists of you exploring the memories as Johnny, watching his life unfold in reverse chronological order. The story itself is quite saddening, but it does its job well (I even shed a tear, and by that I mean bawled for several minutes.)

However, the game is not entirely a storybook. You have some interactivity with the characters, as you can move them around in a Final Fantasy style way. The game looks like a spinoff of RPG Maker, with 16 bit graphics and the like. As well as moving the characters, you do solve some puzzles. Most are simple, unless you are me. They consist of square with a picture within it. From there, you basically flip rows of the picture in order to match the colors up with the correct form of the picture. Usually these can be solved within a few moves, but if you aren't the best at puzzles it can take a while. The puzzles also show an ideal and total counter. Ideal being the minimum amount of moves the puzzle you are currently at can be solved in, and total being your total for all of the puzzles you have done thus far.

What else makes this game shine? The music, all of it originally composed by Kan Gao for this specific game. 30 pieces/songs in total, but ~3 of them are short in length, and some songs have 2 or more versions to theme. The soundtrack itself only costs 5$, and half of the proceeds go to charity. The game as a whole costs 12$, and is roughly 5 hours in length, depending upon what pace you play it at.

Overall, I believe this to be an absolute gem of an indie game. It is relatively inexpensive, has a breathtaking story, heartwarming music, and will leave you want more from the genius that is Kan Gao (Programmer/Composer).

In summary,

Pros: Amazing storyline, majestic music, and the ability to make you truly immersed.

Cons: Little actual game play*

Overall, I give this a solid 5 stars out of 5.

*Please note the story is not at all dimmed by the lack of gameplay, the lack of gameplay is addressed as a con to the concept of a game, but To the Moon is not solely a game. It is so much more.

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