To the Moon Review (PC)
‘To the Moon’ is a game with a twist. It looks and feels retro, but with modern humour and topical references. I’m reluctant to call it a game – I would consider it more of an interactive story than a game, but that should in no way make you think I disliked it. As a matter of fact, I loved it.
You ‘control’ two characters, Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts. They work for ‘Sigmund Corp’, a corporation that specialises in machinery that allows entry to a person’s bank of memories. Doctors who know how to work it can use this machinery to alter memories, therefore prompting a ‘new’ life. However, this ‘new’ life is merely a copy and exists only in the patient’s head. This technology causes new and original memories to conflict, and stops the person’s ability to properly function. It is for this reason that the operation is only offered to those who are dying, to allow them to have a single moment of pure bliss and accomplishment before their death.
This story centres around one dying man who has a very unusual last wish; to go to the moon. Eva and Neil must go through the memories, until they can reach early childhood. They do this by finding special items belonging to the man and using them to travel from recent memories to older ones. When they reach childhood they implant the wish into the childhood version of the patient, and this allows the patient to experience a completely new scenario. I really loved the story and I don’t want to give it away completely, but the procedure does not go as intended, and the doctors find themselves in a difficult situation where they have to think out of the box.
I found this to be a particularly sad story. It was, however, beautifully written. The story worked well, and although it did take me a short while to cotton on to what was happening, after that point everything just clicked into place. The story mostly moves on it’s own, apart from occasionally prompting you to click here and there to find items or solve small memento related picture puzzles.
The story is told through text and music, which is a method I favour, because I feel that sometimes voices can ruin characters and impact poorly on the story as a result. The music was simply beautiful, fantastically written and well performed. The changes of the music were well-timed and suited the moods for each particular scene. I appreciated the simplicity of the music, and even though it was repetitive, I didn’t bore of it.
Visually, it looks like your typical SNES RPG, which is a popular theme in games just now. The retro style of the game reminded me of simpler times; times when games were based around decent stories rather than fancy graphics. In fact, the only part I didn’t like in the game was when, for all of two minutes, the style changed and was more detailed. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story, it’s just my personal preference. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the graphics WEREN’T fancy, they were just as detailed, only in a more simple sense.
I found ‘To the Moon’ completely compelling and engaging from beginning to end, and I would just love to see a sequel. After completing it in one sitting, I found myself wishing over the next few days that I hadn’t finished it so I could go back and play again.
To sum up, I want you to buy this game. It was wonderful. It was funny, gripping, sad, happy, and contained all the Platypus’ you could ever need. It was everything you would want in a story. There were times I laughed out loud, and times I fought back the tears. It was beautiful in it’s own right and I am desperately keen for a sequel. Freebird Games, please make another one!
10 hopes for a sequel out of 10