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An adventure game that takes players back to the golden age of 16-bit RPGs, To The Moon is a title that launched on Steam for a price tag of $9.99. It rocketed onto the scene recently, quickly becoming a popular title. Will this game be propelled into stardom, or will it fail to achieve orbit? Read on to find out. The game puts you into the shoes of two main characters, both scientists in the business of giving those not long for our mortal coil the chance to live out their dreams by modifying their memories to conform to a specific request. The…

To The Moon Review

Graphics - 9

Gameplay - 7

Value - 8.5

Story - 9.5

Sound - 9.5



8.7

Amazing

While not full in the gameplay department, To The Moon excels in every other category, and it's story will make you feel something whether you want to admit it or not.

An adventure game that takes players back to the golden age of 16-bit RPGs, To The Moon is a title that launched on Steam for a price tag of $9.99. It rocketed onto the scene recently, quickly becoming a popular title. Will this game be propelled into stardom, or will it fail to achieve orbit? Read on to find out.

The game puts you into the shoes of two main characters, both scientists in the business of giving those not long for our mortal coil the chance to live out their dreams by modifying their memories to conform to a specific request. The case in this game, is an old man with a rather common request: He wants to go to the moon, but is unable to tell our scientists exactly why. The why, unfortunately, is a key part of making sure their venture is successful, and so the game begins with you attempting to figure out why he has the dream. Since he is in a coma, he cannot tell the scientists directly, and so they must investigate.

Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars….

The game is reminiscent of the RPG titles that graced consoles during the 16-bit era of gaming. A top down view with well-done sprites and an engaging background makes the game easy on the eyes. The graphical quality is enhanced with occasional pictures that serve to assist in telling the story, but not to distract by being overly dramatic. The developers make clever use of other elements such as grainy areas, or black and white areas to help with the world they are weaving. Overall, the graphical quality is excellent. My only gripe is that there is no full motion video, but it’s not enough of a problem that it distracts me from the gameplay.

The music is very well done, with lilting piano melodies composing the majority of the game, and the occasional dramatic stings where appropriate. The sound effects are polished, if a little rudimentary, but compliments the artistic style of the game quite well. The soundtrack is really a selling point for the game, as those who are audiophiles will truly appreciate how the breadth of creativity and heart that went into made certain the music was not only appropriate to the game, but also essential to conveying emotion.

Gameplay itself consists mostly of interacting with the environment, collecting items, talking to NPCs, and solving puzzles. Each piece of gameplay is short enough for casual gamers to enjoy in small doses, but offers the hardcore among us the motivation to press on in order to learn more of the story. Unfortunately, the game is shorter than I would have liked, and the gameplay quickly becomes monotonous with it’s repetition of the same formula for advancing the game, but the story is so amazing that I find myself trudging through just to see what happens next. This of course, brings me to my next point, the story.

On Jupiter, and mars.

Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars…

It’s hard to explain how well done the story is without spoiling certain elements of it. Needless to say, during my playthrough, I was glued to the edged of my seat, and had serious trouble putting it down until I had finished it. The story is at times hilarious, and at others heartbreaking. I’m a 28 year old man, and I am not ashamed to say that I at one time, cried like a little girl while playing the game. The developers did a sublime job of tugging at your heart strings at just the right moments. Even as I write this review, the memories of my gameplay threaten to bring a few tears to my manly, roguishly handsome face. The game references many real life popular culture items from the mid-nineties and early-naughties. This only serves to increase your emotional investment in the game, while at the same time, the references are frequently critical to the story. Suffice it to say, the story is what makes this game brilliant.

Overall, the game is in a word, awesome. Though the gameplay is somewhat lacking; the story is absolutely amazing, and the graphics and sound compliment it all to give you a rich, emotional experience that will leave you misty eyed and wanting more. The game really feels like you’re more part of an experience, rather than playing a game. This can be seen as a plus or a minus, depending on your point of view. Personally, I view this game as much an art piece as it is a game. However, unless you share heart sizes with The Grinch, I can promise you that you will cry at least once while playing this game, but certainly not in a bad way. I cannot recommend this enough, and at a price of only $9.99; it’s well worth the purchase. Developer Freebird Games came so close to striking gaming gold with this title, and I personally am looking forward to future releases from them.

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  • September 23, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I’d say go with your gut and first instinct on this one. Definitely deserves a 90.

    It won story of the year for 2011. One of the best stories in gaming I’ve ever experienced.

    A must buy for anyone that loves a unique and gripping experience.

    9/10, or 90, and nothing less!! 😀 🙂


    • Kyle Robison
      September 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      To be completely honest, the gameplay really should have gotten a lower score than I gave it. The gameplay was boring, and monotonous. An amazing story doesn’t give a game the right to skimp on gameplay, even if it’s the most amazing story in a video game that I’ve seen recently. I can’t let my love of the story cloud the fact that the gameplay is boring.


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