I Played To the Moon

The idea behind To the Moon's story is wonderful. A machine exists that can be used to modify a dying a persons memories to let them die happy, having fulfilled their life's greatest dream. It's both sad (the memories are a total fabrication) and wonderful.

The game itself is an accomplishment. I spent many hours futzing around with RPG Maker in middle school, but I never made much of anything. My time was spent trying to emulate Dragon Quest. Freebird Games made To the Moon with it. The downside of this accomplishment is you have to deal with old controls you might have left behind long ago. Slowly moving through environments with only your mouse or arrow keys, getting stuck on tree branches that you thought you could walk behind, and navigating NPCs. It can be frustrating, but as the story opens up, it becomes less of a bother. It's really great to see someone making a fine game like this with these tools.

The story, though, is the real accomplishment. It's a beautiful tale of an old man who just wants to go to the moon before he dies and how his life's decisions and events prevented him from obtaining his dream in his lifetime. The story and the game starts out slow, but quickly builds momentum. Freebird says the game takes about 4.5 hours to complete. I made the mistake of starting the game and walking away after about 45 minutes. I had not given the game a chance to hook me, and so it remained unfinished for weeks. I regret this not because I didn't give the game a fair shake at the start, but because I missed out on seeing this story through to the end sooner--like walking out of a movie with the plot setup but never finding out how it unfolds for two months.

I can't say much more about it without ruining what makes this game special. My only complaint is the length of the game seems inflated. The game often asks you to fetch things by slowly moving your character to some other map and returning or to complete very simple puzzles. However, none of this detracts from the story, which is why you're playing To the Moon to begin with. Most everything you do serves to fill-in a story detail or two. Everyone should play this game.

To the Moon, Freebird Games--$9.99

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