Review: To the Moon

Title: To the Moon
Game’s Appeal: Story, Immersion
Genre: Point and Click Adventure

Description:
To the Moon is hardly a game at all. Instead it’s an interactive story with enough depth and thought put into it that uncovering more of the story becomes its own reward. This is built into the story itself as it is your job to uncover the ambiguous, but emotionally charged history of a dying man.

 

Strengths:

Emotional Central Story
Parts of the story had tears streaming down my face – something no other game has approached. Even thinking back on certain points, or listening to the soundtrack gets me a little emotional. What’s beautiful about To the Moon is that few others are even trying to tell a story like this in games. It’s a very mature storyline – and not in the late night TV way. The amount of thought that was put into creating it is really evident as you progress and realize how all these things you’ve been seeing connect.

Music
Subtle, but memorable, the music strongly conveys its message.

Pacing
It’s well structured so as not to overwhelm you with its heavy drama until it intentionally reaches an emotional crescendo. For all my talk of its strength as an emotional drama, it also has great, and well-timed elements of suspense, comedy, and intrigue. And it’s often told through mundane, but important events, lacking the sometimes obnoxious fanfare that’s common in other games and movies.

Weaknesses:

Gameplay
The gameplay itself is nearly nonexistent and simplistic. I would not say it is badly designed, but simply that gameplay is sorely lacking if that’s what you came for.

Graphics
The visuals are not badly done, but they are very simplistic, stereotypical of a JRPG. This may be a turn off for some. It’s worth looking up screenshots or videos, if you are picky about this kind of thing.

Heavy on Reading
Almost everything is communicated through text in this game aside from setting, and mood.

Find the Right Pixel
To the Moon is much better than most adventure games at avoiding this, and most settings flow without problem. Still it’s not perfect, and there were a few larger areas that, lacking the direction, can break up the experience.

 

Summary:
If you can see past the lack of game in this ‘game,’ there’s a beautiful, riveting story waiting for you. It touches on such mature topics as love, death, and sentimentality in ways that leave you thinking about life itself, even if only for a moment.

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