Sunrise on the Moon is a short, cyberpunk-themed visual novel taking place on the Moon. In their most advanced state, humans have established high-tech lunar colonies that made it possible to live on the surface of Earth’s natural satellite. The story mainly revolves around Maria and her discontent with society and capitalism.
Released: 15 August 2021
Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac
Available on: itch.io
Did you just say we’re already on the moon?
Getting in the shoes of Maria, an old woman who has worked in many sects of technology. On the way to the lunar tram station, several billboards and a jumbotron played advertisements from several corporations and the occasional news broadcast, showing that even the Moon was not safe from the claws of consumerism.
When Maria rides the tram, she encountered a lady who seemed weird to her. Instead of using a ComPal device or an AR headset like a lot of other people, she just sat there doing nothing. At that point, you have the option to directly strike up a conversation, subtly observe her, or wait for the tram in silence. Getting to talk to the lady quickly reveals she’s called Aeda, a name somewhat familiar to Maria, and that she works as a housemaid for some family.
So not that much different from Earth
Although Sunrise on the Moon is a very brief experience, the ways in which you can approach and learn about the air-headed Aeda are plentiful, with multiple topics you can talk about, all of which resulting in one of several endings. While waiting for the tram to arrive, Maria can strike a bond with Aeda, have a simple chit-chat or learn about her secrets. Alternatively, Maria can go on with her day without worrying if she’s nosing too much into other’s affairs.
As well, the world building is one of the game’s strong suits, with lots of background details. These include a mysterious governmental entity enacting laws on androids and AI, the prevalence of social media, and even full-screen ads played in AR headsets at any time, and more. There is a lot of intrigue to the timeline of Sunrise on the Moon that I wish to see explored in future games.
Even in an era where galactic colonization is possible, capitalism and consumerism are more rampant than ever, to the point where ads that block your vision are perfectly legal in Sunrise on the Moon. The game is a fresh, cynical take on society and economy in the far future, with excellent presentation and usage of the visual novel format. Considering the price and its short playtime, I recommend checking out the game while you have time to kill!