“Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders” Friedrich Nietzsche
Developer: Freebird Games
Released: November 2011
To the Moon is a relatively short, narrative-driven, non-combat, adventure. It tells a sentimental story in which two doctors travel backwards through a dying man’s memories in order to artificially fulfil his last wish. The game touches on a range of difficult subjects such as death, loss and managing life with developmental disabilities but does so in a heartfelt and informed way whilst managing to include an enjoyable hint of silliness.
To the Moon’s art style is mostly pixel art, with a few impressionist or cartoony bits making for a nice blend of aesthetics with a somewhat old-school RPG feel. The pixel art especially is beautifully crafted with some nice detail which really helps bring the scenes to life.
The soundtrack, by Kan Gao, consists largely of piano music and accompanies the art style and story perfectly. The game has it’s sadder moments but is dotted with humour and lightheartedness that never feels forced; the soundtrack’s mix of jovial and melancholic sounds reflect this well and add to the overall tone and impact of each scene. Additionally, the OST is available on Steam with 50% of the proceeds going to charities for autism.
My only criticism would be that to traverse between memory stages the player is required to complete a short puzzle. These are not overly challenging and seem to serve little purpose other than to add a gameplay mechanic that was unnecessary. While it added another element to the game, I found it to interrupt the narrative and sense of immersion. Also, unless I missed something (quite plausible), there seem to be no game options or setting whatsoever. These, however, were minor issues and I still very much enjoyed the game.
Overall, it was a relaxing and moving experience, brilliantly delivered. I particularly enjoyed the reverse narrative structure as it reminded me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – one of my favourite films. It took me 5 hours to complete, including the single Steam achievement. I thoroughly recommend this title to anyone looking for a slower paced and emotional gaming experience.
Why not take a look at our reviews for more great point-and-click games?