Story

★★★★☆

To the Moon is an indie adventure game where you play as two doctors, who artificially manipulate a dying man’s memories in order to grant his last wish.

You start by traversing through his most recent memories of being an old man, and gradually work your way back in time, learning about his wife, their life together, and eventually what was the cause for his dream of going to the moon.

It was a little slow for me at the beginning, but the latter half of the story really pulled its weight and delivered a slightly bitter yet very warm story. I took one break in the middle of the game, and found myself reflecting on quite a few of the things addressed in the game: the balance/gap between your own happiness and the happiness of the person you love, and the ethics of changing someone’s memories right before they die. While the technology of being able to enter and change memories may be fiction, the topics in the story itself are incredibly real ones that do exist in our world.

I’ve heard of a lot of people crying at this game, and I definitely got teary eyed a few times. But in a good way, somehow.

Characters

★★★★☆

I liked the old man and the people in his story a lot. They all had their quirks, but for very legitimate and real reasons. This is probably one of very few video games that outright addresses mental disorders and shows how it affects peoples’ real lives. Though they never mentioned the name of the disorder in the game itself, you can pretty easily figure it out. As short of a game it may be, I did feel like it opened my eyes a bit to something I never really thought about before.

My only gripe is with the two doctors you play as. To me, they were supposed to act as narrators who are there just enough to guide through the old man’s story. But in actuality, they felt more like a bickering couple that got in the way of the story at times.

Gameplay

★★½☆☆☆

Eh, what can I say. The whole clicking around to look for items to go to the next level wasn’t really my thing.

The game was short enough for it to not be too painful. But it did keep me from replaying the game to rewatch the story after I finished it.

Music

★★★½☆☆

Though the main theme song is mostly a repeat of two notes (and they poke fun at this plenty in the game), it does make for a beautiful song that sticks with you as the story goes on. Some of the other background music is hit or miss though.

Visuals

★★★½☆☆

It’s a cute top down classic pixel type of game. Definitely charming in it’s own way.

I was also pleasantly surprised how they managed to convey emotion of the eyes through the very limited pixels they had.

Summary

If you want to experience a touching story that spans an entire lifetime, definitely give this little game a try.