On an remoted stretch of street close to a lonely lighthouse, two docs march towards a cliffside mansion. They’ve been employed to rewrite the recollections of an previous man named Johnny Wyles in an effort to fulfill his dying want of going to the moon. This isn’t a easy course of, and because the docs dive into Johnny’s thoughts and revisit a number of of his most vital recollections, they successfully relive his life in reverse. To the Moon could also be mild on gameplay, however it’s a storytelling powerhouse that explores the themes of affection and remorse, and by the tip, I felt inspired to replicate on among the most vital relationships in my very own life.
In 2011, designer Kan Gao launched To the Moon onto PC. For Gao, its improvement was a technique to work by way of a number of existential questions he’d encountered when he discovered a couple of life-threatening situation going through his grandfather. That authentic 2011 launch used the RPG Maker XP toolkit, which gave To the Moon an old-school appeal, however Gao’s heartbreaking story was the true cause To the Moon stood out in a pack of pixelated indie darlings. Nearly a decade later, To the Moon is on Swap, and the complete recreation has been rebuilt in Unity. The visible overhaul is slight, nevertheless it retains the old fashioned appeal of the unique launch.
Luckily, the narrative has been fully untouched, as a result of it stays extremely highly effective even a decade after launch. As gamers discover Johnny’s generally mundane and infrequently heartbreaking life, they encounter a number of unusual mysteries. For instance, why is his home stuffed with origami rabbits? Why does his spouse appear obsessive about lighthouses? And why does Johnny’s mom name him Joey? The revelations to those miniature mysteries are sometimes as shocking as they’re heartbreaking. You spend a lot of the recreation studying and clicking by way of textual content containers, however the dialogue feels pure, and I used to be genuinely to see how Johnny’s massive life occasions would play out. Total, To the Moon’s narrative is well-paced and stored me glued to my Swap’s display screen till I rolled credit.
Whereas this expertise is basically a narrative-based, it has just a few gameplay moments. As you bounce from one reminiscence to the subsequent, you accumulate a sequence of mementos of Johnny’s life. You do that by inspecting vital objects inside the surroundings of every reminiscence. These mementos aren’t exhausting to seek out, however gathering them generally seems like a chore for the reason that course of is so easy. When you accumulate all 5 mementos in a given area, you full a easy puzzle earlier than leaping to the subsequent reminiscence. Throughout these image puzzles, you flip columns or rows of tiles till all of the tiles are flipped over and also you full an image. I received hung up on considered one of these puzzles, however for essentially the most half, they’re shallow experiences that don’t add a lot to the general bundle.
Luckily, To the Moon’s narrative is so heartfelt and touching that its superficial puzzles didn’t diminish the journey. To the Moon pressured me to consider my very own life and my very own regrets and requested me what I might change if I might. I’ll not have a machine that may rewrite my recollections, but when I did, I wouldn’t wish to neglect this recreation.