Yesterday I played through To the Moon yesterday, an indie RPG for PC.
In To the Moon you take on the role of two doctors who are hired to rewrite the memories of a dying man to fulfil his last wish: to travel to the moon. To do this, you must enter his memories and travel backwards through his life to add a strong motive to go the moon. Along the way you find mementos which join the various time periods together. But why does the patient wish to go the moon? Like a good mystery novel, To the Moon keeps the player engrossed until the end.
There isn’t much actual gameplay in the traditional sense. If anything, it’s more of a point and click adventure game. But the story and music more than make up for that. To the Moon is a highly focused game, featuring only elements necessary to enhance it’s engaging, emotional storyline. No filler. This is even built into the game world; NPCs who are not relevant are displayed as a dark shadow (which makes sense, narratively, as most of the game takes place inside the patient’s memories).
It’s hard to say exactly what makes To the Moon so great without spoiling the story, but the combination of the music and focused narrative make me strongly recommend it. It will only take you about five hours to complete the game, so why not? I’m just so impressed by what they managed to pull off given the limitations of the technology used (it was built with RPG Maker) and it sets the bar for the kinds of stories that can be told in indie games (or games in general).
Has anyone else played it?
There’s a sequel in the works (Finding Paradise), but To the Moon definitely works well as a stand alone story. There’s also a short one hour game called Bird Story which is connected to the story of Finding Paradise. I downloaded and played through it straight after completing To the Moon. I look forward to experiencing what Freebird Games comes up with next.