Hello folks! Sorry for the lack of content posted in the past week or so, unfortunately I had a ton of deadlines for University, an exam, AND a dozen or so new games from the Steam sale, whoops! Anyway, I wanted to kick off getting back into posting by doing a review on a game I just played. I mentioned this game briefly before in the Autumn sale post, but having played through it completely I feel it deserves its own entire post.
The game is called To The Moon, and its an absolute roller-coaster of emotions. You play as two doctors, whose job it is to travel to dying patients, and using super cool futuristic technology let them live out the full life they wanted to in a dream during their final hours. This can be anything, from becoming a successful sports player to being a Rockstar.
The two doctors, Eva and Neil, visit a man called Johnny. Johnny is dying, and days before he fell into critical condition he contacted the company with just one wish. He wants to go to the moon. Only he doesn't know why, so its down to Eva and Neil (you) to go back through his life, find out why, and change something so that the "virtual Johnny" will live out the life of an astronaut. The game is spent travelling back through Johnnys years, witnessing his life and all the events that go with it. I'm not going into any detail, as any spoilers could ruin the entire game for you. It's very Benjamin Button, a story told from back to front.
What's so touching about this game is the writing. Freebird really did a wonderful job, you become emotionally attached to the doctors and Johnny, and the ending is one of the most moving finales I've ever witnessed. It reaches out to you somewhere deep, and grabs that same part of your brain that gives you tingles when you watch a space documentary, while playing on events that occur through the story.
The gameplay itself is pretty quirky and fun, it just involves solving little puzzles now and again. The writers made Eva and Neil interesting enough that this doesn't get boring quickly as you'd expect. A lot of the time is also spent walking around and talking to people, and trying to find "links" (items or people that connect to the past, so you can jump back a few years in Johnny's life). The games pretty short, only 4 hours long which is a downside, but I suppose any longer than that and the gameplay mechanics may have got boring and repetitive.
The soundtrack is pretty stirring to, one track I particularly like is "For River", a song Johnny wrote for his wife (this songs pretty important in the story, as you'll find out why if you play it, which you should!). It's "just two notes repeated" but its played throughout the game and you really do associate it with the story and the emotions you feel.
So, if you couldn't already tell I absolutely enjoyed the heck out of this game. It's possibly my favourite game this year. It's also cheap, available off freebirdgames for £6.60. (or you can wait for the next steam sale, I managed to pick it up for £2.49!) So purchase if you get chance, you can easily play through it if you have a few hours free, and it really is worth it.