“To The Moon” Aims High

I refuse to apologize for that word-play!

To The Moon is a game only in the loosest sense. Essentially a mystery-solver at heart, you play as two scientists mucking about in a dying man’s memory. Your goal? Give him the memory that he went to the moon.

And it is really, really good.

Here’s the trailer. The game itself is something like $12, which is pretty good for a story like this.

The old man is in a coma, and when you get into his mind, you start with a memory that is the closest to himself. Then, you move backward in his memories, the old man slowly becoming younger as you travel into his past.

Why does he want to go to the moon? What’s up with all these origami rabbits?

The story of this game did something to me that rarely happens in games – it made me care about the characters, it moved me emotionally, and it made me think about the issues raised in the game. The gameplay left something to be desired – you aren’t playing a game so much as

The characters are all likeable, and the game isn’t afraid to resort to some goofy humor to make you like them. That’s the first hour or two of the game. Then, once you’ve come to like them, you get hit with some of the heavy stuff. These people have problems, and hoooooo boy are they depressing.

But they are understandable and I could connect with them. At no point does the game have you saving the world, fighting off aliens, or gunning down hordes of faceless enemies; these are problems I run into with a lot of games I’ve played, where the situations trump the human aspect.

But the game is lovingly crafted around some philosophical questions. I keep returning to them again and again, which, for me, is a good sign that the game was well-made.

Would you want false memories implanted to forget a good deal of your life? What are you memories worth? Is a constructed life better than the real thing?

Basically, would you want a do-over?

I’m not sure how I would answer this. It’s tough. I highly recommend “To The Moon.”


About seansynthetic

"...so I says the the guy, I says to him, 'No, YOU ain't allowed back into this Chuck-E-Cheese.'"

Posted on January 4, 2012, in Video Games and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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