There’s something to be said when a game with a development staff countable on one hand can elicit more of an emotional response than a AAA title. If you’re going to play To The Moon then prepare to reach for the tissues for your eyes, because this is a heavy one, and while it strips away gameplay to make room for narrative, this indie gem isn’t one that’s going to fall from your memories any time soon.
To The Moon was created by Freebird Games on, would you believe it, RPG Maker. Don’t think for a second that this means it’s some high schooler’s vanity project to impress their friends – it’s a polished game. It uses sprites and a top down view, giving it the aesthetic of an old school Square RPG like Dragon Quest, but this is very much an adventure game. In fact, it would be fair to call it more of an interactive story than a game, considering the minimalist approach to interactivity Freebird have used. But don’t run away yet, because it’s the story where To The Moon really shines.
Neil Watts and Dr Eva Roseline work for the Sigmund Agency of Life Generation, a company that implants memories in dying patients’ minds to make them feel like they lived a happy and fulfilled life. To accomplish this, they have to actually enter the person’s mind and work their way back to an early childhood memory to implant the memory a-la Inception. Johnny Wyles is sick and wishes to go to the moon. But when he slips into a coma, it means that Neil and Eva only have a couple of days to implant the memory before he dies. It’s emotionally heavy, but a great little sci-fi plot worthy of an adventure title.