Its a game that achieves what it wants to achieve with great competence. It would not be the same as a movie.

User Rating: 9 | To the Moon PC
I only tried this game after reading the review at Rock, Paper, Shotgun ( which is an excellent site, by the way. In a nutshell, this game is great, DO play it. But you will probably only enjoy it with the right mindset. If you are looking for a deep and poignant story, have a sense of humour regarding pop culture references and are slightly aware of how point and click games operate, this game is practically made for you.

First off, a rough synopsis. The two protagonists of the game are doctors from a company that has created a way of entering and altering memories. This turns into an industry where dying old people can have their memories altered so they can die happy. In this case, the patient is comatose already and the protagonists only know that his wish is to go to the moon. The entire game revolves around the protagonists discovering the old man's childhood and the reasons why he wants to go to the moon and then fulfilling that wish in a satisfying manner.

The game has a couple of shortcomings, the creators used the RPG Maker XP program as the main engine, so the graphics and limitations of the engine are clearly visible. Being obstructed by random flowers is a clear example of this. However, keep in mind that this is an indie game and was created on a low budget. Furthermore, the old-school sprites and SNES-era art style is actually well done and detailed, the old lighthouse is abandoned and the its age can be inferred from the way it looks. Please don't let the art style put you off, a wide range of emotions are still well conveyed even with the characters' blocky faces. For example, the way one of the female characters inquisitively glances at her husband out of the corner of her eye perfectly captures her character. Minor things like this help to tell the story instead of the old "wall of text", which is not how you use the medium to tell a story. The old-school aesthetic is also congruous to the nature of the story, which is all about memories and flashbacks, using a nostalgic art style very fitting as opposed to a science fiction plot. As a result, criticizing the game for not having any impressive graphics would be very shallow as the game's aesthetic is perfectly fine for its plot.

The only real complaint I would have would be about the controls, which are slightly clunky, especially in some of the mini-games. I found it much easier to use the mouse except at certain points where you are instructed otherwise.

The game does not try to disguise itself very much, it is rather light on the gameplay elements so some might complain that it is not actually much of a game. True, the story is linear, there are plenty of "cut-scenes" and the game elements sometimes feel rather trite. However, I would argue that presenting the story through the medium of a game actually helps to immerse the player into the roles of the protagonists to a different extent than in a movie. I would say that the gameplay elements (along with the excellent writing) serve to allow the player to seamlessly interchange between an objective perspective (the professionalism and work of the protagonists) and an intimate involvement with the story of the old man. It is also a result of the "gaminess" and some very good writing that the flashback mechanic is done so well. The use of the flashback technique does not come across in any way as a lazy method of justifying the reason that the game exists. I have not heard of any other game has used the flashback as well as this game. Especially Black Ops.

As mentioned elsewhere, the music is rather excellent. The soundtrack contains quite a few pieces that are hauntingly beautiful. The music really serves to express the mood and atmosphere of a scene which sometimes seamlessly changes from sombre to humorous is seconds, which is another testament of the excellent writing.

Do yourself a favour and try this game out, its not very expensive and calling it pretentious would only be shallow.