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To the Moon is a weird piece of software to score. In a sense it’s not really much of a “game” per se. There’s no real way to fail at any point, and you’ll spend most of your time during it just clicking the action along. There’s a bit of exploration sure, but it’s all very confined and very rarely are you not sure exactly what you’re supposed to do next. But the experience of playing it is beyond comparison, and the story will stay with you long after the credits roll. If you’re looking to expand your horizon of what games can be, then I humbly invite you to take a trip To the Moon.
Calm Down Tom
To sum up, I want you to buy this game. It was wonderful. It was funny, gripping, sad, happy, and contained all the Platypus’ you could ever need. It was everything you would want in a story. There were times I laughed out loud, and times I fought back the tears. It was beautiful in it’s own right and I am desperately keen for a sequel. Freebird Games, please make another one!
PC PowerPlay Australia
Should you play it? Hell, whether you play it, or not, is your business. Although I will not explicitly tell you why you should play it, I genuinely hope that something in this review has reached you with the answer, “yes.” It really could be anything. We are all different people. To the Moon is a variation on one of many human stories that needs to be told. That such care was taken, to tell it through a gaming medium, is a rare privilege.
I've been playing video games for almost three decades now, and in that time, only three or four video games have genuinely made me tear up while experiencing their storylines. To The Moon is one of them. Because To The Moon is part of that small elite list video game to actually make this tough guy cry, it gets an Editor's Choice stamp. I encourage everyone to give To The Moon a shot, because $11.99 is a small price to pay for a priceless video game experience. If you are doubtful, then try one of Freebird games' freeware offerings like Quintessence – The Blighted Venom or The Mirror Lied. You'll be glad you did.
Game industry News (GiN)
The only real problem I could find with To The Moon is its lack of replay value. The game is like a book: you read it once and you're done with it, at least for a long while. There are no alternative endings, no drive to get a better score on those minigames, and no reason to go back in unless you want to 'read' it again. But as with any good book, you really want to share its amazing story with everyone you know, and that's why this game gets an almost perfect score from me.
To the Moon vertelt over leven en dood. Het is een indie-kunstwerk dat zich voordoet als traditionele JRPG, speelt als een point-and-click adventure en uiteindelijk grijpt naar je traanbuizen. Als pure ‘game’ heeft To the Moon zijn beperkingen, maar de sublieme verhaalstructuur laat je dat gauw vergeten.
Dare un parere finale è un'impresa ardua, soprattutto alla luce del timore di non riuscire bene a descrivere l'ottimo lavoro svolto da Freebird Games. Di sicuro non si tratta di un prodotto per tutti, eppure, stiamo parlando di un gioco in grado di mantenere incollati al monitor fino alla fine, raggiunta la quale ci si ritrova a rimpiangere di averlo letteralmente divorato, lasciandoci quindi dire senza ombra di dubbio che Kan Gao e i suoi hanno centrato il segno. To The Moon è in grado di regalare attimi difficilmente ripetibili con gran parte dei titoli in circolazione e per questo imperdibili, attimi in cui grosse risate finiscono per fare spazio a lacrime strozzate e viceversa, toccando anche la più dura delle anime. Che valutazione dare quindi a un gioco che come abbiamo avuto modo di vedere non è nemmeno un gioco nel senso stretto del termine? Quella dettata dalle emozioni, perché in questo campo To The Moon non è assolutamente secondo a nessuno. Provare per credere.
By the end, To the Moon has pushed beyond the limits of its central character's story and become about the issues we all face as our days pass by; it's full of people we know and problems we understand. The convincing banter between the two doctors, the tale of John's carer and her relationship with her children, the stories of friends and families and how they intersect along the passage of life... To the Moon takes the details of human life in its stride, and delivers them with a breezy effortlessness.
To The Moon is that special kind of game that, while I can't recommend it to everyone, I think there's a certain subset of gamers that will find this to be the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Those who think story needs to be lessened for gameplay to become the sole focus of the industry will likely find this disgusting, but a beautiful story filled with romance, strife, humor, and some of the best music this side of a Team Ico game is probably the only thing that could have torn me away from Skyrim right now. This is my first foray into the games designed by Freebird Games and Kan Gao, but it certainly won't be my last. I really can't wait to see where this series goes next, and if you give it a chance I think you'll be waiting with bated breath right along with me.
To the Moon isn’t a traditional game, and it’s a shame it ever tried to be. The tile-reversal puzzles are an unfriendly distraction from the plot, and the action sequence is so misplaced as to be painful. But it’s only painful because almost everything else here is so immaculately, meticulously crafted, not a minute or a pixel wasted, not a single step out of place. Its retro graphics look beautiful. The original soundtrack is utterly stunning. Its story is one of the most confident and grown-up that our medium has ever seen. Don’t approach To the Moon expecting taxing puzzles or combat or stats, because that isn’t what it’s about. It is its own thing: an indie adventure about going to the moon, but with its sights set far beyond it.
Alternative Magazine Online
Kan Gao and Freebird Games have released one of 2011s best games with To The Moon. It has no voice acting and arguably no gameplay either – the only real negative I can pinpoint and undoubtedly a deal breaker for some – but the storyline offers more than enough incentive for the player to continue playing onwards for the four hours it will take to complete. The absolutely stunning soundtrack, featuring a haunting main piano theme and a poignant final credit song with vocals by Laura Shigihara, is well worth the low asking price alone. This is yet another shining example of an indie developer, free from the shackles of a mainstream gaming studio, weaving pure magic. A lovely game with a story so well told that the minimal gameplay can surely be forgiven – buy this game and let yourself be moved by pixels and sprites that have taken on a life of their own.
Against the scope of what has been accomplished here however, these are minor complaints. The game has been compared to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Inception, Memento and of course Chrono Trigger, but what comes out of these influences is something amazing and utterly unique. Those with patience will find 4-5 hours of storytelling that will entrance and move all but the most hard hearted of gamers, and will come out of the experience with many things to think about. For this writer, the chill in the air this morning was a little bit crisper, the sun a little brighter, and his sleeping wife a little more mysterious and beautiful thanks to this game. If that isn't worth $11.99, I'm not sure what is.
Indie Game Reviewer
For all of these elements combined, it is unerringly accessible. To The Moon is best described as an interactive novel that will stay with me. I can imagine that I will remember certain themes in To The Moon with sudden clarity in seemingly unconnected conversations and activities. Play it, and you will find that you are enveloped into a game world that has a unique standard of storytelling all of its own.
The Controller Online
To The Moon not only has a fantastic story, it is an exemplary piece of story telling. The events are unpredictable without being overwrought plot twists. The characters are deep, funny, charming and likeable. Despite being a little short, To The Moon will linger in your mind for days after you finish and is a game that everyone should experience.
Un esperimento riuscito che rischia di non essere compreso da molti. Questo è To the Moon: una semplice avventura grafica dallo stile estremamente particolare che strizza l'occhio alle produzioni giapponesi dei giochi di ruolo e delle visual novel nella quale viene raccontata una storia. Una storia profonda, emozionante, triste e divertente allo stesso tempo; una storia che tratta di temi sia quotidiani che speciali e che presenta una innumerevole quantità di citazioni assieme a dei personaggi riusciti in pieno e una colonna sonora a dir poco strepitosa. Una storia magistralmente narrata di fronte alla quale è impossibile rimanere indifferenti.
Nel suo genere un piccolo capolavoro.
W niekończącej się dyskusji, czy gry komputerowe mogą być postrzegane w kategorii sztuki, dzieło Freebird to znakomity argument "za". To the Moon jest doświadczeniem autentycznie unikatowym, choć zarazem przeznaczonym dla dojrzałego odbiorcy. Ostatni raz takie wrażenie wywarła na mnie Syberia, od premiery której minęła już niemal dekada, stąd pozostaje mi polecić produkcję każdemu, kto ma ochotę na mądrą i nietuzinkową zabawę. Mimo, że za każdą godzinę trzeba zapłacić około 10 zł, to wydatek który się rzeczywiście opłaca. Gdybyśmy w naszej metryce wprowadzili cząstkowe oceny za fabułę - musiałbym przyznać dziesiątkę.
As one who treats romance in movies and shows as a sporting event, cheering when they finally kiss, or punching the air when they both have the same feelings, this game was like the Superbowl Stanley World Cup Belt Tile edition of love stories without any advertisements. It draws you in, makes you content with the world, then says everything must change. Your heart breaks but you can’t make it stop. You can only move forward, hope for the best, and remember the past is past and try to make a future worth living in. Effectively, this game is a bad breakup but without the social collateral damage and gives you warm fuzzy feelings at the end.
Wer das interaktive Medium nutzt, muss das auch richtig tun – immerhin ist man in To the Moon die gesamten fünf bis sechs Stunden mit Maus und Tastatur beschäftigt. Diesen Aspekt hat Kan Gao mit fast bemitleidenswerten Bilderrätseln und überflüssigen Sammelaufgaben sträflich vernachlässigt. Man muss darüber hinweg sehen, wenn man seine wundervolle Zeitreise genießen will - wer das schafft, erlebt dafür eine der charmantesten Kurzgeschichten, die das Medium je erzählt hat: To the Moon hatte mein Herz gefangen und bis zum Finale nicht mehr losgelassen. Es verzaubert mit liebevollen Zeichnungen, sympathischen Pixeldarstellern, exzellenter Musik und ihm gelingt das seltene Kunststück, Weisheit, Traurigkeit und Humor wie selbstverständlich zu vereinen. Es ist eine der wertvollsten Anekdoten unter den Geschichten der Videospiele!
To The Moon fait partie de ces petites perles de bonheur qui peuvent parfois se trouver par hasard sur votre chemin. Véritable remède contre le blues, ce jeu vous donnera envie de vivre votre vie à fond, pour profiter de chaque instant ! Malgré une maniabilité parfois récalcitrante (par exemple pendant la séquence d'équitation), l'expérience en vaut largement la chandelle.
One of the best story-based games of 2011 and proof that big budgets and famous voiceovers are no match for clever design and a good script.
Cautivadora, tremendamente humana y con una sorprendente capacidad para llegar al corazón. Puede que To the Moon peque de ser una aventura demasiado sencilla y poco imaginativa en lo jugable, pero su apasionado argumento lo convierte en una de las mejores historias interactivas del momento.
Na triviálních principech založený nadžánrový zážitek, který svého hráče citově zválcuje příběhem o lásce, ztrátě a vyrovnávání se s osudem. Balancování na hraně interaktivity a kýče dopadne ve výsledném součtu dobře, a i když jsou některé linky přeslazené a jiné zbytečně šroubované, momenty jejich souznění nemají ve hrách obdoby.
To The Moon es, pues, una experiencia eminentemente narrativa, y eso hace que sea complicado hablar más de él sin dar detalles del argumento -y prefiero que lo descubráis vosotros a lo largo de las cinco horas que dura. A mí me ha gustado, sin caer en la exageración. No es, digamos, un pasatiempo al uso, pero sí que te conmoverá y puede que a algunos hasta os humedezca un poco los ojos.
I don't believe that To the Moon's approach of excising gameplay in favor of visual novel-style storytelling is necessarily the answer to the "interactivity vs. narrative" argument developers have struggled with lo these many years, but there are enough flashes of brilliance inside To the Moon's shell to give one the impression that such a breakthrough might be on the horizon. Given more resources, more collaborative experience, and a few more finely crafted tales like To the Moon under his belt, it feels wholly possible that Kan Gao could help bring that breakthrough about someday, perhaps in the not-too-distant future.
If you lament the state of story in games, To the Moon is a game you must play. It's available for download from developer Freebird Games' website for $11.99, which seems about right for this affecting four-hour tale. Those four hours pack a real punch, inviting you to consider just how a single event can change your destiny. For now, you should take control of your own destiny and play To the Moon. You'll be glad you did.
To the Moon's excellent storytelling never veers off course and is one of the best we've experienced this year. While the game may not offer much in terms of a challenge, or even gameplay, it does offer a rich and thought-provoking narrative that will make you want to share it with someone. The melancholy setting and touching piano refrains may leave you misty-eyed, if not drowning in your own tears, but the short four hour adventure is absolutely worth it.
Gamers Daily News
I don’t think I have ever connected with a game like I have with To the Moon. It has a narrative unlike any that I have seen, with characters that really seem alive. Add in a wonderful soundtrack and some phenomenal artwork, and you get an indie experience that you will cherish forever. The only gripe that I have about it is that the player doesn’t seem to affect what’s going on at all. The puzzles only serve to take the characters further back in Johnny’s memory, and they don’t show up at all in the last third of the game. There are some decisions that can be made early on, but this only affects a small amount of the dialog. That said, I still love this game, and I will always count it among my favorites. If you love corny romance stories or if you know someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, then I highly recommend that you buy it. If this one is any indication, then I know that the next adventure for Watts and Rosalene will be great indeed.
Adventure Classic Gaming
To the Moon is a gem which trumpets the virtues of simplicity. I have always believed that tight writing and masterful attention to detail can do so much more than a big budget production to capture the imagination and tug at the heartstrings. Lighthouses are not only a prominent feature in To the Moon, but the game is itself a lighthouse shining its beacon for other games foundering on the shoals of story. I look forward to more lighthouses from Gao and Freebird Games.
To the Moon is a special, emotionally charged story game that will be enjoyed by players who don’t mind a “lite” gameplay experience.
Video games are often touted as a reliable escape from reality. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a game like To the Moon that relies on the reality of its characters and how that plays into gamers’ emotions. Furthering that approach are themes that tackle intricate issues such as love, loss, and commitment, all things that we encounter at some point in our lives. It falls short in the most interactive moments when collecting items and solving puzzles, but somehow that ends up being less of a detriment than it should be. Call it what you will, but To the Moon is something that deserves to be experienced.
Pour bon nombre de joueurs, To the Moon sera à n'en pas douter un véritable coup de cœur, tant il s'aventure à contre-courant de la production actuelle. On sent bien que le jeu a été conçu dans le seul but de toucher le joueur en lui racontant une histoire pleine de sensibilité, et il y réussit parfaitement.
Absolute Games (AG.ru)
Потянет ли на полноценный игровой процесс мешанина из необременительных аркадных вставок, «обкликивания» всего подряд и головоломок «собери изображение»? Вроде бы ответ очевиден, но погодите швырять помидоры. Ладный, крепкий сценарий с незаезженной фантастической предпосылкой — редкость в наши дни. Финалы, заставляющие выудить из кармана носовой платок, возникают еще реже. До чего же радостно наконец наткнуться на произведение с не только хорошо прописанным, но и умело поданным сюжетом. Пусть даже все это больше походит на мультфильм, чем на видеоигру…
Despite the fantastic plot development, if you are looking for a game with high action and a good challenge, I would point you elsewhere — this game is more for people who enjoy the slow-paced exploration of environments, puzzles, cutscenes, and dialogue. The developers advise that you do not approach the experience with any preconceived notions of it being a game, a book, or a film; I would say, when approached this way, as merely an experience, it is incredibly rich and very worth it. I advise you keep an eye on Freebird Games for future developments, as this early work, To the Moon, shows signs of great potential.
To the Moon ne plaira pas à tout le monde. Sous ses airs de rpg old-school tout droit issu de la super nes, il propose un voyage poignant et inoubliable derrière un gameplay simpliste et parfois redondant. Ni vraiment jeu, ni vraiment film, To the Moon est une expérience, une aventure qui se dévore d'une traite comme un bon bouquin pour tous ceux qui cherchent à découvrir une belle histoire.
To the Moon is a challenging game to write about because the only real reason to play it is the story. I could go deeper into the plot, but spoiling it would be a great disservice to any potential players; suffice to say that the story is good enough to recommend this game despite its relatively weak gameplay. Playing through To the Moon was cathartic for me, not because I could identify with John’s specific lifetime experiences, but because the characters and their reactions – their emotional responses – all hit home with me. And I’d wager they’ll hit just about anyone, as To the Moon captures in six hours many of the difficulties and feelings of what it’s like to live with the memories of the great and terrible times in our own lives.
Die »Zeit« nennt To the Moon »ein Spiel, das keines sein will«. Mag stimmen, für mich liegt der Reiz aber gerade darin, dass ich mir Johns Geschichte erspiele, statt sie nur zu betrachten. Wenn To the Moon ein Film wäre, würde ich ihn nicht anschauen: Bleibt mir weg mit dieser Schnulze! Doch die Interaktivität fesselt mich an den Bildschirm, sie ist nun mal die zentrale Stärke des Mediums Computerspiel: Ich werde vom Betrachter zum Akteur. Dass ich dabei so sehr gefordert werde wie Rembrandt beim Malen nach Zahlen -- nun ja, das ginge anspruchsvoller, stört mich aber nicht. To the Moon könnte auch vielfältiger und länger sein; es könnte mehr Nebenzweige, mehr Tempo und vertonte Dialoge bieten. Aber braucht es all das wirklich? Nein! To the Moon ist ein gefühlvolles, ein erzählerisch großartiges Kleinod.
To the Moon is a genuinely personal experience, and your mileage may certainly vary. Despite my gripes about the game, when the credits rolled I loved where I had been taken. In some ways it’s refreshing to find a game that has something important to say but isn’t caught up on taking itself too seriously. That being said, To the Moon makes too big a spectacle out of distancing itself from any emotional impact. In many ways it comes off as self-doubting; the game doesn’t seem to believe in itself enough to switch off the laugh track more often.
A good work of art is utterly convincing in what it sets out to accomplish. To the Moon is a formulaic tale told in the wrong medium. It's far too uneven to be taken seriously by anyone who isn't enthusiastically ignoring its flaws. I'm sorry to say this was the most tedious time I ever had with a game. And as I've tried to explain at the beginning of this review, the whole experience doesn't really feel like a video game at all. Yes, it could have been powerful, but it failed to avoid taking shortcuts, and it ended up in melodramatic territory. It was content with trying to make its audience feel, without also making it think.
The silver lining in all of this is that the game is kept compact, and To the Moon can be finished in a sitting or two, before it really wears out its welcome. What you get out of it is dependent on your tolerance for the game's attempts to be heartrending, evocative, or funny, which fall flat at almost every turn, tripped up by predictability or a perpetual need for a better visual presentation. The actual idea of leaping through the subconscious isn't bad, and by all means, videogames can and should demonstrate the capacity to move us in ways they haven't before. But to succeed at that, they need real creativity behind them, not excessive shortcomings holding back otherwise interesting ideas.