By Marty Mulrooney
Alternative Magazine Online reviewed indie RPG/adventure game To The Moon towards the end of last year, describing it as “yet another shining example of an indie developer, free from the shackles of a mainstream gaming studio, weaving pure magic.” Created by Kan Gao and Freebird Games, the game tasks players with controlling two doctors – Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts – as they rewrite the memory of an elderly man named Johnny, whose dying wish is to go to the moon… On the 6th July 2012, Lace Mamba Global released the retail edition of To The Moon throughout the UK and Ireland. Priced at a recommended retail price of £14.99, this beautifully packaged retail edition also includes the full game soundtrack on CD.
To The Moon was the surprise indie gaming hit of 2011. Critically acclaimed by critics and gamers alike (it was the highest user-rated PC game of 2011 on Metacritic), it went on to win ‘Best Story’ in GameSpot’s 2011 Game of the Year awards. Alternative Magazine Online also named it as one of the Best Indie Adventures Games of 2011. In short – and just in case you hadn’t already noticed – this is a very special game indeed.
The player controls two contrasting characters in To The Moon – Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts of Sigmund Corp. – whose job it is to create artificial memories to fulfil the wishes of those lying on their deathbeds. Their patient in To The Moon is dying widower Johnny Wyles. Their mission – to work their way backwards through Johnny’s memories and make him believe that during his life he became an astronaut and went to the moon.
The premise is fantastic – evoking comparison with films such as Inception and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – but it’s the characters that truly shine, despite the lack of voice acting. Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts are already fast becoming one of adventure gaming’s most memorable duos and the life of Johnny proves endlessly fascinating. An incredibly cool science fiction story quickly becomes an epic romantic tragedy that has the power to move gamers to tears.
Certainly the gameplay is minimal – it’s questionable whether this is even really a video game in the traditional sense – but it doesn’t really matter. Whether classed as a game or as an interactive story, To The Moon tells a tale that ranks amongst the very best currently being told within any medium. Those gamers who have yet to experience the indie masterpiece that is To The Moon can read AMO’s original review here – it’s still “a lovely game with a story so well told that the minimal gameplay can surely be forgiven.”
To The Moon (PC, UK Retail Edition) is a beautiful release of a beautiful game. Lace Mamba Global always deliver when it comes to adventure games and the retail edition of To The Moon is no different. Although this is a critically acclaimed adventure game, it is likely that many mainstream gamers passed it over in 2011. With this superb retail release in 2012, such gamers finally have the perfect excuse to join Dr. Eva Rosalene, Dr. Neil Watts and Johnny on their highly emotional journey. Even those who already own the game digitally may want to double-dip – the 32-track soundtrack alone is well worth the asking price. One of 2011’s best digitally distributed video games just became one of 2012’s best retail releases – buy this game and let yourself be moved by pixels and sprites that have taken on a life of their own.
9 OUT OF 10