To the Moon, developed by Freebird Games,  is an indie 2D roleplaying game (RPG) released in 2011 and 2014 for Windows and OS X/Linux, respectively.

Plot

In the game, two doctors travel through the memories of a dying man in order to fulfill his dying wish.  Along the way, they journey through a moving story of love and loss. Without giving anything away, this premise and narrative is the game’ strong point.

Game Mechanics

Although it’s inspired by Japanese RPGs, To the Moon eschews typical RPG elements like combat systems, inventory systems, and party systems. Players need to collect important items to progress in the story. To gain access to these items, players interact with the story’s colorful and layered characters. To the Moon manages to be a memorable game despite not having many actual gameplay mechanics.

Graphics

It may not have the cutting-edge visuals of AAA titles, but To the Moon’s 2D graphics serve it well. The narrative of the game shines through since it isn’t overshadowed by 3D graphics. The stripped-down yet elegant visuals highlight important story elements.

Art Style

To the Moon’s art style matches the game’s overall theme and plot.  Using a color palette which ranges from lush greens to muted browns, To the Moon sets a visual theme which mirrors the memories and emotions of the dying man. The game uses an art style reminiscent of older Final Fantasy titles to emphasize nostalgia in the story.

to the moon

A view to remember

Music

The game’s music perfectly complements the game’s simple visuals. For example, in the main theme, swelling strings, a bubbly synth, a xylophone, and a gentle piano combine to evoke feelings of bittersweet nostalgia and hope at the same time.

Game Length and Extras

Depending on how fast you progress through the story, the game takes between 3 to 6 hours to complete. There aren’t any extra collectibles or side quests to lengthen your game time.

Verdict

To The Moon is a gem with a touching story, nostalgia-inducing graphics, and a lovely soundtrack. Fans of classic, story-focused video games should give it a try.

Pros and Cons:

+ A heartwarming and poignant story
+ Charmingly simple graphics
+ Wonderful music that you’ll remember long after you finish the game

Simplistic gameplay elements (This may not appeal to fans of more complicated video games)