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The controls were a little wonky. The music was great and suited the mood very well. The story was beautiful. That said...

The thing I love most about this game is the creators' ability to portray (in my opinion) a very believable and subtle Aspergic character. Having an Aspergic sister, I usually end up cringing when I see what media and pop culture seems to think "autistic" means. There were so many small touches that the creators gave to River that really sold it and made her feel like a real person with Asperger's: she had a tendency to shift her eyes around a lot rather than keeping eye contact; she would say things in a very formal manner (her answer to "Are you two a couple?" among other things); she tried to have the same conversation multiple times over a long period of time ("What else?")... It really was a wonderful, realistic representation of an Aspie.

What makes it even better is how respectful the game is towards her condition. No one talked about "fixing" her, but at the same time, she did have adequate therapy to help her cope. Side characters pointed out things that are often misunderstood or overlooked about ASD (Izzy pointing out that it's exhausting to act neurotypical, though it can be done; Izzy pointing out that neurotypicals don't always know what's best for Aspies; Eva pointing out that Aspies don't always have perfect memories; etc.).

What makes it EVEN BETTER on top of all that is the way that the game captures how strained and difficult a relationship between an NT and an Aspie can be. Communication is not always easy, even between two N Ts or two Aspies, but putting one of each together is like sending Mac files to a Windows computer; the content can be the same, but the process is so different that it's impossible for one side to know what the other is trying to say.

Being an NT myself, I might not have the right to say this, but, in my opinion, this game does a lot to promote autism awareness and to show that, while often difficult for everyone involved, it is possible to have a caring relationship between someone on the spectrum and someone off of it.

10/10.
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Enjoyable but questionable value for money
Pros:
  • Touching story
  • Good music

Cons:
  • Terrible UI
  • Really short
  • Limited interactivity

First off, To The Moon is basically a visual novel, not a game. Interactivity is comparable to a Homestuck flash: gameplay is limited to walking around talking to people and interacting with things until you find the way to the next memory. The UI is a barely functional RPG Maker menu, lacking many of the options you'd expect in a Visual Novel. You can't even view or change the controls.

Apart from that, the story is great. However, it's not something you'd want to play more than once, as there's no way to skip through the game. At All. You can't even skip cutscenes or credits. It is enjoyable, but whether it's worth the money is another question, despite the low price. If you're strapped for cash, I'd recommend getting a different game, but if you have money to spare and it's on sale, you might as well give it a try.

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A Lunar Story That Gets Overshadowed By The Framing Device
To The Moon is a fantastic story(game) about a mans life and his relationship with his neurodifferent wife, told through a framing story where people go through his memories to give him his dying dream of going to the moon.

Nitpicks
  • Keyboard controls much better than mouse
  • Dialogue can be clunky, they make a wit/half-wit joke but use a synonym, so it doesn't actually make sense.
  • It has three acts and labels itself as having three acts, but it places the labels incorrectly, making them feel forced.
  • Repeatedly lampshading your story as 'chessy cr**# does nothing but slightly insult the people who bought your story game and are enjoying it.
  • Pop-culture references feel below the greatness of the story and apart from Twilight don't go beyond 'Hey! X exists!#
  • Thinks it has twists when it really has well-grounded climatic story moments

This game doesn't understand why it is great. The story with the husband and wife is exceptional, it's short and simple but there is an incredible amount of depth and it shows so much. But it doesn't completely recognise that our enjoyment comes from exploring this, the relationship between the two memory explorers are good and they are good characters, the humour is generally funny, but too much focus is given to them when they just aren't the attraction. I enjoyed the jokes, but they didn#t sit right for me, because in the end I didn't come for them and wanted to get to the good bits. All the tension comes from the framing plot, but it ends up being pointless melodrama, particularly towards the end where it becomes very forced. The lives of the people were more interesting and more natural

This extends heavily into the gameplay. Heavy Rain took gameplay and used it to bring the player closer to the story, To The Moon's gameplay removes the player from the story. In the end the game should have been exploring these lives, but it gates it with find 5 things gameplay, which is actually just there to make you see the story. It would have been a better game with less 'gameplay' and more player trust.

And the ending left me completely dissatisified. Giving people fake memories overstepped into removing the purpose of living.

Nevertheless I've had greater engagement in my dissatisfaction than in almost any other polished I've ever played. It pushes boundaries of thought

9/10 Must Play
  # comments: 5
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