Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Oct 27, 2012
    100
    To The Moon is one of those games you instantly fall in love with. With it's simple, but elegant design, incredible writing, and thrilling, heartfelt tale, To The Moon is more story than game, but what a story it is.
  2. Jan 9, 2012
    100
    A love story. A private story. A rare privilege. [Jan 2012, p.40]
  3. Nov 7, 2011
    100
    To the Moon is a rare treat in this current crop of game releases. It doesn't break new ground with its storytelling, and it won't drop jaws with its unfolding action, but that's exactly what makes it a different kind of game. It calls for a moment of your time, and your undivided attention. It involves a lot of reading and a very little strategy. It explores a human concept -- the dying wish -- and invites you to come along. It's simple, poignant, and full of heart.
  4. Feb 13, 2012
    93
    This little game is by far the most touching story ever told in game industry. Although the game mechanics are very simple, the story is truly something, that bigger players of the business should take a look at. This game brought tears to my eyes. It's truly magical. [Feb 2012]
  5. Jan 10, 2012
    90
    To the Moon is about life and death. It's almost art in the sense that it can truly make you care for what happens in the game. It pretends to be a traditional JRPG and it plays like a point-and-click adventure. It comes with some restrictions, but the sublime story telling on offer here will linger in your thoughts for a long time.
  6. Nov 24, 2011
    90
    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.
  7. Nov 22, 2011
    90
    The game may look like Chrono Trigger, but it is decidedly not a traditional RPG. It is definitely more adventure game than anything else, as the doctors need to find various "memory triggers" inside Johnny's memories in order to move backwards from his most recent memories to his earliest.
  8. Nov 18, 2011
    90
    To The Moon is a game as special as different, not for everyone. It is more than story-driven and will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. Let it drive you into a great story for some hours of your life and you will be surely rewarded.
  9. Jan 19, 2012
    85
    In a never ending discussion about whether games can be perceived as an art form To the Moon is a proof they can. [February 2012, p.61]
  10. Jan 6, 2012
    85
    It's the closest thing you can get to a masterpiece nowdays. Even if really simple in its gameplay, To the Moon tells a great and enchanting story about life.
  11. Oct 23, 2012
    80
    To The Moon's charming sense of humor and unabashed ease with tossing around pop culture references (from Dr. Who and Animorphs down to Dragon Ball Z) kept the serious, and at times quite gloomy overtones from feeling too self-serious. And so, with John and River's tale being told, restructured and sent to the moon in a heartfelt and memorable way; I am able to walk away from To The Moon satisfied, and looking forward to the next installment in this world.
  12. 80
    Splendid adventure game brings mature theme and gives though to many questions to think about. If you starve for true emotions in games you just found the best source. [Jan 2012]
  13. Jan 26, 2012
    80
    An amazing tale about the life and death, the dreams and love. To the Moon is a good adventure game, but will be remembered for its story.
  14. Jan 19, 2012
    80
    An experience above all genres built on mundane concepts will hit gamer with its story of love, loss and dealing with one's destiny. Balancing on edge of interactivity and kitsch has turned out well and even though some lines have been made too sweet and the other ones too complicated the moments when those two meet each other have no parallel in video games.
  15. Jan 12, 2012
    80
    To the Moon is more a narrative experience than a game, but a quite touching one.
  16. Dec 22, 2011
    80
    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.
  17. Dec 6, 2011
    80
    To the Moon's excellent storytelling never veers off course and is one of the best we've experienced this year.
  18. Dec 6, 2011
    80
    It's equally silly and serious, a frivolous adventure that becomes infinitely more meaningful as you trek deeper and deeper into it. And yet, I can't quite call To the Moon a great "game," exactly, because for as much as To the Moon is something you play, its attempts at interactivity are often relegated to the sidelines in favor of pure narrative.
  19. Nov 30, 2011
    80
    To the Moon is an unassuming game that does an unbelievably good job of evoking emotion. It tells a sweet, sad story in an unconventional way, and it shows a lot of promise for Freebird Games.
  20. Nov 22, 2011
    80
    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.
  21. Mar 31, 2012
    79
    It is so nice to finally stumble upon a game with a well-written, well-presented story, even though To the Moon is more an animated movie than a videogame.
  22. Nov 30, 2011
    75
    The story is good enough to recommend this game despite its relatively weak gameplay.
  23. Jan 6, 2012
    70
    Quotation forthcoming.
  24. Sep 3, 2012
    60
    If you're into having your tears tugged at, this will definitely be a change from nights spent curling up on the couch spectating those romance flicks that no one else gets. If you're someone who winds up stuck with the aforementioned individual, originally promised beer and tricked into the awkward Kleenex duty, no guilt will be harbored from missing out.
  25. Feb 16, 2012
    58
    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.
  26. Dec 16, 2011
    50
    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.
User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 652 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 180
  1. Nov 26, 2011
    10
    I was excited to see this game release from when I heard about it awhile ago. It borrows from the style of the 16-bit video game generation of yore, and shows the story of a man on his deathbed, who signs up for a program that can help him relive his life in order to achieve his wish.

    His wish? He wants to go to the moon.

    If you're anything like me, you're going through the first two hours of the game, basically at the brink of bawling like a baby (don't clump me in with those emo kids), with the last thing on your mind having anything to do with the moon. It's a complex story, and the culmination point of it seems farfetched until you let the entire story play before you, and you recognize the beauty of it all.

    Let me tell you something. Beauty is a perfect word to describe it. The storytelling is masterful, and complex, and charming. The characters are lovable. You play as the two scientists who assist the man in the pursuit of his dream, and often act as the comic relief for emotionally tense situations. Other times, they show as glimpses of characters who themselves have dark and secreted away emotions and struggles.

    The graphics show how aesthetic and detailed something can be when you focus that graphical attention on a style which is otherwise considered to be outdated. If you can masterfully produce something in 16-bit graphics, then you can see it as masterful as someone who built a complicated 3D system. The difference is that you have a much harder time showing a masterful presentation in 3D that ages well, since the medium is constantly being updated. The odd place of this current-day 16-bit presentation looks easily as masterful as the most detailed presentations of 16-bit classics.

    In short, I loved it.

    So, here's the part where I provide some criticism. The game looks very much like an old turn-based RPG classic. It plays like a point-and-click adventure, and much of the actual 'gameplay' is a set of sliding puzzles. The intent, it seems, is to focus much of the attention of the player to be on the story (which, as previously stated, is a strong point worthy of being pointed toward), but after all is said and done, one wonders about how necessary it was to have the title called a 'game'.

    Could the presentation have survived without the gameplay mechanics? The sliding puzzles, certainly, but one of the best things about a video game over, say, a book or a movie, is that you have the ability to interact with the world to get the most out of the storyline. There were a few things that I admired that could have only been done through use of gameplay- notes which get altered by untrustworthy narrators, and the like, but beyond that much of the exploration is required to progress the game, and the interactivity between the player and the environment is slim.

    In fact, the game 'reads' much like a visual novel. You do macguffins, and it makes story happen. But they jokingly acknowledged it several times, and clearly made an effort to keep it at a necessary minimum. To be fair, the turn-taking RPG itself stuff itself with macguffin'd tasks and elements. I dare you to tell me that the actual 'gameplay' in a Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior game is good. Enjoying the battle element out of a turn-taking RPG is like liking calculators and Excel spreadsheets for the thrilling gameplay. You do a thing, which makes you feel like you're progressing.

    But, gamewise, is there a better way to include gameplay into a title which wants to focus as much as possible onto the story? Because of the detective-like elements of gameplay, and the articulation of the scientists would be better utilized with some of the elements which made Phoenix Wright into a game. I mean, sure, I don't know anything more about law than I did when I started playing the games, but I sure as hell felt like a lawyer. Some of the clues to the mystery of the man you are helping might be better solved if a gameplay mechanic forced the player to draw some of the conclusions itself.

    The end of the game was a clear and complete story of the man whose life you explored. But what is opened to you is a very interesting world, prime with opportunity for further exploration. So long as the charm of the two scientists is not over-explored early on, I expect myself to be able to enjoy the sequels that the game's conclusion certainly seemed to be hinting at. Hopefully I can man the hell up before I play them.

    Extra Note: I want to give special commendation to the game To the Moon for including a character who has special needs successfully into the story. I won't be too specific, since every single thing about this game should be experienced through the game itself, but all I want to say is that it was amazing to get a realistic human characterization without getting the 'a very special episode' feeling. Bravo.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 24, 2011
    6
    To the Moon was both pleasing and disappointing... you see, its plot is great, not much to argue there. I even cried by its end, because it actually made me ponder my personal values. How many games truly manage to have that effect on a person? But the writing can often be hit or miss. It tries too hard to be funny when it shouldn't, an issue often linked to the character of Dr. Neil, who in many scenes crushes the mood that the game tries so hard to set. The soundtrack and art design are clearly lovingly built, and are a big plus.

    Really, To the Moon is worth playing, but feels bipolar. It feels bipolar in how it is trying to weave a complex tale that requires so much thinking and emotional investment from the player, and at the same time goes out of its way to make vomit jokes. It's a shame that it doesn't take itself more seriously. The post-ending also feels direly unnecessary, presenting a confusing and self-serving commercial hook that only dampens the impact of the real ending.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 26, 2011
    9
    Few other games have even come close to achieving what this little indie game has in it's 4 hour long gameplay period. To the moon is a sort of game which makes you howl with laughter one moment while making you weep the next. It uses every single pixel on screen to mesmerize you and astonish you as to how much emotion can be portrayed using a 16 bit look. The story takes the supreme precedence in this adventure/RPG game (though there is almost no RPG elements- apart from a very humorous jab at jRPG early in the game). The creator uses the game mostly to paint a wonderful story surrounding love, adventure, life and death. Some might not like it since gameplay takes the back seat, but I assure you that this is the kind of game which makes most of the movies and tv shows look petty. While the gameplay elements are pretty straightforward for anyone to pickup quickly, there are some small challenges along the way concerning the number of moves to complete intermittent puzzles.
    The game does falter a little bit towards the end, making use of tedious chasing sequences at one point but that is small enough to be forgiven.
    All in all this is a game which raises indie gaming to a whole different level in terms of its storytelling and the thoughtfulness of its premise- I might say as good as Braid and Limbo.
    Do yourself a favor and play this game.
    Full Review »