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77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: Moon is full of so many subtleties in the characters, their strange personalities, and idiosyncratic ways of communicating. We wanted to do even more testing than usual to make sure all of that came through clearly, felt special, and guided you properly through its world.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Oct 28, 2020
    92
    Moon is not only a great game, but an important piece of video game history that has clearly influenced Japanese developers and even the modern indie scene through games like Toby Fox’s Undertale. On a personal level, I found Moon a delightful experience that continues to hold my heart captive, and I feel justified in calling it a masterpiece. Relatable, smart, funny, and powerful, Moon is everything I wanted it to be during all those years of waiting and more.
  2. Sep 10, 2020
    90
    Genre defining works rarely stand the test of time, but moon is a rare exception to this rule. It not only holds up today, but is probably still one of the best “anti-games” out there. In addition to a quirky sense of self-awareness you’d come to expect from this genre, there’s a raw authenticity that makes it stand out among the rest. It understands its own simplicity and scale, and tells a story that fits exactly what it sets out to do. The ending isn’t bombastic in any way, but the experience is simple enough to benefit the obtuse storytelling. moon a great game that is unapologetic about the flaws in a way that feels earnest, which is hard to say about almost any other game trying to achieve that.
  3. Sep 4, 2020
    85
    Moon's commentary on the nature of its hero, expressed not only through its narrative but also its entire suite of mechanics, is its toolbox for deconstructing the template of the JRPG. Learning it's a long-lost game from 1997, operating with the inescapable sentimentality and eccentricity of the modern indie scene, underscores how long it took the rest of the world to reach places Moon had already been. Even with its anachronisms, Moon is a surprising novelty.
  4. Sep 4, 2020
    80
    Unique and charming, moon is an experience not for everyone, but who dares to go beyond its learning curve is going to find a gem beneath the surface.
  5. Sep 10, 2020
    80
    With a bit of good old determination, however, Moon's flaws and frustrations are easily overcome. Despite being almost 25 years old, Moon remains a thoughtful, beautiful experience that has a lot to say about the static nature of video games, how the way stories are presented affects our perceptions of reality, the rewarding nature of kindness and stewardship, and how simply being a part of the world makes us important and valuable. I don't think I'll forget my experience in Moon World anytime soon, and should you embark on this journey and see it through to its conclusion, I doubt you will, either.
  6. Sep 4, 2020
    75
    Every time Moon would lose me with its constant waiting around or head-scratching puzzle solutions, it would win me back with its humor, characters, writing, and music. This is a game that exudes joy, and while I wasn't always having fun playing it, I am grateful that I at least got the chance to experience it.
  7. Oct 25, 2020
    60
    Ultimately moon too often hides its often blinding originality behind unclear design and an unnecessarily slow pace. For those with patience this is a game worth investigating – but for most this is a cult classic probably best avoided.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Sep 3, 2020
    10
    Despite the fact that this game was originally made over 20 years ago, it still holds up surprisingly well today. I've never played anythingDespite the fact that this game was originally made over 20 years ago, it still holds up surprisingly well today. I've never played anything like this before now and I'm glad I did. Expand
  2. Sep 10, 2020
    10
    This game exceeded my expectations in every way. The music/characters/story were all beautifully implemented. I can't remember the last time aThis game exceeded my expectations in every way. The music/characters/story were all beautifully implemented. I can't remember the last time a game made me emotional but this game really did me in. Expand
  3. Sep 2, 2020
    10
    A timeless masterpiece of awe inspiring gaming art.

    If you love undertale it’s worth checking out as this is the original subversive RPG cult
    A timeless masterpiece of awe inspiring gaming art.

    If you love undertale it’s worth checking out as this is the original subversive RPG cult classic
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  4. Sep 11, 2020
    9
    The story of moon is that you are a little boy playing an RPG called Moon. After your Mom tells you to go to bed, you get sucked into the gameThe story of moon is that you are a little boy playing an RPG called Moon. After your Mom tells you to go to bed, you get sucked into the game world. Instead of being the Hero in the game, you now play as a walking set of clothes, tasked by the Queen of the Moon to gather Love.

    moon is deconstructive because you are not the Hero of the game. No, you're the person cleaning up after the Hero by resurrecting dead animals, preventing the slaughtering of the innocent, improving the lives of the towns folk, etc. The game instead shows the selfishness of heroism and great man fantasy: murder for personal gain, rummaging through people's stuff and taking their items, even cruelty for the sake of getting things over with quicker--such as using a LVL 20 spell on a LVL 5 enemy. Instead of gaining experience, moon asks you to gain Love. You gain Love by finding a slaughtered animal's soul & returning it to their body and helping out people with their issues. Gaining Love increases your Love Level, which increases your energy to walk farther and explore more.

    Mechanically, the game is most reminiscent to Chibi-Robo and Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. From Chibi-Robo, you have the gameplay loop of improving people's lives to gain more Love/happiness points which allow you to explore more areas to help more people. From Majora's Mask, the games takes NPCs having unique schedules, melancholic and off-beat humor, and running out of time gets you a Game Over. In moon, though, you get a Game Over by running out of energy. So you want to gain as much Love as possible so you can explore and help people to your hearts content. In order to level up, restore your energy, and save, you need to sleep in either Gramby's bed or your own. Eating food also gives you a bit more energy.

    The game's aesthetics combine 32-bit sprite work, claymation, and pre-rendered graphics to create an almost Henry Selick looking world that is both cute and off-putting. The music and ambience are excellent as well. Though, the music is handled in an interesting way. Most areas are silent, so can make your own playlist of songs to play in the background. These songs range from electronic to hip-hop to jazz to rock and are all quite good. This adds to deconstructive nature of the game by giving you more agency than usually, reminding you that you are still in a game.

    The hardest part of the game is the beginning. You have such little energy, are still getting used to the game, and are only given the direction of finding Love. It can feel trial and error, where you have to repeat the first day a few times just to understand your own limits and the easiest ways to find Love so you can start truly exploring and getting lost in the world of moon. I won't lie and say it wasn't frustrating at first. But once you start racking up Love Levels, the game becomes far more forgiving. If you want a tip: either expect to do the first day a couple times or be conservative by spending the first few days gaining Love and immediately heading back to bed. But once the world opens it, it's easy to get lost in--in a good way. The best video games are the ones that immerse you, and playing moon makes me feel like I'm inhabiting its world.

    Of course, it's also an old game, so modern qualities of life don't exist in-game. There is no auto-save in a traditional sense, the game instead auto-saves once you sleep. Game Overs take you back to the last time you slept, which can be unforgiving. The games is also inspired by 90s adventure games it seems, as you have to figure out a lot of things on your own (though, the publishers provided a pdf of the manual which is extremely helpful). You also move slow which helps makes those first couple days frustrating and came to a head when I had to follow a dog to find his hiding spot only for him to out walk me every night I tried. The pace itself can feel slower than comparable games. Majora's Mask only had three days to worry about; moon has a full week. The path forward can be obtuse. The game is non-linear, so there is a lot of stuff that can be missed the first time around in terms of story, context, and content. But I don't find that last part a flaw, really. If we can laud Dark Souls for a similar feature, then then I find it part of the reason going back to moon can be so enduring: to really dive headfirst into a game's world.

    Despite the game's own anti-escapist musings, I found moon to be quite absorbing. Even after getting far on some in-game days only to lose progress due to a lack of time management on my part leading to a Game Over and then quitting in fruition, I found myself loading the game back up less than an hour later because I was so invested. It has flaws. It shows it age, it can be unforgiving, the pacing is slow, and it really throws you in the deep end as soon as you gain control. However, once the learning curve is conquered, it was a deeply rewarding experience in richly written world.
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  5. Aug 28, 2020
    8
    It's a unique game with a rather obvious influence on a lot of games that came after it. It does a fantastic job of making you actually wantIt's a unique game with a rather obvious influence on a lot of games that came after it. It does a fantastic job of making you actually want to explore the world, interact with everything, and learn about the inhabitants. There's a few nitpicks I have, like the game not explaining some mechanics very well or being somewhat slow and tedious in a few spots. But it is an older game that expects you to have read a manual, which is available online and I highly recommend you flip through it a bit before you play so that you're not too lost or frustrated. Expand
  6. Aug 28, 2020
    8
    Imagine if Luigi's Mansion, Zelda: Majora's Mask and Mario RPG had a child. This is Moon. A unique "Puzzle/Adventure" that makes satire of theImagine if Luigi's Mansion, Zelda: Majora's Mask and Mario RPG had a child. This is Moon. A unique "Puzzle/Adventure" that makes satire of the old school JRPG tropes of games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy and makes you win over the love of monsters, instead of killing them, and help out NPCs with their daily needs and life goals. It's a slow-paced, cleverly designed game where you need to observe the patterns of the world's inhabitants, plan your next moves and discover the world, one step at a time. It's full of humor, great characters and charm. Expand