Sunday, December 4, 2011


To the Moon
Released: 11.1.11
Platform: PC
Developer: Freebird Games
Publisher: Freebird Games

Watch this trailer and you will discover a reason why I love video games. They can be unapologetic in their style and presentation (here's a game done in the SNES style, especially reminiscent of "Final Fantasy VI" I'm told, I really wouldn't know), but yet so heartfelt in an attempt to create a unique and meaningful experience.

Not all games are created equal. Some strive to be nothing more than an amusing pastime. But like 2009's "Braid," this title looks to be a game that has forgone the latest and greatest graphics and engines and is more interested in telling a deep story through a more classical toolbox. That said, there is no deny in the beauty and detail in this overhead-view experience. I understand that this typical RPG-flair might not appeal to all gamers, but I think if given a chance it could prove to anyone how it can stand its own ground very well. While it may be done in that "classic"-style, I'd argue it has never looked so crisp and clean and colorful.

The story of "To the Moon" is quite appealing. A man, nearing the end of his life, is given a chance to live again (through technology that allows artificial yet permanent memories). Those on their death beds are given this choice. Johnny Wiles is in such a situation and, for a mysterious reason, wants to go to the moon. In an "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"-esque manner, the technicians must go into the memories of their patient. In an "Inception"-esque manner that plant a desire in mind of Johnny as a child. What if you were given this chance? What if you've already taken it and didn't even know?

I tend to think this is "The Artist" (yet another filmic reference) of video games for 2011. That film released earlier this year and is a black-and-white silent film set in Hollywood during the late 1920s when the advent of sound was changing lives on and off the screen. Like that film (or at least the trailer I have seen for that film) here is a new game made to look classic and the result is beautiful. Both trailers are greatly aided by their use of music.

Earlier today "Complex" posted that it could be coming to Mac next year (it is currently only available on Windows) based on Tweets from the game's creator, Kan "Rieves" Gao. That would mean I'd be able to play it, so I'm hoping for such an undertaking.

I found this trailer to be stunning (aesthetically and in concept). Johnny wants to go the moon and so do I.

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