Ninjas Cutting Onions – To The Moon

“Why do you want to go to the Moon?”

“I don’t remember.”

This was one of the most touching games I’ve ever played. I am actually having trouble right now finding the right words to express what an amazing experience this was for me. Some might think how silly it is that a simple pixel graphic based game can evoke such emotions. Well, those people are wrong.

Nowadays it seems graphics are the only thing people care about, which of course is understandeable, then again this results ever so often in poor to none storytelling. Not to mention, since people are so focused on visuals alone, they tend to miss out on gems like this one.

2017-04-19 12_53_21-To the Moon

The game was made Freebird Games and was so far the only one I have had the chance to play. They are going to release a new game this summer though and after finishing To The Moon, I am quite enthusiastic about that one.

As I mentioned already, this is a pixel graphics based game with some drawn “cutscenes” from time to time. The story is about and old man on his deathbed who hires a company which can grant wishes. Not exactly how we imagine this though. What they do is they implant a thought into your past memories which changes the entire process and basically you end up “living” a different life in your head right before you die. So in some way, you wish was fulfilled.

In this scenario our client wishes to go to the moon. Problem is not just that this whish is a bit far-fetched but he also cannot remember why he wants to go there. So our protagonists, the two scientists who deal with this kind of work, start digging deeper and deeper into the old man’s past so that in the end they can grant him his dying wish.

I am not going to go into the story any further, since I hate spoilers and this game is definitely one that people should experience on their own, not read about it. Just make sure you keep a pack of tissues close, you will need it!

Oh and just a sidenote: The music is amazingly beautiful! I rarely speak about soundtracks, because most of them are just there to… Well, to have something in the background. Many times I just turn them off and listen to my own songs. But not this time. Sometimes I just stood there and did nothing, just listened to the dazzling songs playing over and over again. The music set the mood perfectly, switching from happy times to sad ones, making you feel anxious and scared, making you reach for tissues (told ya they will come in handy!).

To sum it up in one sentence: BUY THIS GAME! It is a work of art indeed, a real masterpiece. Of course, if you are the type who needs 4k graphics and whatnot, then this game is not for you. But if you don’t mind, or can look past pixel graphics (which I think are actually pretty well done and look good), then get it. You will not regret it!

Playtime: ca. 4 hours

Steam page

 

The Elephant in the Room – Distraint

Now, this was an interesting experience. I got this game on a BundleStars give-away and finally got around to finishing it. I think this was one of the shortest games I’ve ever played, only reaching about 2 hours of playtime. Still, the story itself was quite amazing and also pretty disturbing.

The game is developed by a guy named Jesse Makkonen who as far as I can tell only made one more game besides this one, so he is quite new in the field of indie game developement.

The game is described as sort of an indie-drama-horror type which follows down a linear path. Don’t hope to change the course of the events, this time you just go with the flow. I have to admit, this did make me angry a few times, since I am an avid RPG played and most of the times used to the freedom (or at least pretended freedom) of choices I have. Well, in this game, you have none, zero, nada, null, *insert other words meaning zero* choices, even if you disagree with what’s happening, there is nothing you can do about it. Luckily the story flows well and I could sort of become one with the main character, even if once or twice his annoying decisions made crawl up a wall (was that too Hunglish?).

There are also some puzzles to solve which made the game quite interesting, since (most of the time) they made sense, but were not too obvious. For me, the perfect puzzle experience.

The music gave the whole game a really nice atmosphere, sometimes scaring the living crap outta me. And about the horror part, well, I think it was not that scary, rather disturbing, which is fine by me. I hate these jump-scares, this is why I also avoid most horror titles like the plague. But this one was pleasant, or as pleasant as a horror game can be. Made my stomach turn a tiny bit a few times though.

All-in-all, I would recommend this game to anyone who is not too hung up on AAA titles and 4k graphics, since the story is pretty damn amazing (though not the best I have ever played, but still better than most games nowadays). The game itself is 5 Euros on steam when it sells for full price, if you find it to be too much, wait for a sale and buy it for cheaper, like for example the current sale price for 0,69 EUR is more than worth it. And since I was lucky enough to get it for free, I feel like the Gods have smiled upon me and blessed me with this small gem of modern game developement.

Oh and I’ve heard it is also available on Android for all them mobile players. Not sure how it plays on that though, only finished it on PC.

Playtime: ca. 2 hours

Steam page

Google play page