To The Moon - Nintendo Switch
To the Moon is the first game in a planned series about two scientists, Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts, who specialise in a peculiar field. They practise a technology that allows them to alter people's memories. People who hire them can thus have them change their life, but only in their memory, erasing mistakes and guilt, and fulfilling unrealized potential. When patients wake up, they remember a life they never lived or forgot about regrets.
In this particular story Eva and Neil visit an old man called Johnny who is already in a coma. He lost his wife River some years ago and his life wish was to go to the moon. Neil and Eva enter his dying mind – time is running out – to weave new memories; to make him remember having become an astronaut and having travelled to the moon.
Even though the game is made with RPG Maker XP, the gameplay is much closer to a visual novel, along with some puzzle elements from the adventure genre. It largely consists of a series of conversations, with an entirely linear story and no ability to deviate. To create the new memory, Eva and Neil need to travel back into the patient's memory as far as necessary to introduce the needed sparks and to let it unfold. Initially they only have access to the most recent memories and they need to trace back a way into the man's youth in different phases. This is done by establishing memory links. By reliving the man's life in a reversed order – overhearing conversations and exploring the locations – orbs are collected that can be put into a memento. Once activated, a small puzzle needs to be solved to gain access to an earlier life period.
Because of the reversed chronology in storytelling, the causes for consequences are only revealed afterwards. Strange occurrences such as origami rabbits all over the house and River's fascination for a lighthouse and a toy platypus are only revealed gradually as the scientists travel back farther. They can walk around freely inside the memory, freeze characters, and introduce changes. None of these are influenced by the player however. The player's input is limited to free exploration, examining objects, and triggering the events that continue the story. Characters that are not remembered by the patient are shown as vague outlines. Near the end of the game additional gameplay options are opened up, including horseback riding and a number of action sequences. The doctors have access to a menu screen where notes, items, and information about characters are stored.
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