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Deliver Us The Moon

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 21 - 2019

May require a more specialised type of courier.

 

In space, no one can hear you scream. While I am sure this is true, I would be more concerned with all of the other things that no one can hear you do in space, such as gasp from breath in the lack of breathable air, or request help when floating off into the never-ending darkness. I guess what I am trying to say is that space doesn’t need an alien with loads of teeth to be scary. Humans have no place being in space, and even less being in space alone. But still, when the fate of our entire planet depends on a single person hopping up to the moon and getting things sorted out, I suppose it has to be done. In KeokeN Interactive’s single player narrative-driven puzzle adventure Deliver Us The Moon, this is exactly what the player is tasked with doing, and it is a lonely burden.

 


 
There are many things that stand out about Deliver Us The Moon, but solitude is perhaps one of the most obvious. Aside from an artificial intelligence that will help the player out down the line, the player will be all alone through their journey. From leaving Earth to reaching the space station, and on to the moon, the players companion will be the lack of companion, and there is nowhere more pressing on solitude than space. It is the size that emphasises that loneliness, and many players will find it difficult to rationalize. Deliver Us The Moon does a really good job of building that atmosphere and threat of being alone.

 
The lonely existence of Deliver Us The Moon’s hero is made all the more poignant by the brilliantly written story. Set in the near future, the Earth has basically gone the way everyone is expecting and run out of energy. However, following a certain amount of concern, the World Space Agency manages to set up a mining colony on the moon, allowing for the mining and sending to Earth of Helium-3, which should solve out energy problems for at least a while. All is going well until the Helium-3 stops arriving and the moon goes dark, as in not answering the phone. With the subsequent lack of energy again, the world can only send one person up to the moon to find out what is going on and restore the supply, otherwise it could be the end of humanity. No pressure then.

 
My clumsily typed words don’t do justice to how well the narrative is presented in the game. While I am sure that there will be brainy people out there that can pick holes in the plot and suggest why it is all rubbish, from a simple sci-fi fans point of view, the developers are presenting a plausible setting in a not too distant future. The player will not be bumping into NPCs along the way to further expand the story, but instead will be treated to all manner of dropped information, from newspaper clippings or personal notes, to security camera videos. This is not a long game, coming in at around five or so hours depending on the player, but the game uses that time to tell a really interesting story that doesn’t outstay its welcome. I will say that the ending is perhaps a little unsatisfying, but the journey to that point weaves a great, if slightly grim, tale.

 


 
Away from the narrative, the game features some light puzzle solving. Much of this puzzling comes down to working out what to do before being able to do something else, and often feels as though it is there just for the sake of presenting the player with a puzzle. The puzzles are possibly the weakest aspect of the game, possibly used to simply pad things out and make the game longer. This is not a game that will satisfy the puzzle aficionado. However, in the context of the story, many of the puzzles make logical sense, in a video game manner, and are welcome. Movement in the game is could be seen as a puzzle at times, as the developers have really pushed for realistic physics in Deliver Us The Moon, and this is most notable with the absence of gravity. It will take some getting used to, and losing ones way becomes quite easy when up could be in any direction.

 
The game is set in the near future, but there is a lot of tech that is relevant today that makes the game feel realistic. The ever present fear of space and running out of oxygen gives everything a level of tension. The story progresses and drops some pretty grim twists along the way, keeping things interesting, while the player moves from one location to another, starting on Earth before visiting various settlements on the moon.

 
All of this is well and good, but would not amount to much without the absolutely stunning visuals. The whole level of realism is certainly helped by the way everything looks so good, from the interior of the space station to the breathtaking surface of the moon. An orchestral soundtrack adds to the games desolate atmosphere, putting the weight of an entire planet’s survival on the players shoulders.

 


 
Deliver Us The Moon is a masterfully crafted adventure game with a story that both provides hope and inevitable disappointment for our future. While the story is great and the visuals sublime, the moment to moment gameplay is nothing special, and the abrupt ending will disappoint some players. But for those looking for a short, gripping sci-fi adventure, Deliver Us The Moon would be a stellar choice.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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