Deliver Us The Moon Review
Deliver Us The Moon originally launched back in 2018 but was since re-released across multiple platforms by Wired Productions, publishers of Martha is Dead. It is a narrative adventure that tells the story of the desperate mission of Fortuna One, a lone astronaut sent to the Moon to investigate the cause of The Great Blackout.
Due to the energy crisis on Earth, the collective powers that be established The World Space Agency to solve this problem, which led to the discovery of Helium-3, a resource found on the Moon. Decades later, all power is cut off and now a group of astronauts race against time to investigate the cause of the Great Blackout.
What will you discover? Is it something much bigger than it seems? In the end, all of humanity is counting on your discovery, so whatever it takes, deliver us the moon.
Fly me to the Moon
I’ve played my fair share of narrative adventure games, with my interest being piqued by some of the best in the genre, including Firewatch and What Remains of Edith Finch. Recently, releases like The Medium and Martha is Dead have missed their collective marks.
How does Deliver Us The Moon fare? After playing it for the first time, I’d say it belongs with some of the best of them, with it being originally released in 2018.
Many similar games fall into the trap of delivering one gimmick after another without a satisfying final payoff, but Deliver Us The Moon really pushes for that existential space thriller akin to films like Moon, Solaris, and 2001: Space Odyssey. The quality is unmistakable, as Deliver Us The Moon tells an immersive story rather than drowning us in endless codex entries (but more on that later).
You start your journey on Earth where your only interaction with a human being is Claire, the project leader for Fortuna. As you inch further away from Earth and closer to your final destination, radio communication becomes a lot more spaced out and you will be spending your time alone. It is quite lonely, but it is definitely never boring.
Some of the best mechanics of Deliver Us The Moon is really getting you immersed into the reality of being an astronaut on a desperate mission to save humanity. The gravity mechanics are simple but disorienting, which takes a bit of getting used to. There are moments of tension when you’re placed in peril, and it takes quick thinking to get out of these situations.
The game provides some high-stakes situations that are really gripping, and while most situations are quite simple, the first time through provides that edge-of-your-seats thriller moment lost in many similar titles.
Ground Control to Major Tom
There are two modes of play in Deliver Us Moon: Exploration mode in first person and Investigation mode in third person. While it may come across as gimmicky at first, these modes have their own unique and operational purpose.
Investigation mode is what we normally see in games like Firewatch and Martha is Dead. In this mode, you solve situational puzzles like moving platforms into hard-to-reach areas and scanning items for your codex.
As mentioned, the codex in Deliver Us The Moon actually serves some purpose in the grand scheme of things instead of being an expository dump for the lore. You’ll be reconstructing a corrupted sound byte and the more intel you collect, the closer you’ll get to solving the mystery. It brings back why it’s fun to collect these tidbits because the individual info points are interesting in themselves and provides a lot of intriguing backstories.
Exploration mode is where most of the “action” of Deliver Us The Moon takes place. Timed missions take place and will test you in certain instances, like when you enter into areas with no oxygen, interact with hazardous objects like live electrical wires, or even traverse into deep space with seconds away from being stranded. It actually provides us an Uncharted level of excitement absent from many games of this type.
The puzzles are quite simple and don’t gate you from progress. In my experience, what blocks me from progressing is trying to orient myself in areas where corridors look quite uniform. I had to adapt to thinking in 3D, taking into consideration the verticality of the level. It was annoying at first, but it ultimately adds to the immersive experience.
Another Lonely Satellite
Ultimately, the biggest motivator to play Deliver Us The Moon is its presentation of the story. From its environmental cues to its ultimate mystery, it blends gameplay and video game storytelling in the best way it can within the genre limits. I’ve waited quite a while since Firewatch to experience this type of adventure, and I’m a little disappointed I didn’t discover Deliver Us The Moon much earlier.
It takes about 5-6 hours to complete the journey and another 8 hours to retrieve everything, which is definitely par for the course for the genre. As with every narrative adventure, its biggest flaw definitely is its replayability.
While a second run of the game is relegated to discovering areas and collecting codex points you’ve missed, the highs that you’ve experienced during the first run won’t be as memorable. Yet with these types of games, it’s really all about your first time.
What we liked:
- An exciting game that pushes forward the thriller aspect well.
- Two modes of play, each providing its own unique way of exploration and investigation.
- Collecting codex pieces add to the whole charm of the game.
- Story and mystery is engaging enough and keeps you glued until the end.
What we didn’t like:
- Initial exploration may be a bit disorienting to some.
- Lack of replayability.
Verdict: Buy It!
Deliver Us The Moon, I would say, deserves a place up there with the likes of Firewatch, What Remains of Edith Finch, and Gone Home. It presents an engaging story and an even deeper sense of immersive storytelling seen through the collection of codex, environmental cues, and exciting set pieces that propel us to find out the answer to the ultimate mystery.
While it is a short experience and replayability is relegated to completing your codex, Deliver Us The Moon is a title that should be experienced to be believed. With good use of gravity mechanics and actual cues for adventure, your first run of the game will surely be a blast.
For me, it brought back that sense of adventure of wanting to be an astronaut and exploring the unknown. Thank you KeokeN Interactive and Wired Productions for the wild ride.
*Deliver Us The Moon was reviewed on a PS5 with a review code provided by the publisher.