Deliver Us the Moon is set in the very near future, and things are not looking particularly rosy for the Earth. Natural resources have been depleted and environmental damage is so severe that large land masses are slowly being turned into desert. Humanity is a pretty versatile species, and with a strong hunger to survive we can sometimes put aside our differences and work together -- which is how the World Space Agency was formed.
A colony was set up on the moon to harvest an isotope called Helium-3, and powerful technology was invented to beam energy down to Earth. Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a game if the energy crisis was solved and everything was completely hunky-dory. In 2054, the lights suddenly went out, the energy transmission stopped, and all communication from the colony and space station ceased. It’s taken five years, but a group of scientists have put together a mission to send one astronaut into space to find out what’s happened and try to get things back up and running. You are that astronaut.
It’s a pretty intriguing set up and you can really feel the weight of humanity’s survival resting on your shoulders. The game plays out as a mix of walking simulator, puzzle game, and has a couple of platforming sections thrown in too. While it only lasts around eight hours it’s quite the rollercoaster of an adventure. You’ll be working your way from one problem to the next, fixing up systems enabling you to progress into the next area.
Your perspective switches between first and third person depending on the situation you're in. This can really help to increase the tension of a situation in a very subtle way. There are times when you’ll get to explore at your own leisurely pace but there are also a number of points in the game where events will push you to move on quickly. These are some of the most dramatic and exciting moments of the game, and there’s nothing quite like leaping across the depths of space to try to grab an oxygen pack before your air runs out.
Most of the puzzles you come across are not particularly hard to figure out but that works well to keep you in the mindset of an astronaut with a vitally important mission -- no locked door can ever hold you back for too long. As you progress further, the things you come across will start to get trickier. For example, the first time you have to realign a satellite, it’s a fairly simple case of pressing a few buttons, but eventually you’ll need to climb up structures that are crumbling down around you before you can get things back on track.
There are also a couple of sections where you’ll need to keep out of the way of hostile robots. You don’t have any kind of weapons to hand so you’ll really feel quite vulnerable at times. If you do end up dying, it always feels like your fault for not being more careful rather than the game being unfair. There’s a fairly generous checkpoint system which means that you’ll be able to quickly reattempt whatever it was that got the better of you.
You won’t be going through all of this completely on your own, and will have a silent robot companion to keep you company. It comes in quite handy during some parts of your journey as you can take direct control of it and send it off to places that you can’t reach. Even though you can’t have a conversation with your little flying buddy, it’s amazing how connected you end up feeling to it.
You’ll be exploring a number of different locations and they all have unique types of environmental challenges. Whether you’re travelling across a space station in a weightless environment, or driving a moon buggy across the surface of the moon, it all feels different and it’s exciting to see what experiences the game has for you in each area.
Sometimes it’s good to just take a moment to stop and take a look around. The game has some absolutely gorgeous views, whether you’re looking out across the vast emptiness of space, or the serene sight of the silvery moonscape you’ll find it hard to not stop and gaze out of every window you see.
As you work your way across the various facilities there are many collectables to find. These help to fill in the backstory of what happened in the days leading up to the blackout and what followed afterwards. Many of the collectables take the form of holograms and voice logs, and even though you’ll only get brief glances into the lives of the people who worked there, you’ll find yourself really invested in finding out what happened to them. All the voice actors give really strong performances throughout, so it’s easy to feel connected to these people that you’ve never met.
The game has a couple of minor niggles which can unfortunately break you out of your immersion. Things like the game freezing for a second or two when entering a new area, or slow loading times when you die and wait to reload at a checkpoint. None of these things will completely spoil your fun -- it’s just a shame to run into issues like this on an otherwise very polished game.
Deliver Us the Moon is a short but exciting adventure set in the beautiful depths of space. With the fate of humanity in your hands you’ll feel determined to see things through to the end. There’s a good variety of puzzles you’ll need to solve, and while none of them are particularly difficult, the real pleasure is in seeing what new wonders the game has in store for you in each area.