Over the Moon is a short space-themed puzzle game that was released for NaNoRenO 2021 by Bob Conway Games. It can be played in the browser or downloaded to play offline.
In Over the Moon, you take control over Commander Morgan Nar, who finds himself stranded in space with a depleting oxygen supply. When almost all hope is lost, Nar is picked up by an alien spaceship. Unfortunately, the alien inside doesn’t speak the same language, so it is your goal as the player to solve puzzles around the ship in an attempt to get back home.
Over the Moon is a self-described “puzzle-driven” visual novel. While there is a narrative that moves the story forward, the real shining star of the game is the puzzles that players need to solve in order to get through each room on the ship. Ultimately, the puzzles are extremely well done and engaging. I’m impressed with what the team was able to pull together in just a month.
Puzzles range from clicking the correct button to rearranging puzzle pieces back in order. You’re able to choose the difficulty level of the puzzles at the start of the game. However, I’ll admit that some of these difficulty settings are a bit vague. Are simplified puzzles more difficult than the puzzles in easy mode?
I do like the option to skip puzzles altogether. This allows you to enjoy the story without having to agonize over particularly difficult problems. With a lot of options, you’ll be sure to find a level of difficulty that fits your play style.
While VN-only mode is a nice and thoughtful addition to the game, it does feel a bit out of place. When you interact with a puzzle, Commander Nar will simply narrate what he had to do to solve the puzzle. It’s unengaging and drags the story on a bit.
The story in Over the Moon isn’t anything extravagant or ground breaking, but I don’t think it’s meant to be. We’re told a tale that puts us in a situation where we need to solve puzzles. By the end, I didn’t feel particularly compelled by the narrative. Unfortunately, because the story is so short, there’s not much time spent on characterization or world building, leaving Commander Nar feeling very flat.
There are multiple choices you can make in the game, including to search certain rooms and interact with particular puzzles. You’ll be able to get multiple endings, and if you miss something, Commander Nar will lament on it. This is a helpful tip for players who may want to dive in again and try for another ending.
The art in Over the Moon seems to be 3D-rendered, which I think fits the game quite nicely. Paired with the GUI, the game has a very futuristic vibe.
Over the Moon is a fun way to pass the time if you’re looking for a puzzle game with a bit of a challenge.
You can download the game or play it in your browser on itch.io for free.