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‘Deliver Us The Moon’ Review: More Than A Sparkle

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‘Deliver Us The Moon’ Review: More Than A Sparkle

There's something about science fiction that's perfect for puzzles. Fantastical technologies and otherworldly locations combine to create wonder and excitement, but also mystery. Put all that together and you have a world where each obstacle is met with a desire to overcome it. Where tension is treated with patience. Where curiosity pushes us further. Deliver Us The Moon understands all of this, and while perhaps not offering us the prize its title suggests, it does a lot more than simply sparkle.

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It's difficult not to compare Deliver Us The Moon to The Turing Test, as both games are sci-fi puzzlers set in mysterious space stations that expand the story through their environments. That should bode well for DUTM then, because I love The Turing Test. But it's not that simple.

Deliver Us The Moon / Credit: KeokeN Interactive
Deliver Us The Moon / Credit: KeokeN Interactive

Deliver Us The Moon quickly establishes its own identity, blending first- and third-person perspectives to suit different sections of gameplay. You'll investigate abandoned labs, pilot lunar rovers and walk among the stars, all while trying to provide energy to a ravaged Earth in desperate need of resources.

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Through all of this, you'll face a variety of puzzles. Some are as simple as moving power sources from one system to another, while others pit you against lethal electrical fields. Every challenge is fun and never really unfair thanks to adequate time limits and respawn points if you should die during the process, which is likely to happen a couple times. Even if you avoid electrocution, there's plenty of opportunities to run out of oxygen in DUTM - so don't say I didn't warn you.

Overcoming these challenges leads to new areas, and with that new collectibles to find. These range from email exchanges to audio logs, as well as hologram cutscenes that give you insight into what happened in the now-abandoned spaces you're puzzling your way through. This is how you uncover the story of Deliver Us The Moon.

Deliver Us The Moon / Credit: KeokeN Interactive
Deliver Us The Moon / Credit: KeokeN Interactive
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The narrative is enjoyable, and draws compelling parallels to reality thanks to its emphasis on Earth's vulnerability. There are moments that hit hard when you see the actions and consequences of the characters who went before you, making it easy to get swept up in DUTM.

However, the puzzles are the true strength of Deliver Us The Moon, especially the way the game incorporates them. As well as walking around carrying batteries to power various systems, you'll also float through space looking for oxygen tanks, while some challenges require you to obey a certain rhythm or else be hit by a potentially deadly blast.

Then there's your ASE, an adorable little droid that floats alongside you. You can assume control of this cute companion, using it to reach areas beyond your character's reach, and this expands the puzzles beautifully. The ASE is only used in first-person, making for a fun and satisfying way to navigate the environment as you duck in and out of vents to access otherwise locked-off areas.

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Deliver Us The Moon / Credit: KeokeN Interactive
Deliver Us The Moon / Credit: KeokeN Interactive

The main issue I have with Deliver Us The Moon is its tendency to freeze when you complete challenges or access new areas. Hopefully this will be resolved with a patch, but it really breaks the immersion when the game stumbles virtually every time you do something right.

In addition to this, if you are unlucky enough to fail a challenge or get yourself killed, the loading time until you respawn is uncomfortably long. This wait is often accompanied by the sound of whatever killed you, which is an unwelcome reminder of what you did wrong despite you already being aware of it, because you saw the damn thing kill you.

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There are also times where the controls feel a bit rough, making it tricky to go in the direction you want or even simply press a button on time. The latter can also happen because DUTM won't load the option to engage with said button quick enough. Again, hopefully all of this can be patched out.

Deliver Us The Moon / Credit: KeokeN Interactive
Deliver Us The Moon / Credit: KeokeN Interactive

In short, you don't want to sleep on Deliver Us The Moon if you enjoy sci-fi puzzlers. The five-to-seven-hour playtime feels about right, and there's a healthy amount of replayability too, especially thanks to a few trophies that require you to complete sections in certain ways.

The blend of intricate puzzles and survival in space creates thrilling tension, and the way the soundtrack suits each moment of triumph and discovery makes you feel like you're really out there among the stars on an epic quest.

7/10: Very Good

Deliver Us The Moon is released today for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and was tested using PlayStation 4 code supplied by Wired Productions. The game is also available for PC now, and releases for Nintendo Switch later in 2020. Read a guide to our review scores here.

Featured Image Credit: Wired Productions

Topics: Xbox One, Review, Indie Games, PlayStation 4, PS4

James Daly
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