Let Me Play Among The Stars
Earlier this year, I checked out Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna for Coverage Club. At the time, it was an unfinished experience that promised to deliver a satisfying conclusion at a later date. Now, the entire story is complete and I can finally get on with a full deep dive.
For anyone new, Deliver Us The Moon casts you into a frightening future similar to that of Interstellar. Fossil fuels are running out as dust storms ravage the world. The World Space Agency establishes a colony on the moon which extracts Helium-3, generates power, and beams that power back to Earth using a microwave beam. It sounds like science fiction, but it is very much based on realistic technology — especially 30 years into the future.
The colony you ultimately visit is considerably large. Consider our best-known facts about using Helium-3 to generate power on the moon — 150 tons of the moon's regolith would have to be processed to get a single gram. There were a lot of people on the moon for this colony — the keyword being "were".
Five years prior to the beginning of Deliver Us The Moon, the moon base went dark with no explanation. Power transmissions halt and the World Space Agency shuts down. You and a handful of colleagues manage to cobble together a single functional rocket in the hopes of heading back up to the moon, finding out what went wrong, and restoring the flow of power.
Deliver Us The Moon Review | To The Moon
The opening moments of Deliver Us The Moon perfectly set the tone for the remainder of the story. The base you start at is practically falling apart. You have to employ several workarounds as you finish launch preparations. Even worse, a dust storm is on the way and you're on the clock.
Moving at a fast pace, you eventually find yourself sitting in the rocket, getting ready to leave Earth for what may be the last time. The launch sequence is your first serious puzzle. A poster on the side of the cockpit tells you what you need to do for each of the switches and levers you'll be tinkering with. Mess up, and you'll have to repeat the steps again, all the while fighting against time.
Once you succeed, you'll blast off into outer space on a course towards the moon. Your first objective upon arrival is docking your ship with an orbital elevator. Carefully thrusting and counter-thrusting to get things just right makes this one of the more enjoyable bits of the game.
The orbital elevator station is in a sorry state. You have to solve a few puzzles by moving around Helium-3 canisters, occasionally dealing with a hilariously short oxygen supply of three minutes. Your ultimate goal is to start up the rotation engine so the station can spin and generate enough power to operate the orbital elevator.
Then, disaster strikes. Just as you throw the lever, the station breaks apart and catapults you into space. A harrowing race against time takes place as you try to make it back to the orbital elevator and get yourself hooked in to descend down to the moon below. It is there that you will find a companion and begin to unravel the mystery behind Deliver Us The Moon.
Deliver Us The Moon Review — ASE in the Hole
You arrive at an eerily-empty Lunar colony. A facility that once housed dozens of people is now entirely empty, save for yourself. Fortunately, you won't be totally alone for long.
One of your earliest objectives will be to recover and rebuild a broken ASE unit, a hovering drone roughly the size of a basketball. At any time, you can take command of the ASE and use it to scout out an area, occasionally activating switches that are out of reach to open up doors and the like. Your ASE serves as a faithful companion throughout the remainder of the game.
Rebuilding the ASE is another one of the more entertaining puzzles; you have to assemble parts in the correct order and with the proper orientation. A simple green or red highlight will prevent you from installing the wrong part, so this mainly comes down to getting the alignment right.
One of ASE's key functions is the ability to replay holographic recordings. The holograms are decidedly low res, but they help establish the story and tell you what happened to the moon colony.
Deliver Us The Moon Review — Is It a Walking Simulator?
So far, I've talked about Deliver Us The Moon's story, setting, and puzzles. Some of you may be having the disquieting thought that this is a walking simulator. While I'd concede that Deliver Us The Moon is heavy on the story, it's also far and away from a walking simulator with no gameplay.
To start, there are the puzzles. By any definition of "walking simulator" that I would use, that prevents Deliver Us The Moon from being classified as one. While they're far from the toughest ones I've seen, they're also challenging enough that it makes for an engaging experience.
There are also more than a few platforming sections and other bits of action. You have to evade guards, jump across deadly chasms, and fly through open space in a harrowing, time-limited sequence. You even get to drive a futuristic moon rover around a few times! With all of that considered, I'm quite comfortable in saying that this is very much not a walking simulator.
Deliver Us The Moon Review — Redemption
The original release of Deliver Us The Moon was a fantastic game — right up until the point where it abruptly ended. Although it was listed on Steam as a finished game, it actually ended prematurely with the remainder being billed as "DLC." Now that I've finally had some time to put into the finished product, I have to concede that it was worth the wait.
Deliver Us The Moon executes itself very well. The lovely graphics paint a wonderful picture of a futuristic world in disrepair. The story is compelling and would fit well with any Hollywood disaster film. My only major complaint is the length — I beat this game in just under four hours.
Although there were some missteps in the early development, I'm comfortable in saying that KeokeN Interactive has effectively redeemed themselves. This is now my go-to example of a game that feels like you're playing a movie — and it does it without sacrificing entertaining gameplay. I'm excited to see what they come up with next.
TechRaptor reviewed Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna on PC via Steam with a copy provided by the publisher.
- Compelling Story
- Beautiful Graphics
- Engaging Action Sections and Puzzles
- Relatively Short Game Length
- Puzzle Solutions Occasionally Obscure