Deliver Us The Moon is an adventure-puzzle game where humanity’s energy consumption has grown to an unsustainable scale. That is until a new source of energy was discovered on the moon. With this new energy source, people were able to continue living their lives in peace. However, the station responsible for transmitting the power to Earth mysteriously goes dark, and with it Earth’s future dims as well. Your objective is to make it to the moon, re-establish contact with the station, and return power to the Earth.
The gameplay consists of exploring linear environments, gathering collectibles that provide story and context, and take in some light puzzle solving. Out of these three facets, the exploration and collectibles seem to be where the majority of the development’s focus has been. I say this because Deliver Us The Moon is a very story-driven game. There is no combat, although it is possible to die throughout the course of the game. Along with that, the movement feels a bit heavy and slightly sluggish, but it’s something you’ll quickly adjust to.
I do admire how well Deliver Us The Moon’s movement mechanics work in zero gravity environments, as well as the brief sequences where we are placed in control of a flying robot companion. However they aren’t completely seamless. A couple of times I got turned around while trying to move vertically and turn at the same time. That might sound oddly specific, but there are a few parts where you’ll need to navigate through tunnels and it does get a bit disorienting. Overall, though, the movement is intuitive.
I describe the puzzle solving as light because there are only a few times throughout the game when you’ll actually need to take some time to analyze the situation and figure out where to go. Usually whenever a puzzle takes any significant amount of time, it will be because of overthinking; not because of any real difficulty. I’d almost describe Deliver Us The Moon as a walking simulator because of how straightforward most of the solutions are.
I’ve found the most exciting sequences in the game to be those where I was running out of oxygen and had to race towards canisters as all manners of chaos occurred around me. These were also linear sequences that didn’t offer any real challenge, but they were fun nonetheless.
It’s all quite nice too, but as of writing, there is an unfortunate bug present in the Xbox Series X|S game – one which nearly ruined my experience.
When booted up, Deliver Us The Moon defaults to visual settings that are too high for consoles to handle. This includes maximum texturing, reflections, and so on. There is thankfully a relatively straightforward fix and all you have to do is change the graphics settings from the main menu. Regardless of the mode it defaults to, it loads the game at the higher settings and that means this must be reset every time the game is fully closed and restarted.
Playing on the Series X, and with this now being an Xbox Series X|S optimised game, I had mixed feelings on this. For starters, because of the quick resume feature that is in place on the Series consoles, you possibly won’t need to reset the visual settings once the fix is applied. On the other hand, I managed to play through the first hour and a half of the game at the higher settings. While there were visual issues and frame drops, the game’s graphics were phenomenal. After applying the fix, the graphics are noticeably less impressive. I was unable to play at the higher settings because it was constantly crashing once I made it to the moon’s surface due to the environment being more complex. The game still looked good, but after comparing the visuals to what they could’ve been, it’s hard to remain objective when assessing their quality.
There are no loading screens though, and Deliver Us The Moon plays incredibly well after the fix. As soon as an update is published that deals with the default settings issue, Deliver Us The Moon will definitely qualify as a next-gen game.
My time with Deliver Us The Moon has been tainted by the aforementioned visual settings bug. It greatly affected my experience with the game for the first two hours; a considerable amount when you consider it only took around six to seven hours to play through. This means around a third of my time with the game was less than optimal. It’s unfortunate because I think I would’ve enjoyed it more without spending time attempting to play without it crashing on me. Which is what I did until I learned about how to actually fix the issue.
Issues like that may mean you’ll be ready to give up on the game and it’s hard to come back from that mentality once you get there. Stick through things and ensure the fix is actioned and you’ll find that Deliver Us The Moon, and the story itself, is interesting, if not a little predictable.
Deliver Us The Moon is available from the Xbox Store