Review: I Wish I were the Moon

I wish I were the Moon, on Kongregate.
Edit: I wish I were the Moon (Redux) on Daniel Benmergui’s blog, Ludomancy!

Art video games aren’t all that common yet. Like film in the 70s, gaming as a medium for artists is only just recently becoming a possibility; the barriers of technical skill are slowly disappearing as people become more comfortable with computers and the technology to create these games becomes more common each day.

I wish I were the Moon is an adorable art game which is essentially a puzzle (though you could call it a toy), based on The Distance of the Moon by Italo Calvino. The game is a beautiful example of pixel art, uses magnificently simple interaction, and intelligently rewards players for curiosity.

I am confident that virtually ANYONE could figure this game out and beat it, which isn’t to say it isn’t trick, but rather that it’s short and simple to learn. The game presents a single screen, with a reticule cursor. It takes almost no time to discover that the reticule takes photos, and that the photos can be placed to arrange the scene. From there, the imagination takes off — what happens if I drop them in the characters in the water? What happens if I put the guy on the boat, or the girl on the moon?

Part of the brilliance of I Wish I were the Moon is that it wants you to try everything — by offering the players several different endings, it encourages players to rearrange the scene over and over, looking for them all. In doing so, we learn about the simple characters and the strange love triangle that the game explores.

While I wish I were the Moon isn’t a very long game, it’s approach to telling a story is unique and fascinating. Clearly it is a portent for a new generation of art beginning to unfold, digitally.

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One Response to “Review: I Wish I were the Moon”

  1. Daniel Benmergui Says:

    One of the most thoughtful interpretations I have seen. Keep it up!

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