Elevator to the Moon! Turbo Champions Editions
Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs
Developed By: Roccat Games Studios
Published By: Arcade Distillery
Category: Puzzle, Point & Click
Release Date: March 6, 2019
It’s not everyday that I get to talk about a game that’s main objective is to reach the moon by creating a high-tech elevator. In fact I don’t think I have ever had the chance to talk about a game with such a specific mission. There’s a first time for everything I guess, so let’s see if it’s worth the time to build an elevator to the moon.
Elevator To The Moon is a 3D Point & Click Puzzle game developed by Roccat Games Studios. The story centers around a space cadet who is tasked by the President of the world to complete an elevator to the moon, to make the president look good.
The entire game is laid out in an episodic form where you’ll return to the small hub area to choose which episode you want to play. In all honesty the story is as weird as it sounds and that’s the point. It’s comedic at some points, but at the same time it’s a bit cringe-inducing. The whole story really comes off as a really cheesy sci-fi movie plot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t expect most people will get a lot of enjoyment out of the story.
Elevator To The Moon was originally developed as a VR game, and it’s pretty easy to tell. You’ll spend most of the game inside your small enclosed capsule. You don’t get to move yourself around, so actions are done by simply grabbing a hold of items. I think this brings up one of the problems with taking a game that is meant for virtual reality, and taking that aspect out of the game.
For the better part of this 2-3 hour journey you’ll be solving relatively simple puzzles. It doesn’t help that everything you need is always in your general proximity. I mean you just have to look around, and you will eventually find the solution. As a VR title I’m sure it was kind of interesting because you’re putting yourself into the space cadet’s position. Without VR the game comes across as tedious, and very light on content.
There’s no real satisfaction when you solve a puzzle because you didn’t have to work that hard to do it. Open up something grab item A, use it to complete the next step. Now there’s a bit of difference in the puzzles where you actually have to look for clues and use your brain a bit to solve them. Even still the slightly more complex puzzles never succeeded in grabbing my attention. The whole game feels kind of like a half-baked attempt at an escape room. There are two possible endings you can get on you’ll have to play the final chapter twice to try each one. Unfortunately the endings are pretty lackluster, and really didn’t feel worth the playthrough to see.
There’s only one time where the gameplay focus shifts from puzzle solving to an arcade style. Once you’re closing in on the final chapter you will play through three levels of a mini game that involves hitting bats (yeah the flying ones). This is an exclusive to the Turbo Champion’s Edition of the game. You have to stand on a platform and hit bats before they get past you to move on to the final chapter.
You can choose to fight the bats with any of the weapons you’ve unlocked. While you’re playing the chapters you may find little statues drifting in the sky. If you pick one up you unlock a new weapon to use for this arcade mode.
This arcade style felt completely out of sync with the rest of the game. It was a sudden and seemingly random addition, I felt was really unnecessary. The core gameplay wasn’t great, but shifting it into something completely different so suddenly, made things worse. I think Elevator to the Moon would have fared better without the inclusion of this mode at all. Understandably the developers would want to give something to make the experience different for Switch players, but this was not the right way of going about it.
While the gameplay may not have reeled me in much I did enjoy the art style that accompanied Elevator to the Moon. It used a simple yet very clean 3D polygonal art style. I felt the art style mixed really well with the relatively casual gameplay. It looked smooth, and made everything feel very atmospheric.
I wouldn’t say Elevator to the Moon isn’t worth playing, but I don’t think it’ll appeal to a wide variety of people. The fact that it used to be a VR game really limits it, because the puzzle solving feels all too simplistic. This could have been passable if the story was more interesting, but besides the small comedic value it has, it’s pretty dull. If you like the idea of a puzzle game, that’s kind of different than the norm this might be worth picking up. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be picking this title back up again, any time soon.