In Laura Shigihara’s Rakuen, you play as boy in a hospital. The game switches between reality and the stories of other patients, exploring the themes of hope and escapism.
It’s not afraid to tackle dark topics, but it does so with such care that you can’t help but feel invested in every character.
The music, composed by Laura Shigihara who was also the vocalist in To the Moon, is beautiful and adds so much depth to the experience. Every track captures the mood of the scenes, making the emotional moments hit even harder. It’s a game that’ll make you smile, tear up, and think deeply about the people around you.
OneShot really lives up to its name – it’s a game you can only experience once.
In OneShot, you guide a child named Niko through a strange world while your decisions affects the game’s outcome.
The game is unique in that it breaks the fourth wall – it knows you’re playing it, and this interaction adds a new layer of depth to the game. It forms a bond between you and Niko, and often, you’ll find yourself caring about Niko’s well-being, wanting to make the right choices to help them succeed in their quest.
There are puzzles, charming pixel art style and an atmospheric soundtrack – all wrapped in an emotionally engaging story.
3. Mad Father
Mad Father is a horror-adventure game where you play as Aya, a young girl who discovers some secrets about her father. The relationship between Aya and her father is the heart of the story. You’ll experience moments of genuine sadness and shock as you find out the truth about the Aya family. The soundtrack does an excellent job of adding to the game’s eerie vibe.
The gameplay is a mix of exploration and puzzles – enough to keep you engaged throughout the story.
4. Do You Remember My Lullaby?
One of the earlier games by Kan Gao that many people haven’t heard of. It’s very short, but still impressive and really shows his potential in storytelling. Fans of To the Moon will really love this. It’s very similar to To the Moon in the overall atmosphere, style and emotions it conveys.
Even though it’s very short, it’s able to pull at your heart strings.
You can even watch the full game on Youtube – it’s more of a movie than a game:
Ib is a game that’s hard to forget. It’s an adventure set in a creepy art gallery, but it’s not your typical horror game. You play as a young girl named Ib, and as you explore the gallery, things start getting weird and downright scary. The game doesn’t just scare you for the sake of horror, it makes you care about the characters.
There are multiple endings, each revealing a different aspect of the characters and world. I found myself playing through it multiple times just to see every outcome.
6. Corpse Party
Originally an RPG Maker creation, Corpse Party offers a horror-adventure experience with a deep, dark storyline.
It starts of as a seemingly typical horror story – a group of students performing a charm and getting trapped in a haunted school. But as you progress, it becomes genuinely disturbing and isn’t for the faint of heart. However, its focus on character development and atmosphere makes it standout compared to other horror games.
7. A Bird Story
Created by the same person behind ‘To the Moon’, this game focuses on the relationship between a lonely boy and an injured bird.
It’s a game without dialogue and focuses on visual storytelling, exploring themes of loneliness and friendship. There’s a lot of similarities between To the Moon and this game, although this one is more like a mini-episode.
8. Lisa: The Painful RPG
This game offers a darker, more mature narrative. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, it’s a game about survival, sacrifice, and the choices you make. You play as Brad, a troubled man on a quest to find his adopted daughter. The game’s world is brutal, filled with odd and often disturbing characters.
The choices you make have real consequences, and often there’s no right answer. Lisa is a game about experiencing Brad’s journey and the moral dilemmas he faces. The game’s pixel art fits the gritty mood perfectly.
9. Yume Nikki
Yume Nikki presents a surreal, dream-like experience. Its emphasis is less on traditional narrative and more on creating an emotional journey through its unique, abstract world. I gotta admit, this game isn’t easy to get into, since it’s very abstract and the story isn’t clear. You’ll have to do a lot of interpretation yourself.
10. The Witch’s House
The Witch’s House is a game that cleverly mixes horror with a deeply engaging story. You’re a young girl named Viola, trapped in a house filled with traps and puzzles.
The first thing that hits you is the atmosphere – it’s eerie and keeps you on edge. But as you delve deeper, the story of the house and its witch unfolds, and that’s where the game shines.
It’s not just about the scares; it’s the plot twists and revelations that get you. I remember feeling a mix of horror, sadness, and shock as the true nature of the witch’s house was revealed.
The game does a fantastic job of building tension and then hitting you with a story that you didn’t see coming. It’s a relatively short game, and not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for a spooky story with depth, this is a must-play.
11. Finding Paradise
Finding Paradise is the direct sequel to To the Moon. You’re back with doctors Eva and Neil, delving into the memories of Colin, an elderly man with regrets. The gameplay remains similar to To the Moon, focusing more on storytelling than complex mechanics, which works perfectly for the kind of experience it aims to deliver.
12. Imposter Factory
Imposter Factory is a bit of a wild card in the series. It’s often labeled as a ‘To the Moon’ game, but it stands out with its unique storyline and twists – constantly keeping you guessing.
The game introduces you to Quincy, who finds himself in a strange, time-looping situation at a mysterious mansion. The story is a rollercoaster, filled with dark humor, suspense, and emotional depth.
The gameplay is more interactive compared to its predecessors, with some interesting puzzles and exploratory elements. Howver, it still plays out like an interactive movie, which is roughly 3 hours long.
Imposter Factory feels like a departure from the usual formula, but it retains the emotional storytelling and character depth that fans of the series love, clearly evident through the overwhelming reviews on Steam.
Overall, I hope you enjoy these 12 games like To the Moon. If you know anymore, feel free to let me know: email@example.com