6180 The Moon

In 6180 The Moon you play as the eponymous character as you investigate the apparent disappearance of the sun. The people of Earth are hurting in this darkness and as the caring Moon, you embark on a journey towards the place the sun usually resides. You encounter the planets between on the way which hold a set of 2d platforming levels each. There is an interesting minimalist experience here with a strong mechanic that unfortunately, never fulfils its potential.

There are ten levels in each of the five areas that you encounter and are all presented in a similar way. A dark background lies behind shapes that make up the level. The aim is simple; reach the portal to move on to the next. There are spikes and other various shapes that will harm you; a single hit will take you back to the previous checkpoint. The twist in 6180 The Moon's gameplay is that when jumping, upon hitting the top of the screen you'll appear at the bottom, continuing the jump. The same for when you fall. The platforming is built around this mechanic and you are required to train your brain to realise the trajectory of the Moon.

6180 The Moon

Initially, this is harder than one would assume. It is natural in gaming to imagine that if you hit the top of the area you would hit a barrier and bounce off it. Now, you need to aim your angles to avoid obstacles not just at the top, but at the bottom for your re-emergence. The level design throughout incorporates this well, with spikes carefully placed that are bound to cause numerous deaths and obstacles that can only be traversed with certain techniques. The jump has a set height and you'll appear in around the same level as you were when you initially jumped, only having gone through the screen once.

As you go through each area new mechanics are introduced. There are blocks which propel you upon landing and then disappear, a single use pick-up that halts you during your jump and blocks that flash in and out of existence. These help keep the gameplay a little varied during the short time it will take to complete every level. There are frequent checkpoints at which you instantly respawn at, so it won't take long to become accustomed to any new feature.

The platforming feels solid and the levels are inventive and varied. The only problem I had with them was the difficulty. Once I got my head around the trajectory of the Moon across the screen I didn't have much trouble at all completing all the levels. It initially promised challenge in the difficulty curve but I got better at the game faster than the increase in that challenge. I completed the first run in forty minutes, and achieved one-hundred percent in another forty. Upon completing it you can play through all the levels backwards; starting with the final level first, with gravity flipped and starting where the portal previously was. While this did add those forty minutes longevity to the game, it came with one big problem. As I was playing the game in reverse, the levels got easier in my progression and were ultimately simple to complete.

6180 The Moon

There is a little bit of narrative as you play through the levels. The Moon will meet and converse with other planets, asking the whereabouts of the missing sun. These sections reminded me of the portrayal of characters in Thomas Was Alone; characters represented by shapes, but have a personality that you can only discern from the text. For example: Venus is said to be vain and holding up a mirror as you speak, but all you see is a circle. The writing doesn't have a lot of depth and is almost all forgettable; the exception being your conversations with Earth.

The minimalistic presentation functions well for the game, leaving the player free to concentrate on the puzzles and platforming themselves. There is a pleasant score throughout that accompanies the visuals appropriately, though sometimes a little overbearing in volume.

I enjoyed my time with 6180 The Moon. The platforming combined with the various mechanics felt fresh and interesting. I just wish it provided a little more challenge. After the second set of levels I barely had to think about the correct path to take past any obstacle the game presented and it was just a case of completing each area. Considering the cheap price point, it is easy to recommend 6180 The Moon. It is certainly a worthwhile experience, just not a hugely memorable one.


In Short

  • + screen wrap mechanic is fun and takes some getting used to.
    + minimalistic presentation works well.
    + enjoyable soundtrack for the most part.
    + controls well.

  • - lacking any real challenge.
    - playing through the game backwards doesn't work. It only gets easier.


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