Lifeless Moon review

by on August 10, 2023
Reviewed On
Release Date

August 10, 2023


Ideas born from nothing have the ability to change the world, yet the freedom to create carries with it such power that its hard to comprehend the impact it may leave behind. In Lifeless Moon, it is ideas and thoughts, belief and change that transforms from the intangible to the real on a massive scale, prompting philosophical questions in your mind as you begin to unravel the superbly written story that captures your imagination and rips your heart out at the same time. It’s not a long game by any means, but it leaves you thinking long after the credits have rolled.

After a mission to the moon goes wrong in the early 1970s, you find yourself alone albeit hearing coms from an astronaut living a short time in the future. You’re on the surface of the moon, where everything seems unordinary, except for the fact you’re completely lost. That’s when things start to get weird, and you suddenly find an entire town, complete with a school, diner, and water tower. Things clearly aren’t normal, but through documents scattered around and the continuous voices in your headset communications, you begin to unravel some of the mysteries of what you find.

Much of your time spent in Lifeless Moon is spent exploring. The environments aren’t particularly large, but there’s enough room to allow you to uncover lost diary pages and objects that help to flesh out the story. While you start off on the moon, portals begin to open up that teleport you to new worlds, with each one telling the story of one of the scientists responsible for what is going on. Whether you’re at a lakeside cabin, a boardwalk by a dry ocean, or a floating city, there’s a tale being told that delves into trauma and pain, as well as love and hope.

Lifeless Moon is existential and inspiring. At times you’re floored by its depth and the questions it asks, but at the same time left considering the beauty in our own world. There’re layers to the narrative of these characters, and no matter how dark their stories might be, it’s clear the flecks of light can still be seen. Playing isn’t particularly challenging. You move around these environments with relative ease. Sometimes you might need to jump across platforms to look for a way around, made easier with the jetpack you find. There’re some light puzzle elements, but nothing too challenging that it hampers the story.

The music is superb, featuring an atmospheric score that continues to impress. Complementing the soundtrack is some genuinely impressive voice acting and writing. We’ve come to expect acting in games to be at a high level these days, and Lifeless Moon is no different. While the visuals aren’t as high budget as other titles, the spectacle in some worlds leaves you in awe, especially when you are searching for the engineer.

When exploring in Lifeless Moon, it wasn’t always clear where to find certain items, and I happened to stumble upon them by accident. Nothing is highlighted or obvious, so it’s only by looking everywhere you can actually find certain key items. When out exploring, I’d get a pop-up entry in my notebook that showed I’d found something without actually seeing it for myself because it wasn’t clear. Another small issue was how my notebook closed from time to time while reading, or it wouldn’t open to the entry I’d just found.

Despite these minor gripes, Lifeless Moon tells a poignant tale about creation, hope, loss, and the majestic nature of our own existence. The writing is fantastic, as is the music and voice acting, and the environments are filled with moments of wonder. The camera angle occasionally moved when loading into a new area, but generally it looks good. There might not be a ton of complex puzzles to solve, but they offer a nice respite from exploration. It takes a bit of time to get going, but once you start to see the bigger picture and uncover its secrets, it’s well worth seeing through to the end.


Well-written story
Great voice acting
Beautiful score


Some issues finding things through exploration
Notebook doesn't always work
Simple puzzles

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Lifeless Moon isn't too long, but there's a great story at its heart and some impressive set pieces that leave you questioning everything.