This game isn't for everyone. It isn't even for the majority... It's for a small dedicated group of people.
I have a problem with procedurally generated. games. Occasionally the random variables all conspire to put a wall across the exit corridor, or make a 6-way symmetric equation solvable only by hours of trial and error... Sometimes you just don't know if you're being dense, or the game's given you an impossible level. When you play a human-crafted game, you know it's solvable. Not so with random games. Mirrormoon doesn't seem to have this problem because the 'randomness' is tightly controlled. It works like this: "If thing A is here, then puzzle B must need to be solved", and vice versa. Because every 'planet' is self-contained, the randomness is between planets...
So, it becomes clear that every sphere is basically a collection of the same puzzles, in slightly different configurations: You just randomly stumble about, trying to use the "mirror moon" as a map and do the exact same four or five 'puzzles', over and over again. Oh, the colours changed, and the placement of the puzzles changes.
So, why did I finish it? Because a) i'm a completist, b) I was playing a mature season, so winning was a lot easier, thanks to other players, and c) I figured out how to navigate about 1/10th of a second before uninstalling it.
You will enjoy this game if:
* You like games which tell you literally NOTHING, and let you figure it out for yourself.
* You like games which don't have an actual purpose, i.e. goal / FMV cutscenes etc...
* You like games which don't reward you with an attaboy, your reward is wholly inside yourself: That feeling of satisfaction you get when you see something new and think "Hey, I found that!".
* You like games which frustrate the absolute bejesus out of you for hours or days on end, and then *click* You get that five seconds of clarity, which wipes away those five days where you've been quiet, pensive, irritated at the world, and gone and written a sharply negative review on Steam: You go back to steam, change your review, and dive back into the 'game', and find that your clarity has paid off.
* You like games which give you clues which may (or may not) actually lead anywhere.
* You like games which just shows you stuff, and it's up to you to decide if it's a clue, or just procedurally generated fluff.
So, this is still a negative review, so what follows are SPOILERS.. Only read below if you are stuck and just want to know some clues:
The cockpit is laid out pretty logically. Power and fuel on the left, lights at the bottom right, rotation and translation at the right.
That casette tape at the bottom.. is just a selection between the tutorial and the main game. Once you've done Side A, flip it to Side B and leave it
What you're trying to do is.. get to a particular 'star' in the galaxy. You are in a so-called space ship, you use the button by the casette tape to 'beam up and down' to a planet's surface
You use the map to... wander around the galaxy trying to find your way to that star
The 8-track cassette thing is some kind of 'power diverter'. Put it into the right-hand slot, and pull the breaker to its right to warp to the currently highlighted star. In the left-hand-slot, you use it to beam down
The map is.... Bloody hard to use, it's so zoomed in, it's practically a hindrance. You can 'free-look' around the cockpit with RMB, but that's just disorienting too.
The general flow of the game is... Wander around totally randomly, doing each 'planet'.. You can spend hours and hours doing this for NO purpose. Eventually you will find an 'observatory' (where eventually can be up to several days of continuous play if you're unlucky! (this is what I hate most).
So after wandering around aimlessly... when you find the observatory planet (one which has the usual puzzles plus one more building), you get some nonsense about constellations. Ignore them, pointless. Just look for the 'ringed' star. That's where you're going. Around it there'll be a named star. Find the closest, and then beam up to search for it in your map. It may take hours and hours of painful searching to find it. Warp to that star, and then go back to the 'aimless wandering' step..
And then?.. just keep doing that.. eventually you should be, by random chance, in the vicinity of the goal star/planet. Make sure you spend many many hours of the aimless wandering.. This game is predicated on you wasting absolutely ♥♥♥♥loads of time.
There's no way of going faster? In theory, you could use triangulation. pick three named stars which form a triangle around the destination star on an observatory planet, print the screen and get a ruler to calculate the distance of the circled star from them. get their coordinates in the cockpit, then use Scilab to calculate the vector composition of the three position deltas, weighted for distance . You should end up with a vector Next, use Excel to make a calculation, and then plug in star values. B4ll4che. Pointless, and ultimately unrewarding, so don't bother.
Should I play this game? Only if you've got nothing better to do!
On the surface of planets
*I find my way around by... By and large, just walking until you find something.. Get into the habit of walking forwards, and tapping left every few seconds.. That'll make a spherical spiral search pattern. Tedium++
*What's the moon for? ... You can use it as a map. You show up on it too as an arrow when it's in front of the sun, or you can use it as a gravitational 'magnet' to suck buildings out of the ground
*What's the buildings for?.. Some contain bits for your gun which let you manipulate the moon, or shoot markers. Some act as switches for other buildings when you walk through them. Some are just tourist attractions, or in-jokes to other Steam games
*What's the triangle marker things whizzing by? They help you find your way between buildings. *Follow them forwards, or backwards. When they reach where they're going they often make a building appear.
* There's nothing on this planet! There probably is, it's just that its one of those awful procedurally generated ones where the map is pointless, and the exit is somewhere on the far side from the moon, and it's not in occlusion, so the moon's not acting as a map. They bug me to hell. Spiral search your way out
* All I found was an exit, but there's 'atmospheric stuff'.. It's possible that you missed the 'moon mover' bit for your gun. Move the moon, and some buildings might appear when the sun goes away or comes back.
* What's the marker attachment for the gun for? It lets you 'press a button' for one of the puzzles. Also can potentially help with the map when there's no eclipse.
* I can not find my way off this planet at all press Escape.. Move on. It's not worth it.
* How do I know it's an observatory? I've found that mostly the stars are blue, rather than white. Also, you'll see random lines connecting some of the stars. These are constellations (in the game). The star you're looking for is ringed
* and then...? Well, this is where it gets annoying. The constellations are /sort of/ picked out if you press the slidey latch button at the bottom right of the screen. If you take some notes on the surface of the planet, you can /sort of/ find them again and then use the consellation stars to find yours. [/spolier]
* All the stars are XXX/## You're S.O.L It's a new season, so no help from other players. Good luck