A Puzzling Situation

Over The Moon, the NaNoRenO 2021 game by Bob Conway, Deevilj, Illuminate001, and Robin Harper is now available for your downloading and playing pleasure!

We did something a little different this year, so the game emphasizes puzzle solving rather than typical visual novel decisions. But if you don't like puzzles, fear not: you can find some help below!

Note that the first decision in the game, after waking up on the ship, determines the game's difficulty level. There are four options:

  • Hard Mode - For true puzzle lovers. The game will not provide any assistance with any of the puzzles. A full completion of the game in this mode will probably take between 4 and 6 playthroughs (at around 30 minutes each).
  • Hard Mode With Hints - If you love puzzles, but also don't like banging your head against a wall of symbols, this mode gives you "hint consoles" for the door unlocking puzzles, where you can play with symbols in relative isolation to understand what they mean.
  • Simplified Puzzles - You have the hint consoles for the door puzzles, plus the door puzzles will color code spaces to help you out. Additionally, many of the other puzzles are simplified.
  • Easy Mode - Door puzzles contain only one symbol each, and the other puzzles are simplified.

Still need more help? Read on, but we highly recommend you try the game without help first.

Puzzle Spoilers Below...




We highly recommend you play without spoilers first. Several puzzles, once spoiled, will never be unspoil-able.




As the game text suggests, door puzzles involve turning certain spaces blue (or red) based on the symbols. To check an answer, hit the blue button on the top right. If the answer is correct, the background with change to blue, and a blue "continue" button will appear at the bottom of door puzzles. The top left red button will simply exit out of the puzzle. (If you've already completed a door puzzle and opened the door, the blue "continue" button will not appear again, even though you can reattempt the puzzle.)

Door puzzles (and hint consoles) can be repeatedly attempted, even after the door is unlocked. Hint consoles do not unlock anything when completed. Re-attempting puzzles and experimenting can help you understand the meanings of symbols.

On easy and simplified modes, the door puzzles will color code spaces for you so you know if they should be blue or red. White spaces indicate "some of these should be blue".




Research Room

You wake up in this room on the ship. The door puzzle symbol simply wants to be blue.

Cargo Room

The first room after the research room. The new door puzzle symbol wants to NOT be blue. (Both red and unselected states are acceptable.)

The other puzzle wants you to select the "odd one out"... use the number of circles on each character to determine which does not belong. On Simplified and Easy modes, there are fewer puzzle stages.

Cryo Room

The door to the cryo room features a new symbol that simply indicates all orthogonally-adjacent spaces should NOT be blue. (Both red and unselected states are acceptable.)

In the cryo room itself, the puzzle wants you to drag the small spinning circles to the matching larger spinning circles. Upon completion, you'll be presented with two options: You can either leave the stasis chamber as-is (blue button) or deactivate it to wake Oon (red button). Deactivation will ask for confirmation (confirm deactivation with the red button). This puzzle does not change in simplified or easy modes.


The door to the cafeteria features a new symbol that indicates that all orthogonally-adjacent spaces should be blue.

The puzzle in the cafeteria is a jigsaw puzzle. This does not change in simplified or easy modes.

Situation Room

The situation room is reached from the "lower" hallway (head down from the hallway outside the cargo room).

The door puzzle has a new symbol that wants exactly one orthogonally-adjacent space to be blue. (The other spaces can be either red or unselected.)

In the situation room itself, the puzzle is base-3 math, and you're asked to solve the bottom equation. In simplified and easy modes, the numbers and operators will be standard ones. In hard and hint modes, the numbers and operators will be alien symbols. Red indicates negative numbers.

Engine Room

The engine room is the right room in the "upper" hallway (head up from the hallway outside the cargo room).

The door puzzle has a new symbol that inverts the meaning of all orthogonally-adjacent symbols. (Where they previously wanted blue, they now want red or unselected, and vice versa.)

The engine room puzzle itself, on hard or hint modes, is Mastermind. On simplified or easy modes, the puzzle will instead directly give you feedback on the correctness of each symbol for each position. Completing this puzzle, as the game suggests, unlocks a puzzle back in the...

Research Room (again)

Return to the research room for a new puzzle, which is simply a game of "repeat after me". On easy and simplified modes, the puzzle will complete after fewer stages.

Completing this puzzle converts all alien text to English, making the bridge easier to tackle. (You can also complete this puzzle earlier to convert alien text in other puzzles to English, although this does not affect the cargo room puzzle.)

The Bridge

The bridge elevator is on the left of the upper hallway. The door puzzle features a new symbol that always appears in threes, and wants exactly one of the three to be blue. (The other two must be red or unselected.)

Entering the bridge will immediately trigger the end of the game. (The end of the game will also be triggered after 30 minutes of puzzle solving; time spent reading dialogue or using hint consoles does not count toward this limit.) Depending on what rooms have been unlocked, you'll get the choice to either try and solve a bridge puzzle, wake Oon in the cryo room, or do nothing.

There are two different bridge puzzles. The weapons (on the right of the bridge) are simply a more complicated door puzzle (with a time limit).

The engines (on the left of the bridge) require you to keep the meter within a narrow range for long enough that the engines can spin up. If you've converted the alien text to English, the buttons will be easier to understand. On easy and simplified modes, the meter will also indicate its current value.

Ending Spoilers Below...






There are six possible endings to the game. In order of best to worst:

  1. If you complete all puzzles (including the "hidden" research lab puzzle) and fire the weapons on the bridge, you'll get the best ending
  2. If you haven't completed all puzzles and fire the weapons, you'll get a good ending
  3. If you successfully activate the engines, you'll get a different good ending
  4. If you wake up Oon to deal with the attacker (instead of using the weapons or engines), you'll get yet another good ending
  5. If you wake up Oon prematurely, you'll get a bad ending
  6. If you panic, or fail to do any of the above when the alien appears, you'll get the worst ending

You can view unlocked endings by clicking the center button on any menu screen to show the "endings" screen


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I really have a hard time doing the cryo chamber one even with the explanation... Is it the spinning of the circles that have to be matched...or both...also this one is kind of dizzying.


The spinning can't be matched; the small circles always spin counterclockwise and the large circles always spin clockwise.

You need to match the shapes. If the circles weren't spinning, find the miniature version of the larger circle, and drag it into the larger circle.


oki I'm just bad at it... I guess. xD But I did manage to do it a second time...


I should slow down (or stop) the spinning in easy mode :)

Next update

also can be dissioratin for some people, even for me I got dizzy a bit... but I am often also too long at the computer so yeah...


...I'm sorry, these puzzles make literally no fucking sense at all. It's on Easy Mode and I can't even begin to figure out what the *goal* is. These are not puzzles, these are straight guessing games.

Hey, thanks for the comment. I'm sorry you're finding them frustrating.

Are you having trouble with the interfaces (i.e. figuring out how to submit or manipulate a puzzle) or with actually solving the puzzles themselves?

The puzzles all involve a bit of trial and error -- figuring out how they work was intentionally part of the puzzle design. But I'm not against adding more explicit hints or some sort of in-game guide for easy mode.

(1 edit)

I just want to know *what the end result should be*. That is not even slightly clear. I had to read the walkthrough for the door puzzle on easy mode, and *still* was incredibly confused what to click to accomplish that because 90% of the interface is wholly irrelevant. There is just way, way, way too much random noise.

I haven't tried it, but almost feel it may be easier on hard mode because, presumably, more of it is relevant and not just noise.

Thanks; that's useful feedback.

Would it help if the first door puzzle gave some more explicit tutorial, complete with pictures?

Something like "It looks like I can click circles to change their colors, and clicking the big blue button here <show arrow> attempts to submit the puzzle. This bottom section <arrow> looks like a button that might appear once I have it correct. It looks like the background color tells me what color a space needs to be.

That should hopefully carry through pretty well to the other door puzzles, and hopefully the non-door puzzle interfaces are straightforward (even if the method for solving them isn't).

(1 edit)

I tried the door puzzles (I've seen two so far) on Hard and it makes *perfect* sense -- but only because I already know what the blue button does at the top. I also now realize I did the door puzzle completely wrong on Easy, and yet it still worked, so... that's probably a bug.

I still have zero comprehension of the other puzzle.

There are no bugs as far as I'm aware... not every space is meaningful for the solution, so you can freely change spaces that are not impacted by symbols.

Does a tutorial like this help with the initial UI hurdle? https://twitter.com/bobcgames/status/1376542769376792581

Honestly, the figuring out the interfaces (and what you're supposed to do) is also supposed to be part of the puzzles, because you were just thrown into an alien spaceship for a species you'd never met before... but I want easy mode to provide whatever help people feel is necessary to complete the game.

(However, completing non-door puzzles is not necessary to complete the game, so I'm less inclined to provide tons of in-game help on those.)