the artistry and psychology of gaming


Sigmund Holiday Special 2 (To The Moon Minisode)

Sigmund Holiday Special 2 (To The Moon Minisode)

Welcome to Gaming on the House; don’t look down and and mind your step! In this feature, we’ll be climbing the rooftops of the gaming industry to seek out worthwhile experiences that everyone can track down and play, and the best part is they’ll all be free! That’s right; FREE! Gratis. Comp’d. Unbound. Unrestricted. Zero-down. On the House!… we talk about free games here, is my point.

Many may be surprised at the breadth of ideation and innovation found in games when there’s no monetary commitment attached, offering a unique learning experience for players and developers alike. Taking together all the flash and browser games, freeware downloads from the independent scene, speed programming archives, free-to-play business modules, and even promotional re-releases from big name publishers, there’s a never ending supply of great games new and old waiting to be played, and it’s our goal to play them all!

Sigmund Holiday Special 2


Genre: Story-driven point-and-click adventure
Link to Game:
Game Info: A second continuation of the story to To The Moon (2011) released on February 18, 2015 for free download, and automatically added to purchases of To The Moon on Steam and Gog.

It’s already been established that we love To The Moon here on Gaming Symmetry. Mechanically, it does nothing special, it’s not particularly long, and it retains little replay value. At the same time, it delivers one of the most incredible stories ever relayed; uniquely setting up its expository elements through repeat actions while holding back on their true meaning for an eventual breakthrough in understanding (usually followed by lots of tears). The game can leave players in a sobbing mess once they reach “and… that’s… why… she… makes… PAPER… RABBITS” all the while keeping their emotions balanced out with good cheer and humor, usually courtesy of Dr. Neil Watts.

Like the first Sigmund Holiday Special released in 2013, this second minisode follows the continued story of Drs. Watts and Rosaline of the Sigmund Corporation back at their headquarters for their holiday break. The game’s sense of humor is well intact, continuing to poke at the more questionable corners of video game conventions along the way; in particular a charming comment about how the playable character seems to be the only one to work the company elevators properly.


The structure of the writing also continues to be top notch in how it uses foreshadowing to introduce concepts for their eventual fulfillment in meaningful ways; even offering multiple peaks to enjoy and even obscure the true purpose behind their introduction as they had already begun to pay off. Such is the case with the ambient sound maker given to Dr. Watts with the ability to record a custom track he might find pleasing. Neil suggests how he could gain his own amusement with the device, and soonafter the device finds itself in a very different conversation that’d be worth having on record, although for slightly more dubious reasons, but of course these ideas were simple distractions to the final payoff before the game comes to a close.


Sigmund Holiday Special 2 is a great piece of writing with its own satisfying story arc to experience, and offers several intriguing hints at what we might expect should the series continue to develop. In particular I’m curious about something Dr. Rosaline had mentioned in an off-handed conversation about building security, and whether or not her comments are entirely accurate… but we shall see!


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