We've won a ticket to a rock concert on the moon, which is exciting; but there seems to be a subplot about a father who disappeared into thin air one day ... oh, and it looks like we're just barely scraping by, and we've got this option (or is it an option?) to take a delivery job that I'm pretty sure means we're going to be an unwitting drug mule. That's three different threads, and it could work. The "disappeared dad" thread seems to be incongruously emotional compared to the other two, but maybe it'll ramp up into a mystery-thriller thing later on. I didn't get that far, though.
See, I was already getting a bit bored by the opening. We're simply packing our stuff, picking up tickets, waiting on a train for our stop ... all pretty pedestrian. Given the threads I've picked up already, this had the potential to be so much tighter and so very much more engaging. Imagine, for instance, if we opened on the meeting with TJ, the rather sketchy character who wants us to deliver something for him; or on the point just outside the room, our last chance to back out of the meeting. Or, imagine if this were presented in a choice format: do we take the cat or don't we? Which of these objects do we want to pack, and what do we want to linger on? I'm usually the last person to want to cut out puzzles, but some of the puzzles in the opening sequence just slow things down.
And then ... and then....
We're on the the space shuttle heading to the moon and we get a text from TJ about a party we need to get to in order to effect the delivery. AND IT IS IN REAL TIME.
I did not come to IF to be harried along like a bloody tourist. It takes time to type commands. It takes time to read descriptions. It takes time to figure out which of all these directions leads to the party you say I had better be at. To insist that I only have a minute or so in real time to get my bearings and get things done is RUDE ... especially in a game that appears to be about IF-style puzzles and MacGyvering solutions.
Let me make this clear: TIMED INPUT IS OF THE DEVIL AND HAS NO PLACE IN PUZZLE-CENTRIC INTERACTIVE FICTION. I don't care if Infocom did it with "Border Zone": there's a reason I never got into that game.
As a breakfast, this is biscuits and gravy ... a bit of a messy presentation but not too bad, really, until the biscuit disintegrates under your fork and spills sausage gravy on your lap.