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Out There Review

Explore the Depths of Space and Beyond

· · @jcasabona

Out There is an Interactive Story of Space Exploration

I’ve got to admit, when I first picked up Out There, I was expecting a fast paced, side scrolling, shoot ’em up in space; you know the kind of game I’m talking about. I actually felt the same way about the movie No Country for Old Men; I was expecting an action film but got something slower, but deeper. I feel the same way about Out There.

Sights and Sounds

Before getting into the game play, the goal, and all that, I want to talk about the graphics; this were the very first aspect of the game that struck me because not only are they unique, they fit pretty nicely into the overabundancell story of the game.

The 50’s/60’s style comic book-esq paint a dramatic story of space exploration; everything from the typography to buttons to the colors come together nicely to tell the harrowing tale of an astronaut exploring a distant place so far from our own galaxy. I can hear the narrator speaking to me in a very distinct voice, and right from the outset those who play the game know it’s going to be different from other games they’ve played.

There aren’t too many sound effects and fairly quite music playing as well. I think this does a really good job to set the mood of the game. Between the sounds, the graphics, and the fact that the astrnaught is just talking- perhaps to himself, perhaps to a journal or some sort- the game really does a nice job of putting you into a mindset that will completely immerse you in a game where not a whole lot really goes on.

Game Play

While gameplay is fairly straight forward, I would strongly recommend you do the tutorial before you start playing. I played the game a few times, but the first time I did it without doing the tutorial first and I didn’t do well. Between skipping the tutorial and the fact that I thought that game would be something completely different, I was pretty lost in what I was supposed to be doing and what the point of the game was.

NOTE: To that point, you probably should skip the intro screens either. They give all the setup you need in a game that realise way more on the story that most of the shoot ’em ups I’m used to playing.

Once you manage the tutorial, you’re left to your own devices to explore, gather, and learn things. Your primary task is to make sure your Fuel, Oxygen, and Hull levels don’t run too low. Without those, it’s game over and you will have to start from the beginning. You do that through your list of suppies and by gathering elements on other planets and stars (in the tutorial you learn how to navigate stars with your ship- pretty nifty, right?) through drilling, probing, and meeting other life forms.But first let’s set back a little.

Maps

The game gives you three views: a map of all the stars/planets in your general area, the immediate system you’re in, and your ship’s inventory.

In the map of the stars and planets, you choose which system you want to visit next (based on your ship’s levels and inventory); you are working your way towards a specific system, to which you are guided by a red arrow, with the goal to get back to your own solar system. You can even fly near, and into, black holes. Once you choose a system to go to, you’re brought to a more specific map. As you travel to new systems, the you read journal entries to give you a sense of how long the journey is, what you need, and discoveries you’ve made. It’s a lot like a RPG or Dungeons and Dragons in this sense, as you can randomly encounter things that are beyond your control in between systems.

Here you can choose to hop from planet to planet, drilling, probing, and doing whatever else you need to do to learn skills and gather elements to help you on your journey.

Drilling, Probing, and Meeting New Life Forms

These actions are entirely based on the atmosphere of the planet you’re visiting. If you cannot land, you can probe the atmosphere to see what you can find. If you land, you can drill. In both cases, it will cost you one unit of fuel for each KM you drill. My recommendation would be driller deeper while you have the resources to do so.

If the planet is inhabited, you can choose to reach out to the locals. Be careful though, you can’t always predict how they will react and they will talk to you in their native tonge, asking you questions you have to answer. In my limited experience, it has worked out for me, but it might not always.

You should also be aware of the planets your visiting. Before to choose to travel to one, you’ll be told about the atmosphere and whether or not it’s safe. My last time out I risked it one too many times and my ship was destroyed.

Surviving

If you do manage to make it long enough, but do not manage your supplies well, you can start to break down parts of the ship for fuel and oxygen. As you do this, remember that the drill and probe well help you the most, so hang onto them as long as you can.

A Long Game

The game is pretty long and drawn out; it’s very immersive, but as I was playing it, I didn’t really see an end to it; as a matter of fact, I have no idea how it ends besides me dying. The nice part is since it’s not action packed, you can leave it and come back to it as much as you’d like. That said, if you’re someone who needs to beat every game you pick up, beware. You’re going to be in the one for the long haul.

The only real annoyance I have with the game is that it prompts you every time you open it to sign into the Game Center. I can understand the first time, but after a while, I wish the game would get the hint.

Conclusion

Out There is a beautiful, immersive space exploration game that can keep you occupied for hours on end. The amazing artwork, mood-setting music, and naration of the game really make it seem like you are with him, out there, all alone and trying to get home. The more I played it, the more enticed I was by it, and the more I wanted to play it. The developer has done a really nice job here.

3.5 / 5

good

Out There is a beautiful, immersive space exploration game that can keep you occupied for hours on end. With great artwork and design, you'll really feel like you're alone in space. tweet

Joe Casabona · Mar 26, 2014

User Reviews

Worth

Good and difficult game. Going back to upgrading and encountering aliens. Well worth the money.

Posted by alienx 4 years ago

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