“If you happen across a planet with fuel, abandon your conscience and mutilate the shit out of it, ExxonMobil,” isn’t what the tutorial of Out There instructs the player to do, per se. But if you want a standing chance of survival, it’s the single best practice for a player. After all, we’re talking about space. Out There, nobody can hear you scream.
And you scream you will. Out There, by Mi-Close Studio, is a frustrating rogue-like, choose your own adventure where the random number gods hate you and your choices bring you one step closer to imminent defeat. At first, I was having so much trouble with this game, that I wasn’t able to get to the point where I would be comfortable enough to write a thorough preview. I persevered, though, because really, what choice did I have? What I discovered was that, with enough practice, the odds can be managed and underneath the daunting exterior of this mobile game lies an incredibly deep and rewarding experience waiting to be discovered.
There are two primary methods of navigation, and both of them require different pieces of equipment aboard the tiny ship. Planet to planet will allow you search every nook and cranny of a solar system in search of resources and random events. Star to star, will take you into the deeper regions of space and grant access to a slew of all new planets to unconscionably deprive of their natural resources.
The random events are where the game shines, though. It becomes clear almost immediately that the writers let their imaginations run away with them and going alongside them on that adventure is an absolute blast. Paradoxically, the more you play the game, and the more events you encounter, the less you know what to expect. They’re absurd and lend themselves to the premises of exploration and danger.
Out There may be very similar to other indie space-based strategy adventure game, FTL, but isn’t without its own merit. Available on Android, and still in beta, Out There is already showing promise. The genre is perfect for times when you only have a moment, and better when you can sit down in a comfortable chair and relax for a bit consuming the narrative. While it’s incredibly difficult, the game can be rewarding if you push past the initial frustration. While the game is still undergoing a bit of tweaking, the developers state that they are very near the balance they intended in terms of fuel scarcity, so don’t expect it to be too much easier when the game reaches full release.
But maybe we can expect the game to be fully spell checked by then?
The Android version of Out There is currently available to pre-order for $3.99. That gets you immediate access to the beta, as well as the full soundtrack by Siddhartha Barnhoorn. The full game will launch sometime this year, followed by Windows and Mac incarnations.
Site [Out There]