Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Out There

This is currently available for Android and iOS devices. Go purchase it immediately.

Out There is a seemingly simple game. You are exploring the far reaches of space. Your ship needs fuel, oxygen, and material to repair the ship. You probe planets and drill for the resources you need.

On this level, Out There is a simple resource management game.

On another level, though, what you're playing is a grand space adventure. Encounters with alien races, unexpected events, incredible discoveries--and there appear to be hundreds of them. New technologies to discover that can be incorporated into your ship.

Maybe, with all the right decisions, you'll survive.

Or maybe not, because this game is hard. It does a brilliant job of conveying how absolutely final mistakes are when you're alone. Even small mistakes. It also does a brilliant job of conveying the melancholy of being lost in the vastness of space. It's a beautiful bit of design, wringing genuine emotion out of the player.

This is also a textbook example of how you can make a fantastic game with almost no budget. This game is essentially a decision tree, text events, a few simple animations and sound effects, and beautiful art. Plus, the galaxy is procedurally generated, so it's not a "single play" game.

Owen gave it a well-deserved, glowing review over at Pocket Tactics: Review: Out There. Read that if I didn't convince you already (well, read it anyway--it's an excellent bit of writing).

Here's the website: Out There.

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