out there

Out There: Ω Review – Out Of This World

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Out There: Ω is a PC port of the hit mobile title which launched in March of 2014. It is an intergalactic adventure game, which brings the player through the galaxy in quest to answer the question of “what’s out there?”

Out There is best described as a resource management adventure game with rogue-like elements. You fly from planet to planet, collecting resources with which to upgrade and power your ship in order to reach further and further into the galaxy. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is; the game has a definite pick up and play feel to it, which is understandable considering its mobile origins.

This isn’t just a straight port of the android title however, as Out There: Ω contains updated graphics and additional game play content, leading for a more enriched experience. Even if you have played the original game on your mobile device, Out There: Ω should provide enough content to justify the purchase for a second time, and the low price tag of $9.99 makes for a low entry point. Purchasers of the original title will also receive Out There: Ω free of charge.

Lets get to the game play. As mentioned above, Out There is an easy game to pick up and play, and the control scheme allows you to play easier than ever. All you need is a mouse, as travel between planets is just a simple click away. The game play is very relaxed, and due to the turn based nature of planetary travel you can take your time between actions. There are no enemies present in Out There: Ω , and your main objective is resource gathering. By mining rocky planets to gather metals for ship construction to probing gassy planets to recover fuel, making sure you have you have enough resources is the key goal in your trip across the galaxy.

You jump from star to star in your ever-long quest, and within each new system a host of planets are available to explore. Some are full of metallic ores ripe for mining, while some have toxic atmospheres and are best avoided. On these planets you can meet new life forms, mine for materials, or simply refill your oxygen (if the planet has a suitable atmosphere) and be on your way. Overall there isn’t a ton of variety in the planets themselves or the options presented to you to interact with them, but as they are merely pit stops on your way to the end you may only see them as an ends to a mean anyways.

Pick a planet to visit and explore!

Pick a planet to visit and explore!

Between each orbital jump, a random event will happen. These are completely randomized and I found no particular way to ensure what would happen each time I set sail for a new star. You may find a desolate space station floating off in the distance, and be given the option to explore it or simply move on. These events can be positive, such as finding a much needed cache of fuel, or extremely negative, such as a nearby star blowing up and giving you a game over. Their random nature can be a little frustrating at times, especially if you are the receiving end of a negative outcome, but overall I found their unpredictability and small levels of choice to be fun and I enjoyed encountering each one.

Speaking of, you will die. A lot. In my time reviewing this title I never managed to make it to the end of the game once. Managing resources gets harder and harder the farther out into space you get, and my most common cause of death was probably running out of fuel – leaving my player to drift off in space forever. Random events as mentioned above can also give you a game over. Fortunately, the game over screen lists your stats and high score, and you can immediately start a new game with a quick press of a button. The game, being influenced by rogue-likes, is one where you are going to experience death, and probably more than you would like too. But each new trip through the galaxy provides a learning experience for you the player, and I found myself getting farther and farther on each trip I made.

The game has glaring similarities to another rogue-like space title, FTL. Both games see racing through the galaxy, collecting resources, upgrading your ship, and exploring new planets. Being a big fan of FTL myself, I can only see this as a compliment to Out There. The titles even look similar, with a common graphical style being used in both games.

orbit

The game has a beautiful graphical style, with hand painted environments greeting you at each new planetary visit. The story as well as many of the menu’s and other text related assets are presented in sleek, comic book style paneling. The game looks great, and the visuals were defintely one of my favourite assets of the game.

By and large however, this isn’t a title which you will play for long stretches, as mentioned above. I averaged around twenty minutes of game time in each instance that I picked up the title, and usually ended after this brief stretch due to either frustration or a feeling of boredom due to either frustration or a feeling of boredom due to the repetitive nature of the game. You can tell that this game was a mobile title, in the way that it is expected to be picked up and played. If you are looking for a game to play inbetween classes or on your morning commute, I can strongly reccomend Out There: Ω, although it may be best to pick up the mobile version for that matter. Otherwise, the title does not have enough staying power to be a Saturday-Night gaming staple.

Overall, Out There: Ω is a fun and interesting take on space adventure titles. The game looks great, and brings enough depth mixed with its simplistic controls to be lots of fun in short stretches. Those looking for a unique little title to pick up and play, Out There: Ω is for you!



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