Game Review: Out There : Ω Edition

Out There : Ω Edition

  • Genre: strategy point/click RPG
  • Creators: Mi-Clos Studio
  • Platform: Steam
  • Price: $9.95
  • Official site: outtheregame.com
  • Notes: Expanded edition of the regular game, still available on IOS, Android systems.

Synopsis:

Out There is a strategy game based on point and click decisions, set in a space-travel survival scenario. As the player, you are an astronaut set astray after cryogenic sleep gone wrong. Now you must survive and find your way back home, with very limited means. You eventually mine resources, communicate with alien cultures, balance your necessities, upgrade (and eventually change) your ship, and make decisions that may reward to end your life. Eventually, the story will change. There is more at stake than your own survival as you find yourself taking part in a larger cosmic game.

The game was previously released as an app for iOS and Android mobile devices. This Out There : Ω Edition game is an expanded edition for the Steam console. The Ω Edition has new alien breeds, new spaceships, expanded stories and text, new ending, and more difficult decisions. The game also has a new animated opening, and extended musical score by Siddhartha Barnhoorn (Antichamber, The Stanley Parable). There is also much added environment and planet details, more colorful and deeper detailed map chart, and more visual details added; using a new graphic engine

Personal Thoughts:

Out There is not the game for those seeking satisfaction through engagement of a world made convenient and easy. There is no easy mode option, nor is there any forgiveness should their character of control die within 20 minutes of gameplay. There are no second chances or extra lives. If your story ends, you can not go back. You simply start over, and learn from experience; which does not guarantee any longer or extended experience. You may start with something, and end with nothing. This is not a game for anyone who believes the universe is fair and made for them.

Out There is a game base on 20% luck, and 80% of working to figure out how to manipulate your chances of luck, for good fortune or recovery from a bad turn. This is a game of survival, and discovery. The reward is living an extra day, turning one more page of your own cosmic drama. This game is for anyone, who enjoys more reality put into their pretend situation of misplacement on its grandest scale. To be often be dealt a bad hand, and still win. And perhaps, even alter the ending to an unforeseen destiny.

For me, I am a big fan of the earlier iOS version, which I played to its fullest. I have a little advantage in what to expect, and the many ways I can die; thus can make decisions on how to avoid some of that. Still, the game is hard and challenging.

This game is also compared too much to FTL, a space ship game with similar visuals. There is little besides the visuals and placement of ship components, that deserves such a comparison. Out There feels closer to Oregon Trail, in the ideas of surrealism and dealing with misfortunes. The reward is building upon your story, and seeing it through.

The constant narrative is wonderful in its initial simplicity. You identify with the character, as someone who does not ask to be alone, but works to make the best of it. Being observant, and seeing the bad situation as a sort of challenge. Your destinations have beauty, and there is cheer in finding the right elements at the right time. To reach a “garden planet” before losing your last moment of oxygen, or to find a an abandoned ship when all else seems hopeless; if your adrenaline rush that while the universe if unfair, there is something “out there” on your side.

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That’s where the constant modification, installing and upgrading of your ship to foresee and unlock rewards and avoid danger. Much like in the picture above, where the “Inframeter” allows me to see what a solar system may have for me, before spending my valuable resources on travel. To get these valuable resources, is also a game of hope and good educated guesses. And your sizes of ships vary; often with very limited space to what’s available for equipment and extra element resources. You must choose wisely on what to use and drop.

The Ω Edition adds more complication to the new ship acquisition. Some new ships of promise need repair, as you hopefully have the right elements ready, or figure out some quick access to. I also came across one of the new ships for this edition, filled with dead humans as an actual resource. I could was a bit puzzled on what to do with these bundles of dead humans, and felt it wasn’t morally right to simply drop them into space. This is the odd emotionally involvement that Out There has brought me to.

Compared to the iOS version earlier played, I felt surprised to that one very vital flaw which can still be exploited. That would be a cheat, where one could simply “quit” during a visit to a solar system as an unfortunate mishap that does not end in death. Then go back to the title screen, and “continue.” There is a slight rewind, and you may continue. The cheat seems petty, but I cant help but to repeat this as I feel I should do whatever it takes to survive; even if that means using my Captain Kirk style solution to this Kobayashi Maru of a game.

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Not all challenges depend on luck, or altering that luck. Some challenges are conquered by simply thinking and studying your mistakes. For example, the alien encounters; where mistranslated reactions can lose some great rewards. Look carefully at the words of aliens when you encounter life. Sometimes a few giveaways at some names that reveal friendship, or testing your allegiances to malevolent cosmic forces. In most cases, you need to just know a few words in English, through previous encounters.

The “Omega” element is everything, especially after your survival extends to a point with in the game where suddenly hostile alien forces greatly limit your chance for finding resources. You come across the important Omega element in mastering your encounters with alien life, and in rare story interruptions during space travel. You also find the ability to change life should you gain the technology to develop the”Life Seed” or “Death Seed” ship enhancements. New narratives open, and more mysteries of this game reveal themselves. You may find yourself more involved in the game as your death may come before a satisfactory conclusion, resulting in increased agony.

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For this edition, the added visuals and extended musical track is a fantastic touch. The changes in both as the gameplay extends, adding freshness. Some even adds a lot more attentive detail than expected, enough to almost bring a cinematic element to the game. The added font, text narratives, effects bring Out There closer to reading a comic book, than reading a novel or watching a movie. As a game, this works perfect.

However, this edition should have some updates, or more features.  A day counter could be instantly available at the push of a button. An automatic story log would be awesome, with perhaps even a save feature to archive your greatest adventures; perhaps even publish them to Facebook and social media happenings. I would also more story art to the narratives, as the visual designs (aliens, ships, environments), are fantastic. I love to see more of the artist’s take on some of these chance encounters, like this one..

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Overall, Out There : Ω Edition is a fantastic adventure for hardcore RPG fanatics, and casual gamers wanting more story. It’s also great science fiction storytelling, intelligent written and engaging. This edition brings the much needed depth the mobile versions missed, and a worthwhile use of your money and time.

– Orion T

About Orion T (167 Articles)
Writer, picture taker, local traveler. Also, a reader, player, and viewer of creative work, especially in the realms of science fiction and fantasy.

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