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Out There review (iOS / Universal)

March 5, 2014

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10 word description: Randomised Roguelike survival space travel game. Gather resources, find answers.

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10 word review: Compelling journey of choices. Persistent upgrades would improve the experience.

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You will like this if you enjoy: Rogue style gameplay – how far can you get this time before you die? Random encounters in deep space. Turn-based games. Resource gathering.

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The good news: The graphical style is very nice. Restrained audio adds to the atmosphere. Good variety of random events. Challenging gameplay that always keeps you needing something, whether it is fuel, oxygen or metal for hull repairs. Rare finds, such as a new ship, are infrequent enough to always be a very welcome surprise. 

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The bad news: If you treat it as a game of chance, looking only at the numbers, it will feel far more repetitive and shallow than it actually is. For some players, the random nature of events may feel unfair, particularly after a string of games where the dice rolls, I mean planetary resources, were constantly low. There are no persistent upgrades, which is possibly the most significant missed opportunity.

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Arcadelife verdict: Before I start banging on about how good this game is – because it is – I’ll focus on the on thing that would make it far more compulsive and even improve its appeal to the more casual gamer: permanent upgrades. For example, why not have a growing fleet of starter ships that you can add to by finding new ships (already in the game) and unlocking them as optional ships for the start of subsequent games? Another idea – add the option to send newfound alien technology (already in the game) back to your point of origin where it becomes an optional add-on for the start of each subsequent game. Simple ideas, but they would drastically improve the replayablity as there would be a sense of progression rather than just getting a better run of random events every now and then.

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As it is, Out There is an addictive, fun variation on the Roguelike style of game. Figuring out the best strategy for resource gathering, learning how the game works and stumbling across new ships is really where the most fun can be found. Disappointment comes in several forms, the most obvious being the abundance of cool looking upgrades and the lack of time (due to running out of everything essential) available to actually make and use any of them.

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Overall, this game is good enough to be an easy recommendation but also a very easy game to improve. Permanent upgrades, come one – you know it would make the game so much better. 

Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 8/10
Visuals – 8/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 7.5/10
Fun – 7/10
Final rating – 8/10

PRETTY GOOD

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.01
iTunes link

Out There website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
5th gen iPod Touch (iOS 7.0.6)
4th gen iPad (iOS 7.0.6)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.
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