Out There Review

Out There Review

Out There is an intelligent strategy and survival game for iPhone, iPad and Android set in deep space

Out There casts you as a lone space traveller looking to get back home and find some kind of meaning in the universe along the way. At its core, it’s a slow-burning strategy game in which you must keep your fuel, oxygen and damage markers at healthy levels — each stop off at a planet or star means a roll of the dice as you try and stock up enough resources to make the next jump.

Do you risk breaking your hull by drilling a little deeper for fuel, for example? As you go, you can upgrade your ship’s technologies or even upgrade your ship altogether (you’d be surprised at the number of abandoned craft floating around in the darkness).

At first, the perpetual plate-spinning and resource juggling required by Out There can be a little frustrating, particularly if you’re just looking to while away five minutes at the bus stop. Over time though, as you become better at exploring deep space, the gameplay becomes more engrossing and less annoying.

Just as importantly, Out There gets the background ambience right — that special blend of visuals, music and sounds effects that elevate the best-quality games from the also-rans. You really do get the feeling of being lost and alone, and you can easily lose yourself in the game for an hour or so.

Your travels are punctuated by choose-your-own-adventure-style encounters with aliens and mysterious forces, adding some welcome variety to proceedings. These cutaways also add an extra degree of depth, giving you a better feel for your character and his motivations.

Perhaps the biggest problem with Out There is that it lacks broad appeal — it’s a specific kind of game for a specific type of audience — but if this is the type of cerebral, in-depth experience that you’re after then you won’t be disappointed.

Rated 4 out of 5

A high-quality, deep space strategy game that requires thought and patience rather than quick reactions.