Out There Preview

It's hard to pin Out There to any one single genre. It's part choose-your-own-adventure, complete with tongue-in-cheek nods at established science fiction conventions. It's part rogue-like thanks to the sense of inevitable death attached to every player decision. And it's at least one part FTL: Faster Than Light, with its space exploration themes, and resource management challenges.

In this upcoming game from Mi-Clos Studio, you assume the role of an engineer who finds himself alone and stranded at a space station, where he crafts a primitive ship for a journey to the stars. The story is told from a 2D perspective, with pop-up windows providing the narrative as you journey between different systems, visit planets, and make your choices for how the next phase should play it.

Every decision has a consequence in the game, and many of those consequences are resource-based. You can build a drill and excavate a planet to harvest more juicy minerals for crafting, but you'll have to spend some of your precious fuel in order to power that drill - and there are no guarantees of a good return on this investment. Travel to a particular solar system and you may take environmental damage, forcing you to rethink your progression strategy. Run out of a critical resource altogether, and quite simply it's game over.

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How you engage with the alien inhabitants of this particular universe will also affect how the story plays out. The mechanics weren't available to test in the build for Rezzed, but developer Michael Peiffert plans to introduce alien species that players can trade with. The catch? You won't be able to understand their language at first, and you'll have to engage with them repeatedly to slowly unravel fragments of conversation.

Even at this stage, Out There promises to be a worthy addition to the ongoing space exploration craze. It's not hard to trace the title's inspirations, but it also has a character that's entirely its own, thanks to some clever writing, and a very engaging consequence system. We'll keep you updated on the game's progress as it approaches its 2014 release.