Title: Out There: Ω The Alliance
Developer: Raw Fury
Publisher: Raw Fury
Genre: Adventure, Strategy
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: Everyone 10+ – Mild Language
Release Date: Out Now – 08/04/19
Price: £11.69 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
Out There is an award-winning space exploration game where you try to survive alone in a distant and unknown part of the galaxy by upgrading your spaceship and managing your resources. Space is a hostile place; dangerous and mysterious adventures will mark each step of your travel. You will not only meet insidious intelligent species, but also deal with ancient powers linked to your destiny and the fate of mankind itself.
WHAT’S NEW IN OUT THERE: Ω THE ALLIANCE?
For space explorers familiar with Out There, there will plenty of new content in Out There: Ω The Alliance such as three new spaceships, more than 30 new interactive stories, new 3D planet environments, alien escort missions, new Cocoon tech, and an additional ending to discover.
• A dark and challenging strategic adventure in deep space
• Every game plays out differently within a procedurally-generated galaxy
• Epic main storyline leading to any of 5 different endings
• 13 spaceships with different specs to discover
• Crafting system with alien technologies built from raw material found in space
• Engage with alien life forms and learn their language
• No combat! It’s just you against the harsh environment
• Fantastic pulp comics graphics and art style
• Lovingly adapted from the original play style for the Nintendo Switch™
‘Out There’ tells the tale of a space astronaut that is placed inside a cryogenic freezing tube as he journeys to a new home planet – Jupiter. However, upon waking from his slumber, he discovers that he is no longer within his universe and has been catapulted into the abyss. Far away from his destination, he now faces a journey that leads him back home. The fate of mankind is uncertain at this point, and there are even bigger concerns for his survival amongst the stars. Travel, repair and gather resources as you try to reach your destination. Fail, and the extinction of the human race dies with you.
Audio and Visual
The audio in ‘Out There’ is a mix of soft tones and melodies. Many relaxing songs remind me of some of my old favourite Sci-Fi TV shows like Star-Trek: Deep Space Nine – I loved that show. While the music is present most of the time, it does fade from time to time as you explore the vast regions of space. New tunes are often introduced, and the sound quality as a whole is rather pleasant. I played mostly in handheld mode so I would recommend using headphones if you choose to play this way. Each sound effect is equally as pleasing on the ear, with taking off from planets and using your warp speed to approach new ones offering excellent audio. I like the sounds, and when coupled with the music effects, it adds to the atmosphere and the experience. Some of the music scores during your adventures are quite eerie to listen to, but I love it.
Visually, ’Out There’ is equally as impressive, particularly for a game of this nature. There are no 3D areas here – everything is 2D, but it’s crisp and looks great on the Nintendo Switch screen. Some of the environments are beautiful to look at: you wish you could explore them in 3D. The art for the planets themselves is very well done, and I’d say the same about the alien lifeforms that you can encounter. I also felt the menu, and HUD UI is clear and makes navigating the menus and core gameplay mechanics pleasant to do.
Gameplay and Replayability
The gameplay in ‘Out There’ is unique. You won’t be flying your ship or walking or exploring planets. This is a resources management game, which plays out with some strategy elements too. I found the best way to experience ‘Out There’ is to play the game in handheld mode as the touch screen makes navigation a complete breeze. You can, of course, play on a bigger screen if you so wish to and use button inputs to play. However, with a game like this, it suits a more hands-on approach so I would recommend handheld mode.
When you first begin, a brief tutorial shows you the basics of playing the title. After that, though you’re left to your own devices. There are 5 key elements that you need to be aware of while searching for your destination.
The first 3 are your main resources that are required to fill are your fuel, oxygen and your hull. Each one of these bars depletes over time. Fuel is used up during any movement. Fuel can be restored with two essential resources – Hydrogen and Helium, both of which can be mined during planet visits. Some planets won’t have mining spots but the information is available before landing on a planet so keep that in mind while exploring. If your ship is equipped with a drill, you can use it to mine resources from planets. However, not all ships are equipped with this technology, and you may need to build one.
The next bar located to the right of fuel gauge is the oxygen gauge. This depletes over time when exploring new planets. This can be restored by orbiting space stations or visiting planets that have breathable environments. The final bar is your ships current health pool. This decreases when taking damage in any one of the series of events that can occur during play. You can use the resource, iron, to fix any hull breaches. Iron can also be mined from planets by using a drill.
As you slowly move across the universe from planet to planet, you’ll need to gather these important resources to stay alive. If for some reason you run out of fuel or oxygen or your health is depleted, it is game over for you. There is a somewhat rogue-like nature to this title as you will respawn from the very beginning of your adventure. The only things that carry over to a new run are any ships you find and unlock during your playtime, and achievements that you have completed.
You sometimes have a couple of options when visiting a planet: drill for resources or talk to the wildlife and alien life forms during your visit on a planet. Each planet has different resources so planning before entering or landing on a planet is advised as some planets may have an atmosphere that can be harmful to your ship.
As for speaking to locals, a lot of trial and error is involved. In the beginning, you won’t be able to speak their language. Each life form may want something different from you so successfully giving them the item, resources or even giving them a lift to another location may reward you with new vocabulary or resources. You can also learn new words that may help you piece together sentences from other species. It’s an interesting concept that works – you feel like you’re growing in knowledge as you progress.
My second playthrough nearly got me to the main destination of my journey, but due to the trial and error mechanics of ’Out There’, an event occurred which took a huge chunk of my fuel and damaged my hull. I was in a region of space where there were no planets with resources I could collect. Approaching the game with a state of panic as I tried to work out a way to dismantle certain technologies to require certain materials to survive longer, it made for a pretty exciting experience. I had to decide to discard a couple of cryogenic tubes with humans inside so I could survive. It was a dark time, and I had no other choice, don’t judge me. My only real criticism of ‘Out There’ is some events can leave you on the edge of death and sometimes you won’t be able to recover, meaning death is inevitable, and your run is ended.
Sometimes, ‘Out There’ is all about luck and multiple different text events appear during your playtime. Some can be helpful while others present you with choice or multiple questions, and giving a right or wrong answer can cause multiple problems or issues to arise. This is the nature of the game though, and you know what? This is a rogue-like mechanic that seems to be pretty popular at the moment. It is not a huge issue as it makes you want to be successful on your next run, but I know from personal experience that not everyone enjoys rogue-likes. I cannot deny though I have enjoyed my time with ’Out There’. It is not combat heavy, and there is no 3D exploring or wandering about looking for items, but that is fine with me!
There are lots to unlock in-game, such as new ships that you encounter during play, each having different parameters and different cargo-hold configurations. This means you can hold more or fewer resources in each ship, which changes how you approach each run. Also, you gain other materials which can let you build and upgrade your ship with new technologies helping to expand your search across the universe. There are also achievements that can be earned too – an excellent inclusion.
My time with ‘Out There’ has been a decent one – I didn’t expect that I was going to enjoy this type of game. It is a different type of experience and works well enough, especially in handheld mode. Touching the screen feels more natural and makes swapping and fixing issues onboard your ship easier. I should stress though this isn’t going to be for everyone. There is no combat here as it is all about: resource management, moving through each solar system, landing on planets to extract what you need and moving on. There are optional things to do such as speaking to alien life trying to learn their languages, and other events can occur during your travels. It is a unique title, and you can see its mobile roots (the game is available on the Android store with a lower price point). Saying that I’d much prefer having it on my Switch as comes with added extras that the mobile version doesn’t have.
Is this space adventure worth playing? Yes – if you enjoy management resource titles with a hint of rogue-like elements. It’s a relaxing experience travelling through the cosmos. There are unlockable ships, and many achievements to earn. It’s not going to be for everyone, but for the right person; this could be a resource management title that you may want to get lost in space in.
It is worth noting that there is a demo available on the eShop if you want to try before you buy – it gives a real insight into how the game plays out.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Out There: The Alliance on the Nintendo eShop at the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Out-There-The-Alliance-1544435.html