From From the publisher that brought you Battlefield comes…uh… uh...
From the publisher that brought you Call of Duty comes… uh… uh…
From Mi-Clos Studios comes the mobile game “Out There.” Whoopeedo!
Your work day starts like this: You arrive at the office for a 9AM meeting. You’re walking to the conference room and get there 10 minutes early. You pull out your phone and say to yourself, “hmm, I can squeeze a quick game in before my meeting. Let me try this new game from Mi-Clos called “Out There.”
You fire up the game and the whole story can be summed up in the 3 minute intro of the game or in the following run-on sentence: You play an astronaut in the 22nd century where “mankind tries desperately to find resources beyond its exhausted planet” and while you were asleep in cryonics aboard the ship Nomad that connects Earth to Ganymed, a moon of Jupiter, “something happened” and you wake up “OUT THERE” (insert ominous, creepy, spacy music here). By the time you’ve gone through this opening sequence, you turn off your phone and you get to work because your meeting has started.
After the meeting, you decide to pay the Executive Bathroom a visit because your lactose intolerance kicks in from the 10 cups of coffee and milk you drank at the meeting. It’s 10am and you sit yourself down, drop your drawers, pull out your phone and decide to start playing more “Out There.” You pick up where you left off… adrift in space. Before you can get to playing, you have to go through a tutorial that explains all of the game’s elements to you. You pilot a spaceship that is in search of rare elements and you must mine these elements, repair your ship, mine more elements, craft new technologies that can be beneficial to your exploration, mine even more elements, monitor your ship’s oxygen and fuel levels, mine the most elements you ever thought existed, decide what you will do next and where you will take your ship, and finally, mine elements even more elements than before. By the end of the tutorial, you finally find out that this game also a great “twist a plot” mechanic that allows you to pretty much play a new adventure each time you play or replay it. You wrap up the tutorial and it’s 10:20 am and you realize that you haven’t actually played the game yet but instead, it’s time for you to put away your phone and get back to work.
Lunch rolls in at noon and you grab a bite and your phone. You find a nice place to eat outside under a tree and you start pull out your phone to continue playing. FINALLY, you’re about to play but wait, as you travel to the Dwarf Yellow Star, you get a message saying that on Day 9, you were on a wonderful beach but the whole thing was just a dream and that the reality is that an alarm wakes you to tell you that something’s broken on your ship and that you must fix it. Your drill needs repairing apparently. To repair your drill, you must mine for resources. To mine for resources, you must use your drill. Thankfully you can launch probes that can mine for you. Probe comes back and it’s filled with cargo of Helium. Great, if I only had balloons, I’d be able to throw myself a birthday party. You can’t use Helium to repair your drill so you move on to the next nearest planet. It’s Day 18 and you’re running really low on certain resources. You hope to yourself that the planet you jumped to has them… you launch a probe and nada, so you jump to another planet.
On the way there, you get a notice that it’s Day 27 and a small leak in liquid nitrogen has happened and that it’s too late to do anything about it so you say, “F-ck it, I’ll deal with it when it becomes a problem.” Your ship takes damage. You check your cargo and you have no resources to make the repair so you do what any astronaut would do.: you travel to the next planet hoping that it will have what you need. You get a warning that says that you don’t have enough resources to get there but would you like to risk it? You’ve got no choice at this point. Stay where you are and die or try getting to a new planet and maybe finding what you need. You risk it… That was the end of your journey and that was also the end of your lunch break. Now get back to work, slacker!
Exciting? Not really. This game teaches you about managing your resources while giving you the ability to pick your own adventure. Although that premise had promise, the fact that this is a mobile game is what kills it. Mobile games are meant to be consumed on the fly. Got five minutes in between meetings? Kill some zombies. Fling some birds at pigs. Crush some candy and annoy your friends by asking them to play. The fact that it takes 5 minutes to do anything in Out There is a big hindrance to anyone enjoying this game. If this game were an Indy or Arcade game on the console, I would be giving it a different review but it is not. It is a mobile game where you play on the go. When you’re sitting down to read and do a tutorial, you’re not going anywhere.
At $3.99 get a coffee, and skip “Out There.”