One Lonely Outpost is a cozy sci-fi colony sim developed by Freedom Games. The game releases on Steam early access, Epic Games Store and GOG on June 26, 2023, and we play as a pioneer sent to explore Planet Calypso. When we enter the planet’s atmosphere, interference starts affecting our ship’s instruments as well as our robotic companion Qwerty. A rough landing has fried the ship’s computer, so we are effectively stranded.
As we step outside the ship, we orient with our surroundings and our omninac acts as our guide and encyclopedia. We have a multipurpose tool that acts as a matter manipulator, mining laser, spray water and blow wind to clear dust. The matter manipulator can create soil in certain areas that we can then plant seeds to grow crops. The mining laser allows us to mine various ore types. Spraying water allows us to water our crops, and the blow function allows us to dust off sand mounds to find artifacts.
You have a limited amount of stamina to perform tasks, and we are given a few quests to point us in the right direction. Once you get low on stamina and the night carries on, you will want to return to your ship to sleep for the night. Sleeping restores your stamina to full. We are given some food via a delivery and eating can help restore stamina so that you can perform more tasks before needing to rest. We will also be given quests to explore new zones that we discover. The further we got from the ship, the more you need to keep an eye on the time and your stamina.
As I discovered a couple of new zones, it was here that I felt just how slow the movement of the character is. Early on you are busy searching, finding new things, reading the omninac and you’re distracted somewhat from the slow movement speed. But it becomes noticeable when you need to run two zones across to get to certain resources. There is no sprint or jetpack either so it’s a long slow run back, and with no minimap either it is easy to lose your bearings and you waste time trying to orient yourself. This is my only gripe with the game. If we had an option to sprint it would be so much more fun to explore further from the ship.
In this early access version of One Lonely Outpost, there’s only a limited number of zones we can explore. There is an in-game map, but it only shows which zone you are in at the time via an icon of your player. It doesn’t track your position within each zone, so it took me a little bit to learn the lay of the land. Eventually I collected enough resources to be able to craft a forge which enabled me to convert ores to ingots, and that unlocked storage crates and eventually a cooking station to process the crops I was growing.
Crops range from simple vegetables like carrots and potatoes, to some alien plants that we need to tend to each day. Each crop type has a growth period along with temperature requirements. In this early access version, I only needed to worry about watering them. When you eventually get to harvest the carrots and potatoes, you also collect green waste which opens some other crafting options. These were in the form of signs, more storage crate types, and chairs.
By this point I had got to day 12. Every few days you will get a short cutscene which dives a little into the mindset of how lonely your character feels, talking to the robot companion that only responds in bleeps and bloops. Towards the end of my time in the game, we came across an alien structure and something happens that leaves you feeling much more alone. I played for a couple more days after that, but no new quests popped up and I ran out of the precious ores to harvest.
I had a read through the omninac and it was a bit spoilery as it detailed systems that I hadn’t come across yet. The game’s Steam page states there will be fishing, we can build watering systems for our crops, and we will eventually have other colonists visit us. We will need to repair systems and structures and explore more alien technologies. I have played three hours and haven’t come across anything more advanced yet, but I am happy with what I had played so far and there is some great potential for the game.
“The full version will include more new content as well as expanded features of what is currently available. Players can expect things such as livestock, new colonists, and the thrill of romancing colony members down the line. Of course, there will also be many new types of wildlife, fish, insects, crops, and quests by the time the game leaves early access as well. We’ve got a ton of cool things in store for the game so there is a lot to look forward to!”
Overall, I enjoyed my time in One Lonely Outpost as I learned how to harvest ore, grow crops, and explore beyond the safety of our ship. The graphics style and music set the tone for a cozy sci-fi farming experience. I am looking forward to seeing how the game develops over the early access period.