Out There: Oceans of Time is a roguelike space resource management and exploration game developed by Mi-Clos Studio and published by Modern Wolf. It will release on May 26, 2022 and is the follow up sequel to Out There which released in 2014, but you do not need to have played the previous game to enjoy this new one. So, what do you do in this game? Well sit-down children and let me tell a story…
The premise of the story starts with your ship the ‘Vanguard’ and its crew transporting a galactic evil-doer who has been threatening the stability of the galaxy by inciting rebellion amongst the stars. Enroute to your location, your ship is attacked and the bad guy escapes. Due to the critical damage your ship receives, the crew abandon ship in escape pods and float out into the galaxy.
Captain Nyx and Sergei, two main characters, crash on a remote planet. From here your journey starts piecing together what had happened and the fact that they have awoken 100 years later!
Each crew member has an assigned class that you manage as you progress the game. Each class has its own unique abilities that you can use to overcome different challenges during the game.
The game is a blend of strategy and survival. The universe you travel in is vast and filled with random events that challenge you. Whether you are exploring a planet surface or travelling between star systems, every choice you make has be taken with care. The game is split in-between expeditions on planets and travelling through the galaxy between star systems. The game uses action points for each crew member as they navigate their way through a hexagonal tile maze or using up fuel stores to travel between planets.
The interactive fictional story is an interesting aspect to the game. This is where using the right crew members on expeditions is important, as a particular crew member may have a skill that will allow you to interact with quests easily or make them more challenging. On your journey you will meet some very strange aliens that you can trade with or try and form an alliance with. Some may join your crew … if you have the room on your ship.
An element of the game that I personally enjoy is also one of the most brutal. If your ship runs out of fuel or one of the main characters die, its game over, no pushing the old ‘LOAD’ button and going back a few steps. You have to restart the entire game.
Now this isn’t a game aspect that many people will like, and at times I’ve raged after thinking “Yeah I’m doing awesome” then suddenly I’ve drilled a planet surface for resources, forgetting that I have no spare fuel and my ship starts drifting through space. There is an option once you run out of fuel to try and get to the next system but I’ve never made it and thus… game over.
The resource managing of your ship is challenging as you initially don’t have a lot of space to store the resources you find or mine. For example, your ship requires fuel, oxygen and an intact hull. Various events may reduce your fuel and oxygen and damage your hull. If you don’t have any resources to refuel with then game over. As you progress, through the game you can find different ships to use that will have improved cargo holds, equipment, more space for crew etc.
Overall, Out There: Oceans of Time has been a very relaxed game that I can enjoy when I get five minutes spare in my busy days. I think aspects of the game need working on like balancing ship resources so it’s not completely overwhelming to players, but it keeps bringing me back for more … even after restarting the game multiple times.
This review utilised a key provided by Neon Hive and Out There: Oceans of Time is available May 26, 2022 on Steam.